Caroline (nee Roberts) has always lived in unusual, out-of-the-way places: Whilst growing up, she lived on Samatian Island and in the Masai Mara, her parents being great adventurers and pioneers of new areas for tourism ventures. The Roberts family also owned and operated Rusinga Island Lodge on Lake Victoria until they sold it in 2003.
Ross Withey was brought up in Limuru, a tea-growing area outside Nairobi. He was educated in Kenya before going to Seal Hayne, University of Plymouth in South England and Ball State University in Indiana USA, where he qualified in Hotel management. Ross, a keen adventurer, walked and hitched, together with Caroline’s brother Richard, from Nairobi to South Africa in 1996, where they took sky-diving and scuba-diving courses. In 1998, Caroline and Ross bought an old Land Rover in the UK and drove it to Kenya, taking eight months and crossing 20 countries.
Caroline and Ross took over the management of Samatian Island in 2000 and have developed it into today’s delightful, eco-friendly lodge. Ross also organizes safaris around Kenya and Tanzania, and has climbed Mt Kilimanjaro over 20 times. Caroline and Ross were married in June 2004 at Lewa Downs in Northern Kenya. In January 2006 their son Charlie was born, followed by Danny in August 2007.