Spring 2020 Update

Dear Friends,

Much has happened since we’ve last updated you. Our inaugural Ladies Only Big Cat Safari was a great success! It was followed up with what turned out to be a boys safari at Lerai Safari Camp, a new camp for us located in the Olerai Conservancy adjacent to the Masai Mara.    

Little did we know when we returned home in early March that we may have just completed our only safaris for the year.  Covid-19 has changed everything.

In this newsletter, we talk about Safaris in a Covid-19 world, Books and Movies to get you excited about Africa, How to Plan for 2021-22, and, of course, share some photos.

Enjoy!

Bush breakfast with our wonderful ladies group
This young male stopped by to say “jambo”
We spent some time with this young giraffe and his family as they made their way across the open plains
Boys being boys. For the first 3 years elephants are very playful – learning to to interact with others, developing their muscles, and play fighting.

Safaris in the World of Covid-19 – Need for flexibility

Travel in the future will require flexibility. Despite uncertainty, guests should still make plans to travel on safari, with the understanding they may need to change their plans due to circumstances beyond their control.

Most of our safaris for this year have been rescheduled for 2021. The camps and operators have been extremely accommodating to our guests. They have made it clear we are important to them and want us to experience their wildlife and hospitality and are waiving any fees for out guests to reschedule their safari.

While the impact of Covid-19 on humans and wildlife is affecting countries around the world differently, in Kenya it is felt on both sides – humanitarian and wildlife. Kenya’s game parks rely on tourist dollars to pay rangers and staff to protect Africa’s remaining precious wildlife from illegal poaching. Without rangers, staff, tourists, and safari vehicles in these areas, wildlife poachers have unsupervised access to kill elephants, rhino, lions, giraffe, and other bush meat animals for profit.

As a leading tourist destination for wildlife in Africa, Kenya faces the dark reality that it could take decades to recover from the loss of wildlife caused by this epidemic.

Like many things with Covid-19, this story continues to develop. It will be important for tourists to return to Africa as soon as it’s safe. We are continuing to plan and schedule future safaris. Assuming it’s safe for guests and staff, the trips will go as scheduled. If not, we will evaluate the situation at that time. A lot of lead time and preparation goes into planning a safari, we believe continuing to move forward is the right decision for us.

One of the 3 males in a pride of about 12 lions
Mom comes to check on her young daughter in the Olerai Conservancy

Getting in the African Spirit – Movies, Books, and TV Shows

While we can’t travel to Africa at the moment, we can still dream! I’ve compiled a list of Movies, Book and TV Shows to help you get in the spirit so you’re ready to go when the time is right.

Movies

Out of Africa – If you want to get a glimpse into colonial times in East Africa, with a bit of romance and drama sprinkled in, then set aside a few hours for this classic. Before the movie came out in 1988, Kenya was a place for the rich and elite to go on safari. After this hit the screen, tourism in Kenya exploded.

Gorillas in the Mist – Primatologist Diane Fossey spent 18 years of her life studying the social interactions of mountain gorilla families in the Virunga Mountains of Rwanda; without her efforts, it is a real possibility the animals would have been extinct today.

The Lion King – It might be animation and talking lions rather than real-life nature scenes, but adults and kids alike can’t fail to be inspired to take a safari holiday after watching Simba on screen!

Born Free – The true life story of George and Joy Adamson and the orphaned lion cub, Elsa, they adopt.

Books

The Elephant Whisper by Lawrence Anthony – Lawrence Anthony devoted his life to animal conservation. He was asked to accept a herd of “rogue” wild elephants on his Thula Thula game reserve in Zululand. His common sense told him to refuse, but he was the herd’s last chance of survival: they would be killed if he wouldn’t take them. Based on true story. (my personal favorite)

Love, Life, and Elephants: An African Love Story by Daphne Sheldrick – Daphne Sheldrick, whose family arrived in Africa from Scotland in the 1820s, is the first person ever to have successfully hand-reared newborn elephants. She helped establish the David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, which many of our guests have visited.


TV Shows/Documentaries

Big Cat Diaries – A BBC series filmed in the Masai Mara which made the marsh pride of lions world famous.

Africa on BBC – This is a journey through five regions of an amazingly diverse continent, taking you seamlessly from its wild terrain and landscapes to intimate encounters with its mesmerizing creatures.

Planet Earth on BBC – David Attenborough celebrates the amazing variety of the natural world in this epic documentary series, filmed over four years across 64 different countries.

National Geographic Channel – A number of specials on Africa, including life safari drives.

