Born in Nairobi, Tanya spent most of her childhood between Loldia Farm in the Great Rift Valley on the shores of Lake Naivasha and Nairobi. She is a fourth generation Kenyan, and as the daughter of Kenya’s first auctioneer, she developed a strong interest in art and design that led to her studying for a degree in Fine Art and English at Exeter University in the UK. Her career has included photographic work for Reuters and the French Cultural Centre, as well as documenting the Hopcraft family history for Governor’s Camp, Loldia House as well as artwork in Gallery Watatu, Kenya’s leading art gallery. Tanya and Mikey married in 2001. They, along with their children Sala, Kinna and Tisa, spend six months of the year in the African bush, guiding clients around Kenya and showing the best the country has to offer.
A fourth generation Kenyan, Mikey Carr-Hartley was raised on his family’s 45,000-acre ranch, in Laikipia. He spent his childhood surrounded by local hunters, trackers and trappers gaining invaluable first hand knowledge of African wildlife. Mikey gained valuable work experience early on, whilst involved in the construction and later management of the Governor’s Camp Collection Mfangano Island Camp lodge. After marrying Tanya, the couple spent time as the House Managers of Ol Jogi, owned by the Wildenstein family. They went on to build and develop lodges, and houses throughout Kenya with Breaking Ground. Mikey and Tanya’s extensive knowledge and mutual love of the African landscape and indigenous wildlife led to the setting up of The Specialised Safari Company in 2000, to guide and manage private luxury safaris in East and Southern Africa.
SARAH MBUGUAGiraffe Manor Reservations
Sarah handles Giraffe Manor’s reservations. It’s lucky then, that her favourite animal is a giraffe! She loves their reticular patterns, long necks and the way that they move with such gracefulness and elegance. Even though nothing can top the Giraffe Manor experience, Sarah enjoys exploring the many beautiful properties in East Africa and believes that from the bush to the beach, there is truly something for everyone. Sarah is a big fan of Zanzibar, ‘the beaches are so pristine and beautiful. You can’t beat exploring the white sand beaches and swimming in the warm Indian ocean’
RICHARD MUTHAKASafari Expert
As one of our most experienced safari experts, Richard has a wealth of knowledge in the East African travel industry. With a light hearted and jovial character, Richard enjoys conversing and building relationships with his clients whilst helping them plan their trip of a lifetime. Richard’s most memorable travel experience was when he went to the Loldaiga’s and camped under the stars for seven nights. He even slaughtered and cooked a goat for his guests. Now that’s service! In Richards’s opinion it is “the people of Kenya are real and authentic, they will give their whole heart to you.” Richard’s favourite animal is a Honey Badger as it is the only mammal that dare to take food from a lion and are also immune to snake venom.
CAROLINE NYAWIRASafari Expert
Caroline is one of our most experienced travel experts. She is confident, knowledgeable and always focuses on her client’s needs. Getting to know them and understanding their expectations is an essential part of the process as in her opinion, no size fits all. When it comes her favourite safari destination, it’s a toss-up between Solio and Sasaab. Solio for its testament to success of the conservation of black and white rhinos and the role it has played in repopulating other parks in Africa. Sasaab is unique for its culture and is the perfect model for community and conservation working side by side. Caroline’s most treasured travel memory is taking her three-year-old daughter to the Masai Mara for the first time, ‘I saw the world of safari through her eyes and it was enchanting! It gave me a fresh perspective on everything around me.’
JULIET MUTHONISafari Expert
Juliet has been designing safaris in East Africa for over a decade. With a passion for travel, Juliet enjoys creating memorable bespoke safaris for her clients. In her opinion, Kenya is a unique destination because of its breath-taking landscapes and incredible ethnic diversity. Juliet’s favourite property is Sasaab, she loves the beautifully designed Moroccan themed interiors with amazing views of the Ewaso Nyiro river (and an elephant if you’re lucky). As an avid birdwatcher, Juliet is always on the lookout for the more unusual and illusive species even when she is at the Giraffe Manor office!
AMOS OMONDISafari Expert
Amos has close to a decade’s worth of experience in creating bespoke safaris. He enjoys sharing the variety of activities that East Africa has on offer by stitching together the most magical trips for his clients. In his words, “my experience over the years has given me the expertise to create tailor-made East African holidays to fit our customers’ requirements, thus delivering the trip of a lifetime.” Amos’s favourite place in Kenya is Lamu because of its rich history, beautiful beaches and empty rolling sand dunes. His most memorable wildlife encounter was with wild dogs in the Masai Mara, an experience that he treasures and hopes enjoy again one day.
NICHOLAS NJOROGESafari Expert
Nicholas is passionate about travel. He believes that the ability to understand what the client needs is what makes the best safari designers. Nicholas is proud of the efforts that Kenya has made to preserve its precious culture, wildlife and wilderness areas. Although there is lots to be done, he is honoured to be part of a company where conservation is the priority and where the focus is the invest in Kenya’s future generation of conservationists. Nicholas’s favourite destination in Kenya is the Masai Mara. He enjoys the abundance of wildlife and the spectacular annual wildebeest migration is a natural phenomenon that cannot be witnessed anywhere else.
BILLY OYAROGiraffe Manor Reservations
Billy has always had a passion for travel and for sharing his beautiful country with the world. As well as being approachable, Billy is a good listener and it is because of his friendly nature that Billy has fantastic relationships with his clients who return to book with him again and again. Billy believes that it is the people of Kenya that makes for an exceptional safari. From the waiting staff to the guides, his guests will always praise the marvellous people that they have met throughout their trip.
KEVIN AURAThe Safari Collection Reservations
Kevin takes great pride in creating bucket list trips for his clients. Kevin’s top tip to those coming on safari would be to bring sensible footwear, good quality sunglasses, sunscreen and binoculars. When on safari Kevin is always on the lookout for hippos (especially when they are grazing). Rather like a tip of an iceberg, when in the water it is hard to imagine that a hippo can weigh up to three tons.
ANTHONY GATHIIThe Safari Collection Reservations
Antony has a diverse range of experience and knowledge within East Africa. With a passion for Kenya’s diverse flora & fauna, Anthony loves exploring new destinations and seeking out species that he has not yet encountered. Anthony is in complete awe of the elephant and their complex communication habits. For first time safari goers, Antony suggests bringing along a decent point and click camera (with a good zoom) to capture the unforgettable memories that you will make.
BEATRICE MUSOMBAReservations Manager
Beatrice has been working for The Safari collection since the beginning and has an unmatched wealth of experience in managing Giraffe Manor bookings. Beatrice loves Kenya’s sunny climate and the diversity of wildlife on offer. Having worked at Giraffe Manor for well over a decade, Beatrice has developed an incomparable fondness for her favourite animal… giraffes. Beatrice believes that is the warm-hearted people of Kenya that makes people come back again and again. Her top travel tip is to pack ‘a relaxed spirit to make the most of what Africa has to offer, and most of all a camera to capture those special moments!’