About us

About Us

Our must-see, must-stay collection builds on our many years of experience working with the region’s most distinctive safari destinations and most desirable private holiday homes

We have had the enviable task of getting to know in detail every property that we recommend – ensuring that each lives up to our high standards of quality, style, character and service.

“We had a wonderful stay at Nderit House and I want to thank your team for the planning and co-ordination. I appreciate the way you managed everything. We will definitely recommend you and look forward to booking other places with you in the future.”

A Small and Personal Portfolio

On our travels we always aim to avoid the pre-packaged and the predictable – preferring properties and destinations with character, charm and a story to tell. We insist on the original, the distinctive and the authentic – and try to step back from some of the more well-trodden tourist trails.

Rather than presenting you with a huge and bewildering array of accommodation options across an entire continent, we prefer to share and recommend a relatively small, carefully chosen and very personal portfolio – a clearly focused collection of unique and special places to stay – all situated here in our home territory of East Africa.

Presented in Depth and Detail

All properties and destinations that we recommend are ones that we have experienced for ourselves and which we know and love. We’re delighted and excited to share these favourite discoveries with you in depth and in detail – and in particular to feature as many gorgeous and true-to-life photographs as possible.

We don’t believe in taking a ‘broad brush’ approach to your travels – and we avoid pre-arranged itineraries and well-worn safari circuits.  We aim to take the mystery, uncertainty and hard work out of planning a trip to East Africa by making our site and our service as personal, comprehensive, informative and inspiring as possible.

Our Business is Proudly Kenyan

Based here in the heart of Nairobi’s safari community, many of the owners, managers and staff at the properties we recommend and represent are friends, neighbours and colleagues. For us, physical proximity, personal connections and in-depth local knowledge and experience are always absolutely key.

Living, working and exploring here in Kenya, we’re among the first to know about the best, the latest and the most exciting developments in East African travel – and to share them with you. We’re always genuine, upfront, thoughtful, independent and transparent in our recommendations and advice – and we look forward so much to helping to plan your next East African adventure.

Our Team

Andrew McGhie – Founder 

Before escaping to Kenya, Andrew spent 15 years in the world of illustrated books in London – working with design-led publishing houses such as Conran, Hamlyn and Quadrille. Falling in love with East Africa and travelling to the Kenya coast whenever he could, he began to design, build and renovate traditional Swahili houses on the magical island of Lamu – and then to share them with friends and international visitors.

This focus on beautiful, characterful and well-chosen holiday accommodation inspired the flourishing East African Retreats travel collection – introducing discerning guests to handpicked holiday homes and boutique safari destinations around Kenya. Resident in East Africa for over 20 years, Andrew lives with his wife and children in Nairobi and, when not seeking out new and exciting places to stay, he enjoys tennis, books and fly fishing for trout in the Kenyan highlands.

Juliet Muthoni – Reservations Manager

Juliet leads the Exclusive East Africa, Essential East Africa and East African Retreats travel team. She began her career at Sosian Lodge and Offbeat Safaris and has worked with several of Kenya’s leading high-end safari destinations. Juliet’s knowledge and experience are extensive, and her dedication, patience and attention-to-detail are second-to-none. Juliet grew up on her family’s farm beside Lake Nakuru in Kenya’s Great Rift Valley. A keen birdwatcher, she loves to escape Nairobi for the bush whenever she can.

Virginia Gatoto – Reservations Executive

Virginia’s considerable experience includes handling bookings and marketing for tented camps and lodges in the Masai Mara and Nairobi National Park, as well as for Laikipia’s largest and busiest private wildlife conservancy. Virginia has a BSc in Ecotourism and Hospitality from Kenya’s Egerton University – East Africa’s oldest institute of higher education. She particularly enjoys looking for new and original safari destinations across the region.

Joanne Kariuki – Accountant and Administrator

Joanne qualified in Accountancy and Commerce at Nairobi’s Kenyatta and Strathmore Universities and her experience in finance and administration ranges from hospitality and the arts to government and microfinance institutions. Before joining the team in 2022, Joanne was Head of Finance at Kenya’s leading contemporary dance centre.  Joanne’s favourite escape is to a luxury beach lodge or private villa on the Indian Ocean coast.

Stephanie Onsiero – Reservations Executive

A graduate of Nairobi University, Stephanie’s degree specialisations included Armed Conflict and Peace Studies, Geography and Environmental Studies. Wildlife and tourism run in Stephanie’s family – her mother and sister play key roles in Kenya’s leading elephant conservation organisation and eco-luxury safari company. Stephanie enjoys Nairobi’s culinary scene and her ideal holiday destination is a boutique safari lodge in the Masai Mara.