Sharing customs between cultures often happens on safari. Here one of the ladies introduced our guide, Josephat, to a banana wrapped in a pancake (crepe) with peanut butter. He never tried it before and now has a new breakfast food.

How to Plan for 2021-22 Safari Dates – Time to Start Planning

With much of the 2020 safari season rescheduled for 2021, availability of preferred dates for those without 2021 reservations are going to be extremely limited. This will also put pressure on availability for 2022. If a safari is on your list, and you can be flexible, now is the time to lock in prime 2021-22 dates.

For 2021 we have two Big Cat Safaris weeks available:February 12-20
February 25 – March 6 (designed for photographers)
There is availability for Private safaris in 2021 and 2022.  Contact me to schedule a meeting to discuss your private family or small group safari.

A visit to a local Maasai village if always a highlight for guests
Morning stretch by one of the “Fast 5” male cheetahs

Polar Bear Safari – Join us for our Inaugural Safari

We are heading to Churchill, Canada October 25-November 1, 2021 to experience polar bears up close and personal. Four spaces remain for this unforgettable trip. Please contact me if you have an interest.

Snow Leopard Safari – Quest for the White Ghost

We are returning to the Himalayas of northern India to search for the elusive snow leopard in April 2021. If you think you might have an interest contact me for details.

I hope you enjoyed this update.  Please forward this newsletter to your friends and family and ask them join our quarterly e-mail newsletter

For the latest updates and news, Like our Facebook page and visit our website.

Warm regards,

Peter

Winter 2020

Dear Friends,

Happy New Year!  Welcome to our winter newsletter.  I have just a few updates at this time as I am getting ready to kick off our safari season this week with our first ever Ladies Only Big Cat Safari.  For a change of pace, our group in week 2 will be staying at a new property, Lerai Safari Camp, located in the Olerail Conservancy adjacent to the Masai Mara.    

Stay tuned for photos and updates from these trips in our Spring newsletter. 

Enjoy!

2021-22 Safari Dates

“When should I start planning my safari?” is one of the most common questions I get asked.  The simple answer is the sooner, the better.  The reason why is that we craft custom safari experiences to give you the best possible “African” experience.  This means we favor small, intimate and locally owned camps whenever possible.  Many of these camps have only 10 tents, some as few as 4.  If you want to get your preferred dates or need to travel during peak times, you should be booking 18-24 months in advance.

For 2021 we have two Big Cat Safaris weeks available:

February 12-20
February 25 – March 6 (designed for photographers)


There is availability for Private safaris in 2021 and 2022.  If you’re considering a family or small group safari, now is the time to start planning. Contact me to schedule a meeting to discuss your safari. 

Male lion camouflaged by the grasses

MedWish Medical Brigade

The March 1 deadline to sign up for our MedWish Medical Brigade is coming up fast.  Sign up forms and details are available on MedWish’s website.  The dates are June 16-27, 2020. 

Participating in a MedWish Medical Brigade is a wonderful way to give your time, talents, and compassion to those in need. The Brigade is a unique multifaceted trip that includes the humanitarian mission of a medical service brigade, in addition to a traditional African safari and opportunities to learn about wildlife and community conservation. There is no doubt that this Brigade will be a memorable experience.

Medical professionals and lay volunteers (including families) are welcome on this Brigade. Both will have the opportunity to serve the Talek community through the clinic days.

Our 2018 brigade was a huge success!  Our group of volunteers treated over 450 patients.

2018 MedWish Team

R.I.P. Tim – Giant Tusker Dies

Tim was one of Kenya’s great tusker elephants.  Each tusk weighing in excess of 100 lbs.  He was the patriarch of Amboseli National park.  My guest and I were fortunate to experience him last February.  Sadly he passed away this week at around the age of 50.  The good news is his cause of death was from natural causes.  He survived several poaching attempts.  Once, a spear pierced his ear and embedded in his shoulder.  Injured, he made his way to the headquarters of a conservation organization, appearing to seek help from the humans there.  They sedated and treated him and he returned to his territory.  Hopefully his offspring live magnificent tusker patriarchs.

Polar Bear Safari – Join us for our Inaugural Safari

We are organizing a polar bear safari to Candada for Oct/Nov of 2021.  I will know the dates sometime in March.  This is a walking safari to allow you to experience the bears at a safe distance, but at eye level.  If you think you might have an interest contact me for details.

Snow Leopard Safari – Quest for the White Ghost

We are returning to the Himalayas of northern India to search for the elusive snow leopard in April 2021.  Details are being are more information will be available in March.  If you think you might have an interest contact me for details.

