I’ve often thought that a safari incentive event should be a massive draw for pretty much everyone, but realise that it really is often a black and white option. For people like me it is a must, almost irrespective, but I recognise it is not for all.
Safari for Corporate Incentive Travel?
Mention the Serengeti though and the vast plains of wild Africa spring to mind. Locate a luxury hotel there that if it was in Monte Carlo would give the best a run for their money, and integrate it into the local environment and culture with no fences in sight and maybe you have the right ingredients for the ultimate safari experience.
The Serengeti needs no introduction, being the first designated UNESCO World Heritage site; it is home to the Masai people and the world’s largest movement of animals – the circular migration of over a million wildebeest plus huge numbers of zebra and eland. Where the rains go the animals follow, and where the herbivores migrate, the carnivores await - the Serengeti has a large lion population and is the best place to see them in their natural environment. Right in the middle of all this animal activity is the Four Seasons Safari Lodge.
Four Seasons Safari Lodge – More Than a Walk on the Wild Side
The Lodge, aside from having the services and facilities you would expect from a five star property, has embraced the safari experience in ways that go beyond the typical, driving, sitting and viewing. Yes there are the game drives, but the striking thing is the way you connect to, and integrate with, the local environment and culture, for example:
- The Lodge is open to the wild in the middle of the plains! You can relax in the infinity pool whilst animals water close by, and see lion relaxing from one of the elevated walkways.
- The Masai play an active role patrolling the site, especially welcome at night.
- The central and prominent Discovery Centre is an incredible, interactive resource that not only educates about the Masaii and the Serengeti, but shows what is happening outside by tracking the migrations. And irrespective of where they are the guides will take you there, a little different from going somewhere and then seeing what might, or might not, turn up.
- The centre encourages interaction – guides can take you into the plains and you can set up time lapse cameras, tag animals, and remotely keep an eye on what is happening - your own Serengeti Watch!
- There is a resident zoologist and conservationist – Oli, who manages the Discovery Centre.
It is this connection with, and respect for, the environment that marks Tanzania and the Lodge out from other safari locations. You are not simply a witness to it, you feel part of it. There is something strangely surreal about being in the bath and watching an elephant lope past, or at breakfast on the terrace seeing thousands of zebra, in single file, make their way north. Taking a balloon ride reinforces this – there are not scores of operators chasing business, there is one licensed because it seems the interests of the wildlife come first. The benefit of being a National Park.
A safari is not for large groups, but for those it appeals to, the Four Seasons Safari Lodge is arguably the best experience you can have. The combination of remoteness, authenticity and five star luxury is both breath taking and sublimely rewarding. That’s not to say the logistics are onerous. I flew to Nairobi and then Kilimanjaro, onto Seronera and a 50 minute drive to the Lodge. Ideally for a pan-european incentive group, or a UK group with different departure points you would take KLM from Amsterdam into Kilimanjaro. Options will increase if the plan for mobile immigration services at Seronera materialise.
Five Star Safari and Beach - Best of Both Worlds
The ultimate in incentive travel? One way to broaden the appeal of a destination is to twin with another, something often done as part of a safari, typically the Masai Mara and Mombasa. However, with the Safari Lodge Serengeti being the first of three Four Seasons’ developments in the region, then this unique experience being complemented with beach time in Zanzibar, and a possible tented camp in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, sets a standard for an ultimate safari incentive that will be difficult to match.
As a Four Seasons Strategic Partner BI WORLDWIDE is ideally placed to help plan and deliver great value, bespoke, corporate incentive travel experiences, not to, but in the Serengeti. If you want to discuss further, don’t hesitate to contact us.
See the Serengeti Now
Not many can make it to the Serengeti, so we’ve brought it to you. See our Safari and Serengeti Pinterest board of David’s pics with those from the Four Seasons Safari Lodge to get a flavour of why this is such a unique experience
Plus Kat from our Design Team visited Zanzibar not so long ago as part of a twin centre with Oman. Read her experience and views.