Loisaba Tented Camp

As part of our article on active safaris, we chatted with Taro Croze, the activities co-ordinator at Loisaba Tented Camp and Starbeds about running and cycling and more about Kenya and Loisaba as a destination.

Kenya has a lot to love about it, but for me it has to be the people
Wooden deck with wicker chairs and candles overlooking a view of the Kenyan savanna at Loisaba Tented Camp

What do you love most about Kenya?
Kenya has a lot to love about it, but for me it has to be the people. Kenyan people are incredibly welcoming and friendly people, who also have a great sense of humour. Other than the people, my favourite thing about Kenya has to be the variety of stunning landscapes you can find all over the country.

What makes it a special place to run and cycle - and what makes running and cycling in this place so special to you?
The wilderness; cliché, I know, but when you are running here it really feels like you are out in the bush. We have made the track just inside the perimeter of the camp, meaning that you don’t have to be escorted as you are still inside the fence while still having the beautiful view and peace.

As for the cycling, the best thing is the views and again the adrenaline rush from being out in the conservancy. You will see various animals and, although you see the same while on a drive, there is something quite special about being out of the car. We also cater to all abilities, meaning that everyone can experience the cycling.

Tell us the story of how you ended up in Kenya. What drew you there? What has made your passion for these places so enduring?
I didn’t have a choice - I was born here! However, different circumstances brought me to my new home, Loisaba. After being mostly away from Kenya for three years, when I returned, I realised how much I missed it. I thought about what is important in Kenya and what could I do here - and what is more important than contributing to the protection of these beautiful areas, as well as showing people from around the world my home?

Aerial view of the deck, roof, pool, and view of the Kenyan plains at Loisaba Tented Camp in Kenya

The sun is setting. Tea, G&T, or beer?
Depends on the mood, but I’m definitely someone who enjoys a good G&T at sundowners. However, after a cycle or bush walk to sundowners, a beer is always perfect refresher.

What is the first place that comes to mind where you would love to drink it along your route on one of your safaris? Why there?
One of my favourite places in Kenya is Amboseli. My grandfather co-founded the elephant trust there. I have fond memories of the research camp overlooking an incredible Mount Kilimanjaro, so that would have to be the spot.

Your running shoes/bicycle must have stories to tell of your adventures over the years. What is the most memorable experience you - and your shoes - have shared? 
The Tour de Loisaba is our ‘famous’ loop around the conservancy which takes about five hours - 60km of varied landscapes and terrain. Only attempt this if you are very confident on a bike!

And the funniest/quirkiest experience you have had?
I had quite the shock one day when I nearly ran into a very large porcupine, who was just as shocked as I was. He quickly scuttled away in a hilarious fashion, obviously startled.

What wildlife is this area of Kenya known for? Is there anything in particular people travel to see? What do you recommend guests to the area should be on the lookout for?
This area is great for elephants, as one of the several important elephant corridors goes through the conservancy. However, you can see most things here: the big five (minus the rhino), reticulated giraffe, and the beautiful yet endangered Grevy Zebra.

Masai Man in traditional clothing and running on the running track with the plains in the background at Loisaba Tented Camp
Kenya has incredible runners, who have competed and won all around the world. You can have the opportunity here to have a Kenyan running buddy!
Interior view of couches and furniture across the wooden deck and the plains beyond at Loisaba Tented Camp

What time of year is best for game-viewing? When is the rainy season? When is it unbearably hot? What is the average summer high and winter low temperatures?
June to July tends to be great for game-viewing. However, the best times to see game is after the rains. This is when everything is super green and lush, so everyone seems to be out to play! The heat is never unbearable, but it tends to be quite hot during March, just before the heavy rainy season in April/May. The hottest it reaches is around 32 degrees Celsius but the breeze is always a great relief.

Is there one thing in this area visitors shouldn’t miss? 
Besides the cycling and running, I would highly recommend a bush walk and the horse riding. Both of these experiences are only available at few lodges/camps around Kenya, so definitely take advantage of those while you stay here.

Apart from Kenya, where else do you love to go on safari?
Places I would love to visit in Africa include Botswana (the Okavango Delta specifically) and the Skeleton Coast in Namibia.

Based on your experience, what are the five essentials you recommend clients should bring to go running on safari? What are the five essentials for an MTB safari?
Good running shoes, as the terrain can be quite uneven and unforgiving. At least SPF50 sunscreen if you are running/cycling under the sun. Breathable and comfortable running clothes. Your phone to take some pictures of the amazing views while you catch your breath. A good water bottle (we provide one when you arrive at camp) to stay hydrated.

A colourful sunset view over the bush, safari lodge, and a pool lined with hurricane lamps at Loisaba in Kenya

What have you found to be your clients’ greatest fears about running and cycling safaris – if any - and what information/advice can you give them to avert those fears?
One of the main fears is of wild animals, as most people don’t realise that the animals are much more afraid of them than we are of them. I would say relax and enjoy the vulnerability, as we are professionals and are constantly assessing the nature (excuse the pun) of the situation.

Do you have any interesting information to share on the history of running and cycling in Africa?
Kenya has incredible runners, who have competed and won all around the world. You can have the opportunity here to have a Kenyan running buddy - try to keep up! As for cycling, the cyclist Chris Froome is from Kenya, the reigning Giro d'Italia champion.

The interior of one of the luxury safari tents with a bed and view over the bush at Loisaba Tented Camp in Kenya
Dinner table set with a white table cloth, candles, and an ice bucket in a colourful sunset on the wooden deck at Loisaba

Contact us for more information on going on safari to Loisaba Tented Camp:
service@thesafaristore.com

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