There are our 450 bird species in the Masai Mara, including this kingfisher (top), bee-eater (bottom left) and lilac breasted roller bird (bottom right).  With such variety, it’s no wonder the Masai Mara is a birder’s paradise.

The Maasai people are known for their colorful clothing.  During our safaris, we make sure we visit a local village where our guests can ask questions and learn about their ancient culture.
A couple of zebras playing around

I hope you enjoyed this update.  Please forward this newsletter to your friends and family and ask them join our quarterly e-mail newsletter

For the latest updates and news, Like our Facebook page and visit our website.

Warm regards,

Peter

Fall 2019

Dear Friends,

Welcome to our Fall Safari Newsletter!  In this issue we update you on future trips and one of our newest marketing efforts as well as a sampling of wildlife sightings from this past year. The image above is of a black rhino photographed during our Big Cats Safari in the Masai Mara.

Enjoy!

2020-21 Safari Dates

I’m excited to announce that our first LADIES ONLY Big Cats Safari has SOLD OUT!  However, if you (men and women) still want to experience our Big Cats Safari, we have a few spaces available the following week, February 16-24. Details are on our website.

Private safaris for 2020 are also SOLD OUT!  If you’re considering a family or small group safari, now is the time to start planning for 2021.  Since we frequent small, intimate camps (around 12 tents for fewer) choice dates fill up over a year in advance.  Even if you’re thinking out past 2022 or 23, it doesn’t hurt to get the conservation started.

It’s called a Big Cats Safari for a reason.  This was just one of our amazing sightings, a pride of 12 lions out for a morning stroll, from our Big Cats Safari this past February. Consider joining us this February 16-24, 2020.

Socially Conscious Luxury

From the beginning, Peter’s Wildlife Safaris set out to create awareness of the threats facing the world’s wildlife through personalized safari.  We’ve refined our brand and are doing this work through Socially Conscious Luxury Safaris. 

We have designed company brochure that takes you through that experience.  It is available as hard copy or on-line where you can view, share with your friends and download one for yourself.   Contact me if you would like a hard copy.

MedWish Medical Brigage

Once again we are partnering again with MedWish International in Cleveland for a 12-day Medical Brigade and Safari June 16-27, 2020. 

Participating in a MedWish Medical Brigade is a wonderful way to give your time, talents, and compassion to those in need. The Brigade is a unique multifaceted trip that includes the humanitarian mission of a medical service brigade, in addition to a traditional African safari and opportunities to learn about wildlife and community conservation. There is no doubt that this Brigade will be a memorable experience.

Medical professionals and lay volunteers (including families) are welcome on this Brigade. Both will have the opportunity to serve the Talek community through the clinic days.

Our 2018 brigade was a huge success!  Our group of volunteers treated over 450 patients. Details are on our website under “Upcoming Trips”.

2018 MedWish Team

Wildlife Sighting from 2019

Quality time with Dad. This young lion took a break from his breakfast to get a little affection from Dad. Amboseli National Park
Just a few of the over 45 young ostrichs following 3 females in search of bugs and other food. Masai Mara
Two young males “tusking”, or practice fighting.  As they get older, the playing will end and they will be fighting for real over a breeding female.  The fights are serious and can sometimes lead to death for the loser. Amboseli National Park.
Two giraffe enjoying the warm sun of the Masai Mara
When male cheetahs leave their mothers they go off on their own.  During this time they will often form “coalitions” with other male cheetahs made up of usually 2-3 members.  In this case, these are two of the six males in this coalition.  Masai Mara
Horsing around.  We watched for about 20 minutes as these two played together.  Once again practice fighting, preparing for the real thing.  Masai Mara
This big boy is basking in the glow of the morning sun.  Masai Mara
A young leopard on patrol looking for dinner.  Masai Mara
Yes, those are palm trees.  Kenya’s has a tropical climate due to the fact the equator runs through the middle of the country.  The result is comfortable year-round average temperatures between 65 and 85.

I hope you enjoyed this update.  Please forward this newsletter to your friends and family and ask them join our quarterly e-mail newsletter

For the latest updates and news, Like our Facebook page and visit our website.

Warm regards,

Peter

Summer 2019

Dear Friends,

Welcome to our latest safari update!  As our business grows we have plenty of news to share and are making this a quarterly newsletter in January, April, July & October.

Please enjoy!

Peter

Jackson’s Visit

Jackson Rakwa is the head guide for one of my favorite camps in the Masai Mara, and one of the point persons for our community projects in the Mara.  He visited Cleveland in May.  After our sightseeing around Cleveland he spoke about family life in his village and life as a safari guide.  The event at Holbrook Hollows in Chagrin Falls attracted a standing room crowd of nearly 100 guests and friends.

