x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Wild time in Kenya at safari conferences

The Life: There is a growing trend for companies from around the world to hold their conferences and meetings in the African bush.

Some companies are now holding events in the African bush. AP Photo
Some companies are now holding events in the African bush. AP Photo

Have you ever been to a conference where one minute you might be yawning your way through a PowerPoint presentation, and the next you are on a game drive gawping at a herd of elephants marching across a savannah?

Probably not. But it is not as far-fetched as it sounds.

There is a growing trend for companies from around the world to hold their conferences and meetings in the African bush, tour operators say. Conference venues in whichever exotic part of the world you usually jet off to often seem to blur together into the same forgettable, uninspiring impression of a building.

But a conference in the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya is certainly likely to be one venue that attendees will not forget.

"Conferencing has become a huge thing in the bush," says Anjali Devani, the managing director of Travel Wild, a company based in Nairobi. "To be able to put a tent up, have four Masais guarding you the whole day so you don't get a lion walking through … what you are able to do in the bush is 10 times more than you're able to do in a conference room."

Travel Wild is just one company that organises conferences, not only in the Masai Mara, but also in other Kenyan national parks, including Amboseli.

Accommodation options for these events are varied. One of these is a mobile camp option, where a luxury camp can be set up exclusively in a remote part of the bush for a particular event. Alternatively, there are luxury hotel lodges and camps where delegates might prefer to stay.

"What's nice about being on safari is that the group stays together," says Ms Devani.

"It's not split. A lot of companies do enjoy that because that's the idea," she adds. "They want to push the team-building spirit up as well, and it helps a lot to do that when people are stuck together, so to speak. One's not going off shopping and there's no incentive to miss a conference day."

rbundhun@thenational.ae

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