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© Florence Midwood

Who we are

Welcome to Culsans, 
the home of purposeful gap travel. 

Culsans was created to offer the very finest of gap year experiences – combining fun, adventure, travel, culture and a lasting education in conservation.

We work shoulder-to-shoulder with local communities offering our students unrivalled access to unique locations and projects across Kenya. 

We specialise in gap years

We work shoulder-to-shoulder with local communities

We offer quality in every direction

© Florence Midwood

Meet the Team


The Culsans team have all experienced Africa for ourselves. We came together to share our first-hand knowledge and experiences with others, in partnership with some of the spectacular projects we’ve come across over the years.

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Florence Midwood

Florence Midwood

Founder & Managing Director

Florence Midwood
Florence Midwood

Florence Midwood

Founder & Managing Director

Florence is a country girl, born and bred in Cheshire, with a passion for adventure, travel and culture. She went to school at Rugby and then onto Millfield for sixth form. Throughout her career Florence has developed a focus on the importance and need for education in sustainable travel methods. Having had many incredible travel experiences and also a fantastic gap year herself, she was keen to set up a creative concept for young people willing to learn and engage with their surrounding environments while witnessing from the very best.

Florence spent many months working abroad to enhance her local knowledge and cultural research. Previous roles included: Hosting at Borana Lodge - Kenya, Sales and Business Development at The Safari and Conservation Company - Kenya/London, Floating Hostess at Robin Pope Safaris - Zambia.

Prior to the travel industry, Florence worked in events, starting out at Party Planners for The Lady Elizabeth Anson. She is incredibly organised, professional and reliable but also knows how to have a good time. Combined with with her infectious enthusiasm, it is hard to not be inspired by her stories and personal passion for local travel and culture.


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Nigel Winser

Nigel Winser

Advisor

Nigel Winser
Nigel Winser

Nigel Winser

Advisor

Nigel’s true passion is field science and conservation, with 40 years of managing international field programmes. He is an Earthwatch Europe Ambassador, Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), Honorary Conservation Fellow of the Zoological Society of London, Judge for the Tusk Trust Conservation Awards and an Honorary Elder of the Il Ngwesi Group Ranch. Nigel offers mountains of experience and knowledge and we are truly privileged to be able to work with him.


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Sacha Craig

Sacha Craig

Advisor

Sacha Craig
Sacha Craig

Sacha Craig

Advisor

Sacha was born and bred in Kenya. Her home is Lewa Wilderness, one of the few lodges on the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy. The Conservancy was created by her grandparents, David and Delia Craig who passed their passion for conservation and tourism on through 4 generations.

Sacha has always held a key interest in education for conservation. She speaks fluent Swahili and knows the local communities and Kenyan politics well. She has worked for numerous conservation and travel companies including: TOFTigers, Handpicked Africa, Essential Escapes, Lewa UK and Lewa Next Generation. Sacha brings an abundance of local knowledge and travel industry advice to the table.


© Will Shirley

What We Do

We offer 8-week adventure experiences in Kenya.

We work with brilliant conservation projects and communities across the country, so you get the ultimate 360° experience.

You’ll make lifelong friends as you explore the most remote areas of Kenya, walking with the animals in the bush, teaching children, dancing with the Maasai tribe, and hearing tales from the elders.

Through our work with the Il Ngwesi Conservancy, Borana Conservancy, and Ol Pejeta Conservancy, we’ll introduce you to some of Kenya’s endangered species, and the amazing people who protect them. You’ll be able to gain work experience and certificates to enhance your skill set and set you apart from the rest when you return home.

You’ll encounter critically endangered Grevy Zebra, Black and White Rhinos, Reticulated Giraffes, Elephants and Lions, plus Buffalo and Leopard to complete the Big 5!

We have regular sundowners and weekends in town, giving you plenty of time to socialise as you watch the beautiful sunset over an ice-cold beer, surrounded by the sounds of the bush.

Our Aims

Educate

To educate the conservation ambassadors of the future through unique experiences and behind-the-scenes access to projects.
 

Educate

Support

To support the development and growth of conservancies and small local businesses, and enhance the great work they do.
 

Support

Have Fun!

To have fun while developing the personal skill sets of our students and the local people we work with, helping every one of them to stand above the rest of the pack.

Have Fun


Show me a 2 year old who isn’t interested in a frog

— Sir David Attenborough

© Wil Stewart

Why Choose Us

Quality. In every direction.