We also screened The Third Conflict, a short documentary film I produced about community conservation in the Masai Mara.

Plans are in the works for Jackson to return next May, plus a few of his fellow Maasai. 

The Third Conflict

Last October, during our Migration Safari, we invited a crew to film footage and interviews for The Third Conflict, a documentary short film highlighting the positive results of community conservation efforts in the Masai Mara.

This film is being shown exclusively at film festivals around the country, and in private showings in Cleveland.  It was awarded Best Documentary Short at the Chautauqua International Film Festival.

For those in the Cleveland area, the film is part of the Chagrin Documentary Film Festival and will be screened Friday, October 4 at 11:30 AM at Chagrin Falls Township Hall and Saturday, October 5, at 11:00 AM at Chagrin Cinemas.  To see the trailer, click on the photo below or here .  For tickets, visit the Chagrin Documentary Film Festival.

Best Documentary Short at the Chautauqua International Film Festival

Namibia Elephant Fundraising Trek

At the end of September, I will travel to Namibia to take part in a 141Km (88 mile), 7 day elephant trek through Damaraland to raise money for Elephant Human Relations Aid’s (EHRA) conflict prevention, water point protection and elephant patrol projects.  EHRA is working toward a future where elephants can live in harmony with local farmers. 

I’m taking this challenge for two reasons.  First, EHRA’s mission is closely aligned with the work we are doing with the Satao Wildlife Foundation in Kenya.  Second, I’m doing it as a personal challenge. Over the past several months, I have been preparing for this walk and look forward to spending it with the elephants!

I’ve committed to raising $2,500 for EHRA.  If you would like to make a donation to support me for this walk, you can make a tax-deductible donation through the Satao Wildlife Foundation website or through PayPal or by sending a check to the address at the bottom of this newsletter.  

2020-21 Safari Updates

Interest is strong in our custom private safaris for families and groups, and our 2020 schedule is nearly full!  If you are considering a family or group safari next year please contact me ASAP.  We tend to frequent small, intimate camps (around 12 tents or fewer) and spaces fill up for the prime dates over a year in advance.  For example, one camp we are visiting next year has only 4 tents, and our group will fill the camp.  It is not too early to start thinking about 2021 and 2022.

For those of you traveling solo or with a companion, we have a few spaces remaining in our upcoming February Big Cats Safaris:

1. February 8-16.  This is our LADIES ONLY safari.  This trip is designed for women who want to go on safari, but don’t have someone to travel with and don’t want to go alone. If this sounds interesting to you, please contact me soon as there are only a few spaces remaining.
2. February 16-24.  Spaces remain for this safari.

Once again, we are partnering with MedWish International in Cleveland for a medical brigade to Kenya in June 2020.  This trip is open to medical professionals, non-medical volunteers and their families.  Giving of your time to help those less fortunate promises to be an unforgettable experience.  Afterwards you will enjoy a wonderful safari.

Details on these trips are on website.

Kenya Visitor – Special Event

If you’ve been on one of our Kenya safaris then there is a good chance you’ve met Jackson Rakwa.  He is one of our regular Maasai safari guides.  He is also a leader in his community, a conservationist and was instrumental in the construction of the Molibany Primary School project.

He is coming to Cleveland for a visit and I’m throwing him a Meet & Greet Happy Hour on Tuesday, May 21 from 5p-7p at Township Hall in Chagrin Falls (83 N. Main St.).  Jackson will share some of his experiences of village and safari life.

We will also have a special screening of The Third Conflict, an 8-minute documentary film I recently produced that looks at community conservation in the Masai Mara.  CLICK HERE to watch the trailer.

There is no cost for this event.  Feel free to invite your friends but please RSVP HERE.

PetersWildlifeSafaris.com – New Website

We have a new website and new branding – Socially Conscious Luxury Safaris!  It’s taken a lot of time and effort but I hope you’ll agree it was worth it.  We’ve added some new content, like FAQs and a brand video that shows what life is like on safari.  CLICK HERE to check it out!

2020 Safari Dates – Satao Wildlife Foundation

We are doing more private group safaris where friends and families travel together.  Consequently, not all of our safaris get listed on the website.  Contact me to discuss planning your private safari.

Dates for our 2020 Big Cat Safaris are posted on our website.

Photo Highlights From Our Winter/Spring Safaris

Our two-week private safari to Tanzania took us to Tarangire National Park, Lake Manyara National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, Ndutu Conservation area and the Serengeti.  The cats were very special.

