3 TOP TRAVEL PICKS FOR 2019

We still have 4 months of travel left in 2019, and I wanted to share with you, my top picks for the remainder of the year.

Suspended in mid air

ANGAMA MARA LODGE, MAASAI MARA GAME RESERVE

From your first stay at Angama Mara, it will become your ‘home away from home’. Right from the enthusiastically warm welcome from all the staff when you arrive at Camp (this is a tradition at the Camp), to the wonderfully caring hospitality during your stay, the outstanding cuisine and lovely, spacious tents with unparalleled views of the Mara Triangle below, the Angama Mara experience is outstandingly unique and memorable. Angama takes its name from the Swahili word meaning suspended in mid-air….we take it to mean ‘between heaven and earth’.

In addition to enjoying game drives with your experienced guide in the Mara Triangle below, you can also enjoy guided walks across the plains and in the forest with a Maasai naturalist. A speciality of Angama is their shamba lunch – wander through their one acre kitchen garden, also known as a shamba, pick vegetables of your choice, and enjoy a shamba-to-table lunch, with the vegetables you picked presented as fresh salads and supplemented with loaves of bread, local cheeses and chilled rose wine….all this under the shade of towering moth trees, with panoramic views of the Mara Triangle below.

Visit the Garden of Remembrance and spend a few quiet moment in the chapel, built in the loving memory of the founder, Steve Fitzgerald.

For budding photographers, the Camp has a photography studio on hand, as well as a shop onsite selling some unusual items, including beadwork done by Maasai women on site.

If celebrating an anniversary, the Camp offers intimate picnics for two, on the crest of the kopje which features in the ‘Out of Africa’ movie poster.

OL DONYO LODGE, CHYULU HILLS

Located in the majestic Chyulu Hills, the lodge offers a truly exceptional escape from the mundanity of life. Fly into the airstrip located just minutes from the lodge, and within a short while, you might find yourself in one of the unique features of the lodge – an underground hide located in front of the waterhole. The waterhole is always frequented by game, mostly elephants and you could choose to see them from this vantage point or from the deck of your room, or even while lazing in your plunge pool located on your room deck.

The lodge offers some exciting activities ranging from horseriding on the plains, to exploring the lava tube caves in the hills, guided bush walks, bush meals and day & night game drives in the conservancy. The cuisine at the lodge is top notch (with different settings for each meal) and after a wonderful lunch, refresh yourself by taking a dip in the plunge pool.

You could also choose to spend a romantic night under the stars….!

Last but not least, every room comes equipped with a pair of binoculars and a professional camera body and lens kit for complimentary use. However, if your guide is Jackson Lemunge, be warned….he will not permit you to take photographs on auto mode.

BARAZA RESORT & SPA, ZANZIBAR

For most people, Zanzibar is an exotic destination evoking scents of incense, cloves and other spices. Staying at the Baraza Resort & Spa allows you to enjoy all this, in 5 star accommodations. Located on the south east coast of the island and within an hour’s drive from the airport, and consisting of one and two bedroom villas, the resort offers unparalleled standards of luxury on the island. The experience here is truly 5 star with services and facilities elevated to an extremely professional standard. All villas come complete with their own plunge pools, walk in dressing rooms and a large terrace.

The cuisine here is influenced by Arabic, Indian, Persian, Asian and Swahili flavours, with local spices also used. Using the hotel as a base, you can explore Stone Town and Forodhani Park, Prison Island, spice plantations and Jozani forest among other attractions. Alternatively enjoy the Frangipani Spa with it’s lap pool with underwater music and therapists from Thailand, Bali and India. Or indulge in the vast array of watersport offered at the hotel.

5 Compelling Reasons to go on safari

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Kenya is the quintessential destination for a safari, with the iconic images of Amboseli National Park under the shadows of Kilimanjaro, massive elephant herds and cute lion cubs coming to mind when you think of safari. But what exactly is a safari and why should this be on your bucket list?

#1  Bonding with Friends & Family

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Who can forget magical moments flying above the earth in a hot air balloon, or the time your heart almost stopped, wondering whether the elephant is going to charge. Sitting by a roaring fire, sipping drinks and swopping wildlife stories….running away from sugar obsessed monkeys, and the early morning game drive, eyes watering from the cold wind but trying to be the first one to spot that elusive animal…yes, you will always remember these moments and the people who were with you at the time, be they partners, friends, children, parents or siblings. This will be one of the best times to bond or to strengthen existing bonds. You will also meet people from all over the world, and create new lasting friendships.

#2  Learning to appreciate Nature and God’s creations

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God has created a wondrous planet for us, and there is no better way to appreciate it then to go on a safari. Watch animals interact with their own and other species and enjoy the vast horizons and open skies. Learn fascinating facts about wild animals and their peculiarities, and meet tribespeople who have lived off the land for centuries and whose way of life is now in danger of extinction. Immerse yourself in the wilderness of Africa, gaze in awe at the rare and powerful animals and fall asleep to the sounds of nature.

#3  Help in conservation efforts

Tourism is essential to conservation as it creates the much needed income to fund conservation efforts. Local communities today, are learning to work with tourism partners to improve their quality of life, preserve their culture and co-exist in harmony with wildlife. The presence of tourists also serve as a deterrent to poachers, who are decimating wildlife at an alarming rate today, and need to be stopped before some wildlife species are declared extinct.

Wild Destinations uses environmentally responsible camps and lodges that contribute towards the well being of the wildlife as well as the local communities.

Help in the conservation of elephants by fostering an elephant at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.

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#4  Connect with your wilder side

Wake up your senses by getting close to wild animals on a walking safari/horsDSC_7683 - Version 2 (1)eback safari, or experience the thrill of the hunt watching lionesses stalk their prey. In need of an adrenaline rush? Go for a night game drive where you may encounter any of the Big Five like elephant or lion, or take a hot air balloon safari to try and spot game from the air. High octane activities like bungee jumping, sky diving, mountain biking, white water rafting and climbing the highest mountain in Africa, Mt Kilimanjaro, can also be incorporated into your safari.

#5  Learn to appreciate a different way of life

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Life on the African Plains is rooted in the land, where the people rely on Nature for their sustenance and livelihood. Feel the rhythm of a different pace of life, where the natives are unaffected by fashion trends or consumerism, and survival is uppermost in their thoughts. Connect with nature and allow your mind to expand to a new consciousness.