Over the years I’ve worked in both travel and sales: on land, in the air and over the seas. Combining the two fields at Art of Safari has created the ultimate happy space for me, and I feel so fortunate that my job is also my passion, as nothing thrills me more than making dream holidays come true. Even better still, here I get to specialise in the land of my birth – and first love – Africa.
Nicky Mears | Safari Specialist
My Safari Experiences
- Enjoying a picnic at the 'Out of Africa' spot at at Angama Mara.
- Nicky on a walking safari in South Luangwa, Zambia. © Art of Safari
- Cruising slowly down the Zambezi River at Matetsi Victoria Falls.
- Watching a pride of lion at Faru Faru Lodge in the Serengeti.
- What an experience: hot-air ballooning over the Masai Mara!
- Hanging out with the locals at Sasaab in wild, remote Samburu.
- Watching the Mara River rush by from Alex Walker's Serian in the Masai Mara.
- Getting into character at Cottar's 1920's Camp in Kenya.
There’s no place like Africa. Once it gets into your pores, it stays with you. The vast open spaces – filled with wild sights, sounds and smells – remind us how much we’ve strayed from nature. This paired with the local culture and joie de vivre makes being in Africa a deeply connecting experience, unlike any other. It’s also humbling to witness wild animals in close proximity, in their natural habitat.
I help you transform the rough sketch of your dream safari into a nuanced artwork, matching your fantasies with the very real luxury experiences Africa has to offer. Through attentive conversations, meticulous planning and negotiated bookings, I’ll create and gift wrap the perfect luxury safari for you – one you’ll never forget!
Pack an extra pair of reading glasses or specs, you’ll want to see everything clearly at all times! And find out what socket type your destination has, and invest in an adapter that will work for your electronics (although many lodges provide charging stations, it’s handy to have your own). Finally, a swimming costume is a must – most lodges have stunning pools where you can relax and cool off.
My African Canvas A selection of my favourite luxury African safari experiences
Drifting Over The Masai Mara In A Balloon
A Masai Mara balloon safari – one of Kenya's best safari experiences – is one of those dream-like adventures you’ll tell the grandchildren about one day. It offers the ultimate…Continue Reading
Driving Along The Shores Of The Mighty Zambezi
The Zambezi is one of Africa's most powerful and life-sustaining rivers. With many areas along its banks enjoying protected status in Zimbabwe, there are superb game-viewing opportunities to be had.…Continue Reading
Exploring The Ochre Dunes Of Sossusvlei
The highlight of any luxury Namibian safari is visiting the magnificent areas of Sossusvlei and Deadvlei in the heart of the Namib Desert. Rise at dawn and drive into this…Continue Reading
Going On A Big Cat Safari
The private game reserves adjacent to Kruger National Park provide superb game-drive country. The woodland savannah teems with a diverse array of wildlife, especially big cats. Climb aboard an open…Continue Reading
Getting Starstruck In A Kenyan Star Bed
There’s no better way to experience the African night sky than sleeping in a star bed. One of Kenya's best safari experiences, this offers this unique engagement with the wilderness.…Continue Reading
Going On Safari In The Magical Masai Mara
The Masai Mara provides perfect safari country. The wide-open grasslands teem with creatures of every shape and size, often in vast herds. Climb aboard a 4x4 and begin your Masai…Continue Reading
Going On Safari In Samburu's Semi-desert
A Samburu safari in puts you in touch with the arid, wild north of Kenya. Take a game drive in this elemental wilderness on one of Kenya's best safari experiences…Continue Reading
Going On Safari At Lake Manyara
Before our safari in Tanzania, we thought that leopard were the only cats that climbed trees. On our Lake Manyara safari – one of Tanzania's best safari experiences – we…Continue Reading
Seeing Big Herds In Zimbabwe
For a spectacular Zimbabwe safari experience in pristine wilderness, visit Hwange National Park and its neighbouring reserves in the northwest of the country. If you go in the dry, winter…Continue Reading
Sleeping Under The Stars At Kingston Treehouse
Spend a night away from your lodge in a treehouse in the heart of the African bush. Lion Sands Game Reserve, in the Greater Kruger National Park, offers romantic treehouse…Continue Reading
Gliding Over The Namib Desert In A Hot-air Balloon
A luxury Namibian safari is incomplete without going up in a hot-air balloon, over the Namib Desert. This once-in-a-lifetime adventure see you suspended in a wicker basket above this waterless…Continue Reading
