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.
JAMES HEROYSSales Manager
Known to us as ‘Jim’, James joined our team in 2018, although he has been in the business of organising safaris for over 25 years. He first fell in love with Kenya in the 1980s whilst living in Nairobi as a teenager. After serving in the British Army and then working in Tanzania’s luxury safari industry, Jim settled back in Kenya. His favourite animal is shared between the hyena and vulture. Unusual choices, but sustainability is important to Jim and he values these creatures’ roles as nature’s recycling systems. When it comes to Africa, Jim’s advice is to embrace the vastness of it all. The sights, the smells and the people, whose smiles are infectious. Jim’s top tip: take a balloon trip over the Mara or treat yourself to a helicopter flight – these memories will last you a lifetime.
BEATRICE MUSOMBAAssistant Sales 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!’
BILLY OYAROSafari Expert
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.
SARAH MBUGUASafari Expert
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’
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.’
PHANUEL RARIWSafari Expert
Phanuel believes that Kenya is a ‘one-stop-shop’ for everything that the perfect travel destination needs, from breath-taking landscapes and unique national parks bursting with wild animals, to pristine white sandy beaches on the Indian Ocean. This is what drives him to create the perfect safaris in which no detail is left uncovered and which exceed his guests’ expectations. Having worked in different components of the travel industry for over six years, he has an excellent understanding of exactly how to put together the perfect package. Phanuel loves elephants for their compassion and intelligence, and never travels without his camera so that he can document every memory.
ALPHY OBUYASafari Expert
Meet Alphy, one of our newest team members. Although with over ten years of experience as a tour consultant, he’s certainly no stranger to the industry. His wide travel experience all over Africa enables him to design special and memorable safaris for his guests. As a child, he holds fond memories of journeying from Nairobi back to his village in the countryside, as he loved looking at the beautiful scenery along the way. Amboseli National Park is one of his favourite Kenyan locations as it combines breathtaking views of Mount Kilimanjaro with amazing wildlife. Alphy has held a soft spot for cheetahs since he carried out volunteer work with orphaned cheetah cubs when he was younger.
ANTONY GATHIISafari Expert
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.
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.
AGATHA NGUNJUSales Support
What better place to visit and create special memories than this continent. From Ancient Egypt and the scores of historical sites, abundant wildlife, beautiful beaches and most of all – the unique African hospitality.” Agatha loves creating unforgettable memories. She believes that Kenya’s unique combination of attractions like coastal beaches, national parks and game reserves, sunny climate and friendly people is what makes Kenya such a unique travel destination. Agatha’s earliest memory is of seeing an elephant in Tsavo National Park when she was just seven years old.
DAVID MWABILISales Support
David is friendly, patient and always has the ability to put a smile on your face. These qualities enable him to handle high-pressure situations whilst remaining cool, calm and collected. When it comes to safaris, David’s top tip would be to not carry more than one soft duffle suitcase as ‘you will always leave Kenya with more than when you arrived!’ Kenya’s culture and diversity of wildlife is what makes it so special to David.