Safari 101


The word ‘ Safari’ comes from the Arabic word ‘Safar’ which means Travel or Journey.


Today, the term Safari encapsulates everything; the means of getting to the destination, the accommodations and the various forms of viewing the wildlife there.

Safaris have evolved considerably from the time of the early pioneers, who, accompanied by 20 – 30 porters, had to slash their way through the jungle and set up camp every night in a different location, battling wild animals, diseases like malaria, Yellow Fever, dengue, and tropical heat. These early pioneers often took months to complete a safari.

Today, safaris are much easier. Simply hop onto a vehicle or a plane to be at your destination in a few hours. Welcomed with a cool drink, and a refreshing towel, you’ll be settled in your comfortable, luxurious tent enjoying a gourmet meal in no time.


So how does this happen?


That’s where we come in.


Simply tell us your interests, your budget and who you’re traveling with and let us come up with the magic!

With Wild Destinations you get…

Wildlife of the Chyulu Hills and Amboseli region of Southern Kenya, where ol Donyo Lodge is located.


Over 20 years of experience helping our guests create unique, memorable safari holidays

Their excellence just cannot be described in one sentence so I won’t even try!

I have been doing safaris arranged by them for about 20 years and every single time have they not just lived up to expectations, they have excelled themselves every single time with their professionalism, personal involvement and setting the bar higher for themselves each time. One just cannot describe the experience and the only way to truly appreciate and understand it, is to go and experience it yourself. Shaheen and Fareen are exceptional at what they do, and never cease to amaze me with their ability to make your journey more enjoyable each time.

Junaid Adil, Tuscon, Arizona

Excellent value and meets North American expectations

They recognized North American standards, and were able to provide great insight and value for our tour without the mark-up of the big brands operators. I also found they provided some excellent input about timing to hit the less busy times and areas.

Gabby Kalaw, Canada


We find the best possible match between expectation and reality
Cottars Safaris KIN Travel Kenya 2019--336

Amazing Safari Experience!

In January 2019, I had the experience of bringing a group of young people from all around the world to Kenya. One of the experiences that we wanted to showcase to them was a safari. Thanks to the help of Shaheen and Fareen, we were able to have one of the best safari experiences. Right from the start, they were attentive to our needs, they provided their insight and were able to ensure that we were able to have an experience that was extremely memorable. Their knowledge of each park was something I really appreciated – since they had intimate knowledge and had built powerful relationships – we were able to leverage their knowledge and their relationships as well. We ended up going to Ol Pejeta which was a great choice for our group. The safari was an amazing experience. Working with Wild Destinations was awesome as well! Thank you!

Sameer Paroo, Dallas, Texas

They were professional, responsive, knowledgeable and courteous – we were completely satisfied.

From our very first contact with Wild Destinations until our arrival in Nairobi for the start of our 11 day safari, the time elapsed was just over one year. During the entire time, Nairobi resident sister tour operators Shaheen and Fareen, were quick and comprehensive in their responses to our questions, as well as making sure we were doing what we needed to do for the trip. Having made several initial enquiries to other tour operators, our comfort level with Wild Destinations started early and continued to grow as there was no doubt they were committed to providing quality services caring for both their clients experience and for the animals and resources of Africa.

Every detail of our itinerary was booked and executed perfectly. All our expectations were met and exceeded. In summary, we know we could have paid more and we know we could have paid less with other choices or other tour operators. But we have no doubt, Wild Destinations provides truly incredible safari experiences at reasonable and fair prices.

They listened to us….and they delivered!

Thank you – thank you – thank you!

Mark Piechan, USA

Saruni Samburu-male-profile

Attention to detail

We really listen – to your needs, your requirements, your passions, your comfort level and your expectations. And then, we aim to deliver!

Wild Destinations delivered like they were a big tour operator

In the end our itinerary was Samburu, the Mara and Tarangire at the end of September.

I already felt good about what we decided on. It was about the same as what others offered and included accommodations with great reviews. The extra bonus was the execution. Wild Destinations may be a small operator, but they delivered like they were a bigger one. Being met at the airport and lodges etc are expected, but they added several personal touches to our honeymoon, that included meeting us herself at our hotel both at the beginning and end of our trip, giving us her cell number to call at any time if there was an issue (never had to use it), we were comfortable working through our guides, and they followed up with any nuance even after we returned home.

You often worry about what your trip will be like on African vacations, but with Wild Destinations, it was hassle free. I do wish I’d booked with them on the beach part of our vacations as well.

Gabby Kalaw, Canada

A trip beyond our wildest expectations!!

Sunstreet Mortgage does an all inclusive paid up trip for its top 10 sales staff and significant others, and for 2017 the destination was safari in Kenya. Having had a fantastic experience with Wild Destinations to plan my honeymoon to the Maasai Mara 12 years before, naturally I dropped an email to Shaheen and Fareen in Jan (a little late to arrange a trip for 52 people in June). Having given them a short timeframe to work with I knew it was best to stay out of the way and leave it to the experts at Wild Destinations to work their magic. All I can say is boy did they deliver! As a few people in our group put it – it was an epic trip that went like clockwork.

