Exclusive safari invites Born Free fans to visit ‘Elsa’s Kenya’

Virginia during the filming of Born Free © Born Free FoundationWill and Virginia at George’s Pool in Meru © Land Rover

PRESS RELEASE: Fifty years since the release of the iconic film ‘Born Free’, you are invited to join actress Virginia McKenna OBE and her son, Will Travers OBE, co-founders of the Born Free Foundation, for a unique wildlife safari.

Highlights include personal stories of Elsa retold in Meru National Park where she was released to the wild and an opportunity to visit Amboseli National Park, famous for its elephants, to meet Dr Cynthia Moss*

These exclusive and unique safaris will take place from the 29th August until the of September this year, and are operated by luxury safari specialists, Cheli & Peacock.

Many millions of people – including President Barrack Obama – have been moved by the story of Joy and George Adamson’s journey to release orphaned lioness Elsa back into the wild, based on Joy’s bestselling book Born Free and subsequent film. This anniversary trip is divided into two parts. Virginia will host the visits to Meru, where Elsa was returned to the wild and is buried, while Will accompanies the groups when they travel to Amboseli – famous for its elephants.

Virginia McKenna will personally welcome guests to Elsa’s Kopje in Meru National Park, where they will enjoy four nights in luxury cottages. A unique opportunity to share Virginia’s memories of the making of the film with her late husband Bill and their time with the Adamsons. There will also be a visit to the site of George Adamson’s camp, and Elsa’s Grave. George’s godson, Jonny Baxendale, who worked with George at his Meru camp following the Born Free film, will join the group for part of the time, as well as Born Free’s Meru Project Leader, Victor Mutumah, who leads Born Free’s lion conservation, de-snaring and education work in the area.

Born Free’s President and CEO, and one of the world’s leading conservationists, Will Travers, will host the three night stay at the luxurious Tortilis Camp, in Amboseli National Park, famed for its long-tusked elephants, and stunning views of Mount Kilimanjaro. Escorted by Will, the group will visit one of the Predator Proof Bomas built by Born Free, which reduce conflict between local populations and wildlife. The stay in Amboseli will also include a special trip to the private camp of the world-famous African elephant expert Cynthia Moss, founder of the Amboseli Trust for Elephants.

Guests will also enjoy a three-night stay on the private 60,000 acre Loisaba Conservancy, which is famed for its extensive variety of wildlife species. Here, Country Manager for Born Free Kenya, Timothy Oloo, will be on-hand to share his specialist knowledge on local wildlife and conservation. The guests will also enjoy a special presentation by Shivani Bhalla from the Ewaso Lions project.

Virginia McKenna, said: ”No words can really describe the magic of Meru. I have been there many times and each time I feel that, in a way I’m coming ‘home’. Here it is still possible to feel you are ‘in the wild’. The sounds of the bush, the absence of vehicles, the magical sunsets. Such places become more valued as our lives are increasingly pressured. And for me, sharing these experiences with others is a privilege indeed.

“Staying at Elsa’s Kopje, the beautiful discreet lodge set in the rocks above George Adamson’s old campsite, will be the icing on a very special cake.”

A limited number of places are still available for Born Free’s 50th Anniversary Safari. For full details, please visit www.bornfree.org.uk/kenyasafari or emailholiday@bornfree.org.uk

*Please note, presentations may be subject to last minute changes.


Virginia during the filming of Born Free © Born Free Foundation

Will and Virginia at George’s Pool in Meru © Land Rover


Shirley Galligan, PR Director T: 0207 792 9668 M: 07773 848352

Beth Brooks, Press Officer T: 01403 246903 M: 07544 209256

Victoria Lockwood, PR Officer T: 01403 240170 M: 07814 284756

Notes to Editors:

About Born Free

The Born Free Foundation is a dynamic international wildlife charity, devoted to compassionate conservation and animal welfare. Born Free takes action worldwide to protect threatened species and stop individual animal suffering. Born Free believes wildlife belongs in the wild and works to phase-out zoos. We rescue animals from lives of misery in tiny cages and give them lifetime care.

Born Free protects lions, elephants, tigers, gorillas, wolves, polar bears, dolphins, marine turtles and many more species in their natural habitat, working with local communities to help people and wildlife live together without conflict. Our high-profile campaigns change public attitudes, persuade decision-makers and get results. Every year, Born Free helps hundreds of   thousands of animals worldwide. For more information about Born Free please visit: www.bornfree.org.uk


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