A gap year experience with Culsans is the perfect chance to push your boundaries and discover new sides of yourself though epic adventure - you will:
  • Adventure through the bush and the mountains to encounter endangered animals in their natural habitat
  • Dance, jump, laugh and sing with the vibrant Maasai tribe
  • Join in mystical tribal ceremonies that have been passed down through generations
  • Form lasting friendships as you unwind beneath the stars, enjoy sundowners and explore nearby towns and cities
  • Discover the incredible wildlife and plants of Kenya
  • Make an impact as you work with local conservation programmes in remote locations
  • Share your passions, knowledge and skills while inspiring children in local schools
  • Push your boundaries and step outside of your comfort zone
  • Gain new confidence, skills and certifications that will set you apart from the pack
  • Learn about sustainable commerce, conservation and farming in unbelievable locations
  • Make a lasting impression and impact on every place you visit

Your experience with Culsans can also contribute towards the Gold Duke of Edinburgh award.

Partners & Affiliations

Our friends, partners and affifliations



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African Ascents

African Ascents

Partner

African Ascents

African Ascents

Florence was first introduced to African Ascents in 2016. They have been completely dedicated to creating unique trekking experiences, first class technical climbing adventures and unparalleled rock-climbing experiences. They are the ultimate choice for the ultimate and safe mountaineering expedition. 

Visit African Ascents

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Borana Conservancy

Borana Conservancy

Partner

Borana Conservancy

Borana Conservancy

Borana Conservancy is dedicated to the sustainable conservation of land and wildlife. Our holistic approach commits tourism, ranching and other enterprises to building local livelihoods and enhancing eco-system integrity.

In 2013, a founding population of 21 Black Rhino were introduced to Borana Conservancy. Once they were settled, Borana and Lewa Wildlife Conservancy were integrated to form one landscape; 92,000 acres of unspoilt African wilderness and the largest contiguous rhino habitat in East Africa. There are now almost 90 black rhino and over 80 white rhino on the Lewa-Borana Landscape.

Our sustainable lifestyle is focused around conservation, community, culture and commerce (the 4Cs). Borana Conservancy is a Long Run Destination, these are carefully selected for their commitment to enacting the 4Cs. All retained earnings from tourism, ranching and other commercial enterprises contribute towards the support of communities, wildlife and it’s habitat.

Visit Borana Conservancy

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Il Ngwesi Group Ranch

Il Ngwesi Group Ranch

Partner

Il Ngwesi Group Ranch

Il Ngwesi Group Ranch

Il Ngwesi means "People of Wildlife". This is a very special place that supports both communities and wildlife. In 2016 it was 20 years old, and still it remains the only upmarket lodge in Kenya that is both owned and run by its Maasai community. Its significance cannot be overstated.

Visit Il Ngwesi Group Ranch

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Oceans Alive

Oceans Alive

Affiliation

Oceans Alive

Oceans Alive


Visit Oceans Alive

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Ol Pejeta Conservancy

Ol Pejeta Conservancy

Partner

Ol Pejeta Conservancy

Ol Pejeta Conservancy

Ol Pejeta is most famous for its rhinos (it has the largest rhino population in Eastern Africa). Among all other big 5 species, this enormous conservancy is home to the last 2 Northern White Rhinos left in the world, Najin and Fatu. The conservancy's conservation work is pioneering, supporting 17 other communities, having the only Chimpanzee sanctuary in Kenya, and running one of the first ever Rhino IVF programmes to potentially save a species. It is situated close to Nanyuki town with spectacular views of Mt Kenya against open plains. 

Visit Ol Pejeta Conservancy

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The Long Run

The Long Run

Affiliation

The Long Run

The Long Run

Culsans Gap Travel is a partner of The Long Run, one of the world’s largest business-led sustainable development initiatives.

The Long Run brings together a global community of like-minded individuals committed to conserving nature and improving people’s lives through their tourism businesses. Collectively, members aspire to conserve 20 million acres of biodiversity and improve the lives of two million people by 2020. As a partner of The Long Run, we share The Long Run’s drive to support sustainable, ecologically and socially responsible tourism destinations around the world. For more information, visit thelongrun.org

Visit The Long Run

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Tusk

Tusk

Friends

Tusk

Tusk

For almost thirty years, Tusk has supported forward- thinking and successful conservation intervention in Africa. From the plains of the Serengeti to the rainforests of the Congo Basin, they’re working towards a future in which people and wildlife can both thrive across the African continent. Poaching, habitat loss and human-wildlife conflict are having a devastating impact on Africa’s wildlife. Tusk believes that local people and organisations are best positioned to address these threats, but are often under-resourced and lack the recognition they deserve. By partnering with leading and emerging conservationists across Africa, Tusk secures donor funding to invest in the best local grassroots conservation initiatives, supporting and nurturing their conservation programmes to accelerate growth from an innovative idea to a scalable solution. This helps to increase their profile and maximise their impact.

Tusk believes strategic conservation can empower local communities and improve livelihoods. They support and promote effective environmental education designed to provide a more sustainable future for the next generation. It’s an approach that works. Through their partnerships, Tusk has so far provided greater protection for over 10 million acres of land and more than 40 different threatened species, while benefitting more than 1,000,000 people.

Visit Tusk


Because it's there...

