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Ask 10 travelers to name their top bucket list trips and it is highly likely that an African safari will rate in the top three. The great news for travel advisors with wellness-minded clients is that beyond the wellness that comes with simply being out in nature, Kenya-based African Oasis Safaris (AOS), a second-generation family-run East African travel outfitter with more than 25 years of industry experience, offers safaris with an elevated wellness focus. The wide range of private and small-group luxury tours they offer also includes active adventures, working with and giving back to local communities and preserving the environment.

Built on a philosophy that supports sustainable tourism, company director Olia Kinoti says, “AOS is committed to providing luxury services to guests while adhering to economic, environmental and socio-cultural aspects of tourism, with continued long-term positive impact on communities and the environment.”

Tours Are Flexible and Can be Personalized
AOS’s range of private and small group tours focus on wellness, adventure, active lifestyle and meaningful, tailor-made and personalized travel experiences.

In the wellness category, AOS offers 7- to 14-day (or longer) tours that focus on wellness and creating an overall sense of well-being with respect to body, mind and spirit. These tours include fitness activities such as hikes to Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Kenya with safari and/or beach extension post-hike, plus wellness packages that include yoga, spa services and even consultations with nutritional consultants. The company will soon be introducing date-specific wellness retreats.

Most of their tours include accommodations on a full-board basis, local airport transfers, domestic flights, ground transport (as needed), and game drives with English-speaking drivers and guides.

Kinoti points out that packages exclude international flights, visa costs, international medical insurance, alcoholic beverages, vaccination costs plus tips and gratuities to staff. (Re vaccinations, here is what the CDC advises And, when it comes to health and safety protocols, she says, “We have adopted and adhere to all SafeTravels health and hygiene global standardized protocols. We only work with property partners who have the same protocols in place.”

While AOS welcomes anyone who wants to visit East Africa, and especially Kenya, the company does not participate in mass tourism and discourages groups that exceed 12 persons, unless, points out Kinoti, “it’s a big family/friend group, which we would happily accommodate.”  And while the wellness tours are not suitable for young children, the tour company will accommodate if it is a family wellness tour.

All packages are customizable and advisors can set up a pre-travel planning session with a member of the AOS team so client needs and goals can be reviewed and the experience can be personalized.

African safari
Photo courtesy of Jose Hernandez.

Authentic Experiences on an African Safari

Here are just five authentic experiences that can be built into wellness packages or offered as add-ons:

  1. Cultural immersion experiences—visits to traditional villages (i.e. Masai, Samburu) and Women’s Villages. Yes, there is such a thing as Women’s Villages and here’s a bit of a backgrounder:,_Kenya.
    Kinoti explains that these villages are a refuge for women escaping a very traditional patriarchal culture and women alienated by the intricacies of local practices.
  2. Visits to family-run tea or coffee farms, including tea tasting. Kinoti points out that families participating in the tea farm visit program are not commercialized for tourism, allowing participants to get an authentic experience and a sneak peek at real life on a Kenyan tea farm.
  3. Different types of safaris—traditional, walking, flying safaris
  4. Sunrise and sunset experiences with magnificent views and with breakfast or dinner served in the bush surrounded solely by the wilds of Kenya.
  5. Hot air balloon rides with incredible aerial views of nature and animals.“Our best-selling packages combine bush stays with beach stays, allowing guests to experience wilderness as well as enjoy the beach and warm waters of the Indian Ocean,” says Kinoti.

A full range of authentic experiences can be provided during the initial trip planning stages.

See the Big Five Year-Round
Since most travelers to Kenya visit with viewing wildlife as their top priority, Kinoti says that wildlife density is very high in Kenya’s parks, so any time of the year is good to see the Big Five (elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo and rhinoceros).  

For clients concerned with weather conditions and/or crowds, since Kenya is situated on the equator there is not much fluctuations in temperatures but March to April is the rainy season. Anyone looking to avoid crowds should travel outside the traditional peak season of June to September, and December holidays are not recommended.

On a final note, Kinoti points out that with its diversity of wildlife, serenity of nature and warm vibrant culture, Kenya is a destination that for anyone who has visited is difficult to forget. But what makes AOS memorable, she says, is that “we offer a lot of flexibility in our packages during the design process and while on the trip, and the team takes great pride in working to accommodate every client’s need and desire. While respecting wild life, communities and nature, ‘your wish is my command’ is the approach we strive for.”

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