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On safari with Virginia McKenna – Cheli & Peacock’s one-off Born Free trip personally hosted by the Hollywood actress

January 24, 2014 Travel Deals No Comments Email Email

Elsa's KopjeThis October, Cheli & Peacock is offering the trip of a lifetime – an exclusive Born Free safari, led by Hollywood actress Virginia McKenna.

The illustrious McKenna – well-known for her award-winning portrayal of Joy Adamson in the classic blockbuster, Born Free and Founder of The Born Free Foundation – will personally host a group of just 18 at some of Kenya’s most spectacular properties.

As part of a nine-night safari, guests can follow in the Adamson’s footsteps, sharing McKenna’s journey to some of the most wild and beautiful corners of Kenya, travelling back in time to re-live the adventure and encounter a magnificent array of wildlife.

The safari begins at Tortilis Camp – an award-winning, authentic tented camp enjoying magical views of Kilimanjaro from the plains of Amboseli. Over three days, guests will enjoy close encounters with Amboseli’s famous 1,000-strong elephant population and will also have the opportunity to meet Cynthia Moss, Founder of the eponymous Cynthia Moss Research Centre in Amboseli – the longest running elephant research project ever undertaken.

Bill Travers & Virgina McKenna - Born Free

From here, the safari will fly north to Joy’s Camp, an extraordinarily chic tented camp built on the site of Joy Adamson’s home in Shaba National Reserve – the most exclusive reserve in the dry wilds of central Kenya. It was here that Joy spent many years with her beloved Penny the leopard – the heroine of her last book – all of which is captured in the spirit of today’s camp. McKenna will lead guests through the life and story of Joy, visiting Penny’s Rock and, of course, the memorial to Joy herself – a deeply moving experience.

Finally, the group will then fly on to Elsa’s Kopje, one of the most elegant lodges in Africa and the spiritual home of Elsa the lioness. Perched above the site of George Adamson’s original camp in the heart of Meru National Park, this corner of Kenya was the inspiration behind the iconic film Born Free and forever changed the world’s view of wildlife and conservation. A much-loved, regular guest at Elsa’s Kopje, McKenna will take guests to some of Meru’s most extraordinary and unique sites – Elsa’s grave, Pippa’s grave and the roaring Adamson Falls.

Joy's Camp

Cheli & Peacock, one of Kenya’s leading – and long established – safari operators, will organise all aspects of the safari, leaving guests to immerse themselves in the magic of McKenna’s tales as she re-lives the Born Free legend. All guests will return home not only with memories that will last a lifetime but a collection of personal gifts from McKenna – including a signed copy of Born Free – that will serve as very special mementos of this unforgettable trip.

Virginia McKenna OBE, Founder of The Born Free Foundation comments: “In my life I have been blessed to have visited many breath-taking countries in Africa. In Kenya, where my husband Bill Travers and I went in 1964 to make the film Born Free, the animals, the landscape and the essence of Africa entered our souls, never to leave us and I know that others will enjoy those same feelings throughout and after their safari to the heart of Kenya and the spiritual home of Elsa and Born Free.”

Stefano and Liz Cheli, Owners of Cheli & Peacock add: “For some time Virginia McKenna has been staying with us at Elsa’s Kopje and we feel deeply honoured that she has chosen, once again, to tread the Adamson trail and lead this exceptional, one-off safari. The Adamson story lies at the heart of our properties and its Born Free legacy is not only a magical and moving tale but one of the world’s most inspiring conservation missions. This safari – personally hosted by McKenna – truly is a trip of a lifetime which we expect to be extremely popular with our clients.”

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