The Rise of Transformative Travel
Issue 1 / 04 April 2018
The Rise of Transformative Travel

Transformative travel allows people to truly engage with challenging physical or cultural experiences.

Serena Norton
Serena Norton

Expanding one’s horizons takes on a whole new meaning with transformative travel allowing people to truly engage with challenging physical or cultural experiences.

Moving on from experiential travel whereby holiday goers were looking for ways to meaningfully interact with locals and cultures, transformative travel is defined by a shift in perspective, self-reflection and development. The idea of transformative travel is to encourage personal growth, evolving our relationships with culture and nature and ultimately changing our views or opinions as a result. People are looking to feel more connected and immersed by interacting on a more personal level with the world around them. They are wanting to come home a ‘changed person’, informed, refreshed and enlightened by their experiences.

A prime example of transformative travel in practice is at Ol Jogi, a 58,000 acre private ranch in Kenya’s Laikipia Plateau. Whilst many safaris can be considered ‘life-changing’, the experience is often diluted by sharing it with ten other Land Cruisers gazing at the same lion. The opposite is true at Ol Jogi where there is no competing with other tourists. It is just you, the fascinating wildlife and the remarkable landscape.

Experience Africa as it was 20 or 30 years ago

Ol Jogi is also a serious conservancy, dedicated to the preservation of endangered species, in particular the protection of black rhino. Opened up to the public 2013, owner and passionate conservationist Alec Wildenstein Jr aims to make the operation self-sufficient, with guest fees supporting conservation work, so that merely by coming and enjoying Ol Jogi, guests are actually preserving nature and wildlife for future generations.

The ranch also has its own wildlife rescue centre and veterinary clinic, and guests are actively encouraged to get involved. Guests can experience bottle feeding a baby rhino or hand feeding rescued elephants whilst learning first hand about the conservation mission at Ol Jogi. The property also employs a sizable and heavily armed private army to prevent poaching, with over 100 rangers and security guards, bloodhounds and leading-edge technology fending off poachers.

Educating the locals and the guests

As well as educating the guests, Ol Jogi takes care of its community too, supporting over 300 employees in housing, health and education as well as setting up an Environmental Conservation Education Programme, creating an awareness of individual and collective responsibilities in generating a thriving and safe ecosystem.  

Exclusivity at Ol Jogi doesn’t just apply to the ‘safari’ side of things. The ranch offers a whole host of ways for guests to immerse themselves in the surroundings. From traditional Masai barbecues, bush walks and visits to the Twala Cultural Village and the Ol Jogi primary school, to helicopter excursions exploring remote locations, hiking up mountains and fishing in deserted rivers and lakes, the number of experiences available to guests are almost endless, and you can guarantee that they will stay with you long after you return home.

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