Mount Kilimanjaro provided the perfect backdrop to our Amboseli Safari in January.  The middle photo is of the iconic elephant, Tim, who calls Amboseli his home and who is protected 24/7 because of his magnificent ivory.  It’s estimated only 15-20 “Tuskers” like Tim remain roaming Africa.

The Masai Mara never disappoints.  Leopards, zebras, elephants, giraffe, birds and so much more.  It has everything you need for a great experience.

In India, it’s all about the tigers – and the occasional leopard.  It’s not easy to find the tigers, but when you do it’s very rewarding.  There are only about 3,500 tigers left in the wild, mostly in India.  In fact, there are more tigers in captivity in the state of Texas than there are in the wild.

Thank you for your support and hope to see you on May 21st.

Warm regards,

Peter

Fall 2018

Year in Review & 2019 Safari Dates

2019 marks the start of our fifth season taking guests to experience some of our world’s most amazing animals.

As a wildlife ambassador, my goal has always been to create awareness about the threats facing our world’s wildlife by taking you to places where you can experience these magnificent animals up close and personal, while you still can.  By doing so, I hope that you, too, can become ambassadors for wildlife.  

2018 was a very successful year, starting off with our Kenya Big Cat Safari and our first gorilla trip to Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest followed in May by a 3 week self-drive camping/lodge safari through Namibia. 

The highlights of the year were the MedWish Medical trip and the Grand Opening of our new classroom and administration building at the Molibany Primary School.

MedWish Medical Brigade – Talek Clinic

We brought 10 medical staff and volunteers from MedWish International in Cleveland to the Talek Community Health Center.  This amazing group treated over 450 patients from the community during their visit, including the staff from both of our camps, park rangers, teachers and students from the local school and villagers from the surrounding area.  Some patients traveled up to 2 hours each way to see our medical professionals.

After the clinic, the group went on safari for a few days to see everything the Masai Mara has to offer – elephants, lions, leopards, cheetahs, giraffe and a variety of other great sightings.

If you’re a medical professional, or would just like to volunteer, and want to join us, we are planning another trip in June 2019.  Please contact me for details.

The MedWish team with the Talek Community Health Center Staff
MedWish team on safari.
Dr. Rafid Fadul examining a young patient
Guests enjoying elephants up-close

Molibany School Project – Satao Wildlife Foundation

In 2017, through the Satao Wildlife Foundation, we committed to fund and build a new classroom and administrative offices building for the Molibany Primary School in Talek, Kenya. 

We witnessed firsthand the construction progress during our Big Cat safaris in February.  Contractors worked hard to have the school, with its 200 new student desks, ready for the upcoming school year.  In addition to the building, through a partnership with Ann Farmer from Third World Books, we provided all necessary textbooks for grades 4 thru 8.

There will be more projects in the future.  To learn more or donate on-line, please visit the Satao Wildlife Foundation.  We are a 501c3 public charity established with a mission to improve the lives of wildlife by improving the lives of people through community conservation programs in Africa.   If you have any questions, please contact me.

The completed project includes 4 classrooms and 4 administrative office
Cheetah from our migration safari
Young male stopping for a drink
Our expert guides searching for sunrise during sunrise

Uganda – Mountain Gorillas

Following our Big Cat safari we had our inaugural safari to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest to see the endangered mountain gorilla.  There are no mountain gorillas in captivity; they can only been seen in Uganda, Rwanda and the Republic of Congo.
The trek involves a rather strenuous 30 min to 2 hour+ hike to find them, depending on where they settled the previous day.  Once there, you are limited to 60 minutes with the gorilla family.  It’s an amazing time that goes by rather quickly.  If you’re an animal lover, with reasonably good fitness, this is a must see!

Namibia – Self-drive Camping Safari

Namibia is one of the least populated countries in the world with just 3.3 people per kilometer.  The Skeleton Coast, a protected area along the entire western side of the country, is famous for its large sand dunes and shipwrecks.  Namibia is also home to some of the darkest skies in the world which showcase billions of stars.

2019 Safari Dates – Socially Conscious Luxury Safaris

For an experience of a lifetime, consider joining us for one of our upcoming trips.  Alternatively, we can plan a special trip for your family or group on your schedule.


Elephants, Rhinos & Big Cats
January 25 – February 2
SOLD OUT

Big Cat Safari
February 2 – 9
SOLD OUT

Big Cat Safari
February 9 – 16
SPACES REMAINING

Tanzania & Wildebeest Calving Safari
February 17-28
SOLD OUT

India Tigers
April 9 – 21
SPACES REMAINING

Medical Brigade
June 8-22, 2019 Tentative
More photos from this past season can be found here.