The attention to detail was incredible. The camp was first class, the game drives incredible. Each day had a surprise planned for the group beyond our imagination culminating in a 5 star bonfire dinner in the bush along with our own Masai dance. Wild Destinations made for a bucket list trip and Shaheen and Fareen saw to it that we had memories that would last a lifetime.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you

We left Kenya not only with brilliant memories but with friendships that will last a lifetime.

Faisal Adil, Tuscon, Arizona

On the ground, in the know

We live here, we know what happens on a daily basis.
If there is a problem, we know before you do and have the resources to come up with the best solution.

Maasai Mara Safari

Shaheen and Fareen far exceeded our expectations on this Safari adventure. Having never been on a safari, we were apprehensive and uncertain about expectations. We were blown away with our accommodations, food, safari rides and the special ‘surprises’ they set up for us each day. Can you imagine going on an amazing safari ride in the Mara, thinking your are heading home, driving around some bushes to see a fire, a full bar and appetizers awaiting you to enjoy and watch the sun go down? This is just an example of one of our unexpected surprises. I saw more animals and lions, that I could have hoped for! Our children felt safe and we were completely comfortable letting them roam the property we stayed whenever we weren’t on safari. I cannot say enough great things about this safari vacation and about Shaheen, Fareen and Wild Destinations. This is a bucket list item you’ll never forget.

Phaedra Wilson, Tuscon, Arizona

Super helpful

The back and forth communication was super helpful when you are trying to avoid the crowds because the local agents have a better idea of locations that aren’t as busy, and since they don’t operate to the same scale as major operators, they craft a much more personal connection to the lodge owners and managers.

Gabby Kalaw, Canada

Angama Mara Poolside Dinner

Create your own itinerary

This gives you the freedom to choose where you want to go.
You set the pace. You choose the budget.

Wild Destinations perfectly planned private safaris provides outstanding service

Shaheen always replied quickly to our many emails, answering all questions, concerns, and desires. Planning was easy since the arrangements are being made by an agent who has many years of experience, first hand knowledge of the areas and has visited all places prior to suggesting we stay there. Unlike working with a large travel agency located in the US, or having to use an agency’s set itinerary, we were able to tell Shaheen which places we wanted to visit, and she would then suggest the options available. Using Wild Destinations, the safari is completely customized. Upon arrival, there is great comfort in knowing that if any problems or concerns should arise, Shaheen and Fareen are right here in Africa, always available.

Their professionalism combined with a complete understanding of what we wanted resulted in our safari being a ‘trip of a lifetime’. Every place Shaheen selected for us to stay in was perfect; she made sure our total costs were reasonable and she stayed within our budget.

As a result of the reasonable cost, the individualized attention, the outstanding services and their knowledge of the areas, both of our safaris have been perfect! We highly recommend Wild Destinations and hope to return ourselves for our 3rd safari.

Nancy Caesar, Cleveland, Ohio

August 2023

Our family of 11 just returned from a 21-day vacation in Kenya and Zanzibar, meticulously planned by Shaheen and Farheen of Wild Destinations. Our U.S.-based family (ranging in ages 6 to 75) had a variety of specific travel needs. Over the period of several months, Shaheen helped us come up with an itinerary that would balance all our needs, and helped us think through the pros and cons of various accommodation options. During the planning months, there were several times where, through family discussions, we wanted to change our itinerary and Shaheen was always obliging and straight forward. She responded to every question and request in a timely way and was incredibly thoroughly.

Once we landed in Kenya we found that every detail was taken care of just as had been planned and that Shaheen and Farheen were personally there to take care of us. They came to meet us on our first day in Nairobi and it immediately felt like family was there to take care of us. They showed us around the places they knew we would love and when the itinerary needed to change to accommodate family members who were tired, they were so incredibly flexible. They truly went above and beyond. After we left Nairobi and headed to our other destinations, Shaheen kept in close touch making sure everything went smoothly. She was one step ahead of us everywhere we went.

This was a trip with MANY logistics and I am entirely sure that we could not have planned this on our own. Each of the hotels we stayed at was so luxurious and accommodating to our group. It was clear that Wild Destinations had been personally in touch with the hotels to communicate the needs of our group. In addition, the drivers that we had in all of our destinations were delightful and flexible.

If you are looking to book a vacation in East Africa you cannot go wrong with Wild Destinations as your agents.

Natasha Merchant, USA

How it works

Discover Our Safaris

“There is something very special about an adventure based on real discovery, not just to satisfy a checklist or occupy some time. There is a seriousness about it, a contribution to science, a cataloguing of experiences, and a deep involvement that may be missing in many safaris today. It is an expedition.”

– DEREK JOUBERT, Great Plains Conservation