Jambo, Jambo! Cultural Kenya inspires Camilla Kaftans.

Jambo, Jambo! Kenya couture for Camilla


The Kenyan - Camilla - Classic Safari Company connection

At the Classic Safari Company we’re known for tailor making journeys for people who want to roam far from the beaten tourist track…and do it in style. When ‘Queen of Kaftans’ Camilla Franks approached us her brief was: ‘Design me a journey to provide the stimulus for a new Africa-inspired collection. Include tribal culture, authentic experiences, markets and artisans, authentic interaction with local people’. Could we help? Of course.


Markets, medinas and luxury riads in Morocco

Kicking off her journey in Morocco, Camilla explored medinas and shopped her way through textile markets, design studios and souks with a private specialist guide. She found time to relax in Yves Saint Laurent’s vividly blue Majorelle gardens, felt freedom on the beaches of Essaouira and luxuriated in style in a selection of boutique riads.


Tribal culture in Kenya

In Nairobi Camilla shopped her way through designer boutiques including Bush Princess who specialize in ethical leatherwear and Linda Cam whose beaded belts have been worn by HRH Kate Middleton. Flying North she stayed at luxury safari lodge Sasaab, deep in the heart of Samburu country, witnessing the incredible spectacle of the Singing Wells before flying by private helicopter to a traditional Turkana village in the far North - a rare visitor.


The following day she helicoptered to a remote Pokot tribe whose tribal art is associated with body ornamentation and the elaborate coiffures and wigs worn by young men. Returning South to the Maasai Mara Camilla was inspired by the colourful cloths and patterned fabrics of the Maasai people and visited a number of tribes and markets to purchase intricately beaded jewellery and adornments. Her final stop in Cape Town saw a slowing in pace with leisurely breakfasts as the waterfront, visits to art galleries and boutiques and meetings with the high end designers who thrive in this cosmopolitan city.

Camilla on Africa

Camilla's own words are deeply evocative:

It is as if I am seeing colour for the first time. Brilliant. Intense. So deep are these electric hues – I come alive. I see. Africa awakens me. Awakens my senses. Reaches into the heart of me and tears at my core. Her cities. Her deserts. Her tribes. Her incredible landscapes. Her wildlife. Her savannahs.

It is as if I am seeing colour for the first time. Brilliant. Intense. So deep are these electric hues – I come alive. I see. Africa awakens me. Awakens my senses. Reaches into the heart of me and tears at my core. Her cities. Her deserts. Her tribes. Her incredible landscapes. Her wildlife. Her savannahs.

From the soft pink hues of the Red Rose City – Marrakech. The Jewel of Morocco at the base of the majestic Atlas Mountains where I bathe in its rose tinted romance, Bohemian culture, date palms and ochre walls.

I lose myself in Majorelle Blue where the legacy of Yves Saint Laurent lives on in wonderland of electric blue, cool shady gardens, birds and bougainvillea. The enormous mystery and pulsating life of the medinas and souks. Casablanca. Chefchauen. In the skies of Africa, I fly over lakes and Volcanoes. Yes, I will leap from the plane like a woman possessed. Crazy with the notion of absolute freedom. No fear. My dance with divinity. My release. I fell in love with Essaouira, running wild and free on beaches that go forever. And then to the raw primal energy of Kenya and its tribes. This is my primal scream. My roar in the desert. Initiations and ceremonies. I am forever bound with these African tribes. The Samburu, Pokot, Maasai Mara, El Molo, Rendille and Turkana.

Their jewellery and woven textures. Tartans, shells, feathers and animal skins. Sand dunes that glide over horizons. Singing wells. The strength of woman’s bead – they are the real diamonds in the desert and dust. I look into the eyes of these beautiful tribal women and see where we all came from. There are no words. Just a knowing. The female connection. Respect. On these primitive sands I dance like never before.

My feet leave the ground and I soar with warriors in some kind of wild, desert elegance. Adorned like a desert queen, the dust flied as I join my new tribes in ritual movement. I am free. I am finally me


Camilla’s journey is the embodiment of the Classic Safari Company’s ethos – cosmopolitan cities in style, exclusive experiences and authentic cultural encounters, luxury boutique accommodation and unexpected moments of wonder.

Contact us for your own tailor made itinerary.


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