Thank you for your time and consideration.  Have a great holiday season!

Warm regards,

Peter

Winter 2017

New Chances for Wildlife

This new year brings new hope for Africa’s elephants.  At the beginning of this year, China announced it would officially end it’s ivory trade by the end of the year.  As the number one market for ivory, this development has the potential to slow down the ivory trade, which has caused the elephant population to decrease by 30% in the last 7 years to just over 350,000 worldwide.  That may sound like a lot elephants, but a far cry from the the estimated 18 million that roamed the continent in the 1800’s.

2017 brings the start of my third year as a Wildlife Ambassador leading safaris to Africa. Your support and encouragement has been wonderful and I couldn’t have done it without you.  I’m departing this week for our Big Cat Safaris in Kenya.  In the middle of the summer is the Annual Migration Safari, and later in the Fall there is a Tanzania trip in the works.  2018 looks to be even busier.  If you’re thinking about a safari in the future or want to learn more about the safari experience or just have general questions, please don’t hesitate to call.

2017 Safari Dates

February 4-18 Big Cat Safari 
July 29 – August 5, Annual Migration Safari 
October, 12 Day Tanzania Safari

Tentative 2018 Dates
February/March – Big Cat Safari
July/August – Annual Migration Safari

Private Safari 

Your Family or Friends – You Choose the Location and Dates

Click HERE for more details!

Our most recent safari was to Kenya to admire the great elephants of Tsavo National Park, the endangered rhinos of Ol Pejeta Conservancy, the unique ecosystem of Samburu and the Masai Mara for the Great Annual Migration.  Below is a sampling of photos from that safari. To see more photos from our trip, check out the “Recently Added” tab on our website.

The red dirt of the Tsavo region gets on everything, including the animals giving them a beautiful reddish tint.
If this guy is allowed to live his life in peace, he has the potential to become a “Tusker” elephant, meaning each of his tusk can grow to over 100 lbs. each.
Giraffe admiring the cheetah cubs and their mom in Samburu National Reserve
Threatened Greevy Zebras visiting a water hole in Ol Pejeta Conservancy.
Ol Pejeta Conservancy is rhino sanctuary and home to many of Kenya’s remaining rhinos, who are protected around the clock by a dedicated group of rangers.
Wildebeest stooping down for a drink in the Masai Mara
Curious ostrich, Samburu National Reserve.
With over 450 bird species in the Masai Mara, it can be a birders paradise
While most of our game viewing is from vehicles, there are opportunities to get out and do a walking safari.  Robert and Patrick are two of the dedicated rangers who took us out into the bush to observe rhinos and cape buffalo on foot.  

I’m working on a new informative website that should be completed in the first half of the year.

Regards,

Peter

P.S.  Feel free to share this e-mail with your friends and family. 

Fall 2017

2018 Safari Dates & Updates

I don’t know where the time has gone!  This update is waaaaay over due and I have lots of news to share with you.  

As a wildlife ambassador, my goal has always been to create awareness about the threats facing our world’s wildlife by taking you to places where you can experience these magnificent animals up close and personal, while you still can.  By doing so, I hope that you too can become ambassadors for wildlife.  

Let’s start with two future safaris I’ve developed for you:  India and Alaska. 

India – Tigers and Snow Leopards

Did you know there are more tigers in captivity in the state of Texas than there are in the wild?  India is home to approximately 3,500 wild tigers.   With April and May being the best time to view tigers, I spent three weeks this spring exploring India’s wildlife.  While my exploratory trip took me to multiple locations throughout India, future tiger safaris will focus on central India.  

Next month, my family and I are on a quest that will take us to the Himalayas in Northern India in search of the White Ghost, aka the snow leopard.  Stay tuned for a trip report and my announcement of 2019 tiger and snow leopard safari dates.  

This female Asian elephant is pregnant and looks ready to give birth soon.  The Asian elephant is much smaller than the African elephant.
Mom and her cub finishing a drink at a man-made watering hole in Bandhavagarh National Park.  The park is not fenced and these tigers are free to move in and out of the park.  
The Asian rhino is distinguished from his African counterpart by having only one horn and his skin looks like a suit of armor.
The giant hornbill is on his way to bring his mate some berries.  She is inside a hollowed-out tree with her young.  The male made this predictable trip about every 20-30 minutes throughout the morning.