Tracking Kruger Wildlife On Foot
Tracking is an ancient but endangered art form. It’s not just about following animal footprints, but interpreting the signs, sounds and even smells of the bush. A Kruger walking safari…Continue Reading
Watching The Great Wildebeest Migration Cross The Mara River
The Great Wildebeest Migration is astonishing. Each year, more than 1.5 million wildebeest trek from the Serengeti to the Masai Mara and back again in search of fresh grazing. Their crossing…Continue Reading
Angama Mara | The Masai Mara
Share endless views over the Masai Mara with raptors and hot-air balloons from the luxurious Angama Mara, one of Kenya’s best safari lodges, high above the Great Rift Valley. Indulge…Continue Reading
Bateleur Camp | The Masai Mara
Gaze over the plains from an intimate forest setting at the foot of the Oloololo Escarpment – one of Kenya’s best safari lodges located at the very edge of Masai…Continue Reading
Cottar’s 1920s Camp | The Masai Mara
Take a step back in time at Cottar’s 1920s Camp, one of Kenya’s best safari lodges where the golden age of exploration meets modern-day adventure safaris in an untouched, exclusive…Continue Reading
Desert Rhino Camp | Damaraland
At first glance, the flat-topped mountains and rolling, rocky plains of Damaraland seem almost devoid of life, but hidden springs and sea mists provide the moisture required by all manner…Continue Reading
Ivory Lodge | Sabi Sand game reserve
A family-owned ‘home made to order by Mother Nature’, Ivory Lodge fuses style and substance to create one of South Africa's best safari lodges. The More family’s role as custodians…Continue Reading
Kanga Camp | Mana Pools National Park
Most of the luxury Zimbabwean safari lodges in Mana Pools are on the banks of the Zambezi River, but Kanga Camp is different. An inland gem, it’s situated by a…Continue Reading
Little Kulala | Sossusvlei
Set in the private Kulala Wilderness Reserve, Little Kulala gives you exclusive access to Sossusvlei and the remote landscapes of Deadvlei and Sesriem. Explore this dramatic and Martian-like world by…Continue Reading
Loisaba Star Beds | Loisaba Conservancy
Appreciate the vastness of Kenya's wilderness from your plush double bed, which can be wheeled outdoors for an incomparable night under the stars. Located in Laikipia, Loisaba Star Beds is…Continue Reading
Matetsi Victoria Falls | Victoria Falls
From its tranquil location on the banks of the Zambezi River, Matetsi Victoria Falls offers the best of both worlds. Authentic wildlife viewing experiences are a stone’s throw away, while…Continue Reading
Mnemba Island | Zanzibar
Discover white sands and turquoise waters, playful dolphin and some of Africa’s best dive sites at Mnemba Island, a romantic beach paradise with 11 guest bandas on a palm-fronded beach…Continue Reading
Mwiba Lodge | Maswa Game Reserve, Serengeti
Truly get away from it all at Mwiba Lodge, where just 10 tented suites are tucked among boulders overlooking a river gorge in the southern Serengeti. In this exclusive concession…Continue Reading
Sasaab | Samburu
Discover the country's lesser-known Samburu National Reserve from the comforts of Sasaab, one of Kenya’s best safari lodges, located just west of it. With Moroccan-style suites, indulgent spa treatments, game drives,…Continue Reading
The 12 Apostles Hotel and Spa | Cape Town
Stay on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, with the peaks of Cape Town's 12 Apostles mountains guarding your back. Watch whale and dolphin traverse the sea while you dine…Continue Reading
Safari trip ideas
South Africa, Botswana & Zimbabwe | Private Kruger, Salt Pans & Victoria Falls | 10 Nights
This luxury safari includes stays at some of the most distinctive luxury lodges in South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe. Strikingly stylish accommodation at Ngala Tented Camp, San Camp and Matetsi…Continue Reading
Kenya | Rhinos, Star Beds, Vistas & Mara | 7 Nights
Explore the more arid Laikipia before heading to the lush plains of the Masai Mara with this comprehensive seven-night itinerary, one of Kenya's best. It includes a private cottage, a star…Continue Reading
Tanzania | Serengeti Vistas, Tented Bliss, Crater & Island | 13 Nights
Tanzania is the complete luxury safari destination, with pristine game reserves where animals roam freely, and, in the case of the Great Wildebeest Migration, en masse. Add some post-safari rest…Continue Reading
Namibia | Big Skies, Desert Rhino & Safari Fort | 9 Nights
A luxury Namibia safari is a study in contrasts. This remarkable desert nation will likely be unlike anything you’ve ever experienced, with its key areas presenting a complete landscape portfolio:…Continue Reading