— George Mallory

Florence Midwood

Testimonials




We are great believers in the “gap year” but there are so many options out there and in the added turmoil of this Covid year we felt doubly sure that a smaller, more nurturing trip, would be the best option. Not only would it offer something a bit more wholesome, but fully supervised by the lovely Florence, would provide a relatively safe and secure environment in which to travel. The Culsans African Adventure, gave the group such time, space and opportunity to enjoy a perfect balance of FUN, ADVENTURE and EDUCATION.We couldn’t recommend it more highly.
Andrew and Corinne Joicey, (Parents, 2021)
I can't thank you enough for your support, honestly I really appreciate you so much and am having you in my heart forever.
Francis, (Maasai chef of the Il Ngwesi Community)
We would highly recommend this trip. An amazing experience. Extremely well organised and run. A properly hands on, inspiring, educational adventure in some incredible locations.
George and Amanda Page, (Parents, 2021)
Your advice, navigating in all sorts of ways in difficult times, as well as being a coach, mentor and friend to Artemis has been lovely. It’s true to say this couldn’t have happened without you.
Stuart Cooper, (Parent, 2021)
What a life enhancing experience! A programme which encompasses all aspects of life in Kenya. My daughter hugely enjoyed her time with the group and has come away with a deep love of the country. Florence, who leads the group, is inspiring, enthusiastic and fun. Through her connections in Kenya, Florence has created a trip which gives the group access to places and experiences a normal traveller would struggle to achieve.
Emma Azis, (Parent, 2021)
I have gained so much more from my gap year that I had anticipated. Culsans has been a real once-in-a-lifetime affair.
Laragh Vaughn, (Student, 2021)
I defo feel I've had a much better experience than other friends who have done different gap year programmes.
Anon, (Student 2021)
Culsans is a brilliant experience for those who are wanting to truly get something out of their gap year. The understanding you gain is vast - from the meetings you have with all the rangers, to conservancy owners and marine biologists. It is a unique experience that does not come around often. 
Henry Saunders Watson, (Student, 2021)
Culsans is a completely unique experience and a must do for anyone interested in the environment.
Harry Salter, (Student, 2020)
He [Ross] really, truly, loved the whole experience and has ‘grown’ immeasurably during the time.
Sarah Donaldson, (Parent, 2019)
I’m never going to have as cool of an experience as this again
Sam Veasey, (Student, 2019)
We all just bonded really well and it’s so nice to be able to share the experience with other people similar to me
Eli Brownlow, (Student, 2019)
There’s no way you can do the kind of things that I did in Kenya, apart from doing it with a group like Culsans. It’s just not possible on a gap year.
Ross Donaldson, (Student, 2019)
We are all so grateful for the spirit of cooperation your students had with our students. They really appreciated all they shared. Thanks to Culsans Gap Travel for the good work you are doing.
Peter Wanyoike, (Science Teacher, Lokusero School, Kenya)
I would have no hesitation in recommending Culsans as a gap year company. Florence introduced herself to us - the parents - and we immediately knew our children would be safe and happy. The children were treated with respect and dignity all the while being supervised and treated as young adults. They all became good friends and are still in touch. As parents we were given appropriate updates and any hiccups were dealt with speedily and efficiently. Her actions were always totally appropriate and we had complete faith and trust in her. I am hoping that there will be a time when a gap year for parents will be on the agenda - I will be one of the first to sign up.
Amanda Brownlow, (Parent, 2019)
I love that there is a focus on sustainable travel and ensuring that as tourists we are doing our best to benefit and provide business to many local people. Learning about and understanding conservation from a broader perspective is also what gives Culsans Gap Travel an edge on other gap year companies as the learning opportunities are so unique.
Mimi Shepherd, (Student, 2019)
I feel you and Culsans and everyone Mimi met on the trip are part of the family now........Marcus and I can not thank you enough for giving Mimi such an inspirational and amazing time that she will never forget.
Jo Shepherd, (Parent, 2019)
I am from Cheltenham Ladies' College and absolutely loved the presentation you did last week. It confirmed that I wanted to definitely take a gap year and I have been doing a lot of research since!
Cheltenham Ladies College, (Student at CLC, year 12)
I thought the gap year presentation was fantastic with the life feedback from the questionnaire on our phones. The presentation also really got me thinking.
Malvern College, (Student at Malvern, Year 13)
I can't thank you enough for being so accommodating and helpful. All three lads have confirmed that their plans to take a gap year are back on track and that is the best news I've had today.
Stowe School, (Careers Teacher at Stowe)
It was a great success and Lily made some good friends and had some amazing experiences. She was so lucky to be able to travel during lockdown and came back with a more rounded outlook on life. The organisation was perfect and we were kept well informed of the activities undertaken and challenges they faced. Riding with Rhino’s has to be an experience that will stick with you for life. She was delighted to get a birthday message from some of the pupils she had taught at school upon her return.
Fraser and Alexandra Thorne, (Parents, 2021)

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