Alaska Experience

Alaska, often referred to as the “last frontier”, has captivated travelers and photographers alike.  While part of the United States, it can feel like a foreign land.  Alaska is so large you could fit the state of Texas in it twice!  Alaska is also home to some amazing wildlife.

While the focus of our trip will be the Alaskan Brown Bear, we will experience fly fishing, hiking, rafting and camping.  This inaugural trip is limited to just 4 guests.

With the bears so focused on the salmon, they are not paying much attention to the humans watching them play just 50 yards away on the other side of the river.  This allows us to get into the river and be at eye level with the bears.  They are magnificent animals to watch up close.  We spent the entire day watching bears come and go.  At one point we counted 16 different bears spread out along the river.  It was non-stop action!
Mom and her little ones relax while watching other bears fish for their dinner.
Success!  Bears take advantage of the annual salmon run to fatten themselves for the coming winter.  There is no shortage of fish, but catching them is not as easy as it looks.
These young bears look like humans wearing bear suits.  They were standing up to get a better view of the salmon in the river and looking out for older male bears who wanted to chase them away.

Kenya – Annual Migration

Kenya never disappoints, and our Big Cat and Migration safaris this year were no exception!  These perennial trips are scheduled for 2018 with one new offering: an optional extension following the Big Cat Safari in February to Uganda for a gorilla trek.  Several guests have been asking for this trip and we are making it happen in February.  

The hippo spends much of its day sunning itself on the banks of a river, then going into the water to cool off.  The evenings are spent eating grass in the fields near the river.
This young male leopard spent a good 45 minutes trying to get his dinner out of the tree after he got it caught between two trees.  Eventually he realized the best thing to do was to take the meal back to the top of tree.
A young male and his girl taking a break.

Kenya School Building Project – Satao Wildlife Foundation

A visit to a local village school is a part of all of our Kenya safaris and is a very rewarding experience for our guests.  This past February we noticed the student population quickly outgrowing the current facilities, with many students sitting on the floor or doubled up at desks.  Long story short, I committed to fundraising to construct a new 4 classroom and 4 office building complete with desks and textbooks for each student.

We have raised nearly half of the $60,000 cost of the project and need your help to raise the rest.  While I’m certain you have no shortage of good causes, I would like you to consider supporting one more.

To learn more or donate on-line, please visit the Satao Wildlife Foundation, a 501c3 public charity I established whose mission is “Improving the lives of wildlife”.  We do this by improving the lives of people through community conservation programs in Africa.  This school is our second project in Kenya.

If you have any questions, please contact me and I would be happy to answer your questions.  The architect drawing is below.

2018 Safari Dates

MedWish Brigade to Kenya
for Medical Professionals
February 1-10

Big Cat Safari
February 11-17

Uganda Gorillas extension
February 18-22

3 Kenya Parks
June 13-27

Annual Migration
August 4-11

Alaska Experience
August 21-28

For information on these trips, or to inquire on a private safari for your group or family, please contact me.

More photos from India, Alaska and Kenya can be found here.

Thank you for your time and consideration.  Have a great holiday season!

Warm regards,

Peter

Summer 2016

Introducing Peter’s Wildlife Safaris

This year is moving quickly and it’s been a busy one so far!  I’ve recently returned from Botswana and South Africa, am heading back to Kenya this week to lead a private safari.  Over the summer I’ve developed a new brand and changed the name of my business.  It’s not a radical departure, but probably more accurately describes what I do and my mission.  I am excited to announce:

For me, it’s life’s experiences that really make our lives rich.  If you’ve ever wanted to experience an African safari, I want to help you “Capture the Experience” in whatever manner that means to you. For example, an African experience might mean:

  • Viewing the magnificent wildlife
  • Learning about conservation efforts to protect these animals
  • Photographing Africa’s animals and culture
  • The wonderful experience of travel
  • Crossing one more item off that long bucket list
  • Enjoying one of life’s special events on safari
  • Taking a balloon ride over the Serengeti

Whatever “experience” means to you, I want to make it easy and simple for you to have that experience.

If 2017 is your year for a safari, now is the time to book it!

2017 Safari Dates

February 3-11, Big Cat Safari – 2 Spots Remain
February 11-18, Big Cat Safari – 6 Spots Remain
September 2-9, Annual Migration Safari – 6 Spots Remain
TBD, Best of Kenya 15 Day Safari – 6 Spots Remain

Custom Safari – Your Family, Your Friends, Your Dates

Click HERE for more details!

Below are some photos from our recent trip to Botswana and South Africa.  To see more photos check out the “Recently Added” tab on our page.

