Out in Africa Encounters Truly adventurous and exclusive horseback safaris
By Princess Cecile von Auersperg
South Africa’s rich diversity has created a kaleidoscope of cultures as fascinating as the savannas, mountains, forests, and rivers that form part of its vast landscape. But it is the safari – Swahili for travel – that opens a window on its soul. Endangered species – wild, yet following a certain order – live, love, hunt and play, protected from poachers by game reserve boundaries but not predators, whose strength and skill dictate survival. Nowhere is this more visible than in Africa.
A safari doesn’t unfold, it explodes in a constantly changing panorama, opening a door on a fast disappearing world. An amalgam of adventure, nature and luxury. With “Out in Africa” you become part of nature, one with the surrounding and wildlife. On the back of your trusted horse, you become than a more spectator. You hear nothing but the sound of nature, the breathing of your horse and hooves in the sand…
The journey goes on. Moving from one point to another, covering considerable distance your ride across the everchanging landscape, encountering Africas animls on your way to your next destination for the night. Its not just the posh lodges, gourmet cuisine under the stars and seriously high thread count sheets turned down in the middle of nowhere make a safari luxurious, it’s the life-changing experiences of riding close to game with your experienced guide watching the signs to bring you up close to the animals, on your way to “fly camp” which is miraculously set up overnight by the ground team awaiting your arrival the next day. You may drift off to the sound of thunder, only to discover the next morning that elephants were communicating with each other outside your tent.
“Our priority is safety and offering an unbeatable experience” says Princess Cecile Auersperg, who started Out in Africa Encounters with her South African partners. They founded this eponymous company after realising there was a gap in the niche market. What she brings to the sector is an understanding of what like minded souls want on vacation, be it a hot shower after a four-hour ride in the heat, the finest cuisine – think-five star European – in hotels, lodges and private campsites throughout the trip or dinner tables gleaming with crystal and silverware in the middle of the bush, things that matter in remote areas like these.
“We have founded this company by combining the know how and background of very different profiles. On the long run this will make the difference” sais Cecile. Anton Lategan, operating training camps in South Africa, Botswana, and Kenya. He is involved in community tourism developments, and is an eco tourism entrepreneur and conservationist at heart. Tamlyn Whitebread, who manages the operation on the ground has vast experience in lodge management and horseback operations. When we ask Cecile if she accompanies her guests “of course” she smiles, “I have great passion for what I do, and I am on the ground as much as possible” We will make sure you unwind with stateof- the-art spa treatments in luxury lodges or tented camps during your stay.
Other than the capacity to deliver seamless vacations, what sets Out in Africa Encounters apart is the true experience of the safari. Some people may decide that on any given day they want to see the big five – lion, elephant, leopard, rhinoceros, buffalo – One has to understand these wild animals march to their own drum and it is the essence of the journey on horseback and nature experience one will fall in love with, the thrill of going on safari is connecting with nature, the contrast – and similarity as Cecile points out – of adventure and luxury. “What I love is that you are in the middle of nowhere, you lose track of time, totally disconnect. It is the ultimate stress-free vacation with no phones, no news, nothing that interrupts the daily pattern of life in the bush. It is also very intense as you see so many beautiful things” Groups are kept small to guarantee personal attention.
The tents are erected and dismantled enroute. This is how you really see the reserve. Those who crave a more traditional approach to the African experience can raise their perfectly chilled sundowners in anticipation of the following day’s safari, when one wakes before dawn, checks the camera, saddles up or piles into a four by four before bumping across uneven ground heading for vast plains that melt into the horizon.
A branch sways, twigs break, leaves fall. Everyone listens. The air is charged with excitement. Maybe an elephant, a leopard, a buffalo will appear. This is the true wildlife experience combined with the joy of the great outdoors. Surrounded by nature in the raw, observing wildlife at heartstopping range, playing the hunter with a camera not a rifle, learning the difference between species. Irreplacable experiences to discuss over drinks round the campfire at night. These and much more are why everyone who has been there will tell you ‘Africa gets into your blood’.
For more information: Cecile Auersperg. +34 609 57 17 36 firstname.lastname@example.org