In Madikwe, South Africa, this Brown Hyena tried to move in on the African Wild Dogs’ meal and the dogs weren’t going to allow him to take their breakfast.
The main reason for our trip to the Chobe River in Botswana was to see the elephants swim the Chobe River.  It was an amazing sight to witness.
The leopard of Sabi Sand, South Africa were rather elusive during our visit, but we did manage to see brief glimpses of three different leopards including this mom and cub.
Once the elephants crossed the Chobe River, they started giving themselves dust baths on the bank of the river.
Mom and dad were trying to nap while the youngster played.

Stay tuned for our new website and photos from my upcoming Kenya safari where I will be visiting Tsavo National Park (the home of Satao), Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Samburu National Reserve and the Masai Mara for the annual migration of wildebeest and zebra.

Regards,

Peter

P.S.  Feel free to share this e-mail with your friends and family. 

Winter 2015

Year End Update

As we approach the end of the first year of my new avocation, it’s been a successful year, thanks to your support and encouragement.  I led my first Big Cat Safari in February and two Migration Safaris in August, along with a fact finding trip exploring Amboseli National Park and Lake Nakuru National Park to scout possible locations for future trips.

My most exciting news is the establishment of the Satao Wildlife Foundation, which last week received its IRS designation as a 501c3 non-profit organization. I chose this name to honor one of the great tusker elephants, Satao (photo below from Tsavo Trust), who I later learned was born the same year as I was. For nearly 50 years, he roamed the continent of Africa, fighting off lion and leopard attacks, surviving flood and drought, only to be murdered by poachers for his ivory tusks on May 30, 2014.  His senseless murder was the driving force that motivated me to make a difference in the lives of wildlife.  

While my work may not bring an end to poaching, there are other threats from loss of habitat and human/animal conflict which are decimating wildlife numbers around the world.  In Africa, there are great people and organizations doing meaningful work to improve the lives of wildlife.  During my trips, I’ve had the opportunity to get to know these people and understand their work. The Satao Wildlife Foundation will support their work in the field, as well as conservation education at home.   The first recipient is the Mara Meru Cheetah Project which studies cheetahs and their habitat in the Masai Mara.  They need 5 laptops, portable hard drives, memory cards, a handheld weather station and other technology which I plan to deliver during the February safari.  

Please consider supporting us and helping improve the lives of wildlife.  To donate, click the link below which will take you to our PayPal page where you can use your credit card or bank account to make a tax deductible donation. You do not need to have a PayPal account.  If you prefer to send a check, please make it payable to the Satao Wildlife Foundation and mail it to:  16725 Munn Road, Chagrin Falls, OH 44023.  

Satao photo by Tsavo Trust

Amboseli National Park

Amboseli is an easy 45 minute flight southwest of Nairobi on the border of Tanzania.  Located in the foothills of Mt. Kilamanjaro, the park is known for its large herds of elephants.  Lake Amboseli is the lifeblood of the park which shrinks dramatically during the dry season causing the elephants to congregate near the remaining water.  The terrain is much more open and barren compared to the Masai Mara.  We witnessed several family groups of elephants, including the one pictured at the top.  If you love elephants, then this park is the place for you!  

Lake Nakuru National Park

Lake Nakuru is about a 3 hour drive northeast of Nairobi and is known for the large flocks of Pink Flamingos that once covered the lake.  While I was hoping to see the flamingos, the weather in recent years has increased the water level by several feet, causing their food source to disappear and they have moved north.  Missing the flamingos was disappointing, but the large number of black and white rhinos made up for it!    

Masai Mara National Reserve

The two weeks spent in the Masai Mara during the Annual Migration was amazing!  During this time of year, approximately 2 million wildebeest and zebras migrate from Tanzania into Kenya in search of food, and they need to cross the crocodile infested Mara River to get there.  The Migration is an event everyone should witness firsthand to truly appreciate the magnitude of all these animals in one place together.

Of course, many of the other resident animals are there during this period, including lion, cheetah, elephant and leopard.  I am honored that my image of the mother cheetah chasing her cub was selected to appear in the Wildlife Conservation Society’s 2016 Calendar and 2015 North American Nature Photography Association’s annual journal, Expressions.

More photos from this trip can be found here.

Both the Big Cat and Migration Safaris for 2016 are nearly filled so now is the time to start planning your 2017 safari!  If you have a group or family that has always wanted to go on safari and see these magnificent animals, pick a date which works for you and I’ll design a memorable custom safari.

I look forward to speaking with you soon.

Warm Regards,

Peter