Botswana was part of my life for five glorious years and I have yet to see wildlife anywhere else that can match it. It's a place where buffalo gather in their hundreds and elephant herds are measured in their thousands.
Ever dreamed of owning a beach house - waking up in a designer holiday home a frisbee’s throw from a sweep of soft sand and the inviting blue of the ocean? Or perhaps you’d prefer a stylish city apartment, and the daily ritual of oven-fresh croissants from the corner deli?
Africa’s allure lies in its wide, open spaces and game-packed reserves. Many travel to this wild continent to get as far as possible from cities and buildings, people and noise. They come to seek out herds of elephant roaming free under a vast, blue sky; to feel their hearts beat faster as they watch a lion stalk its prey and to let life’s everyday niggles slot back into perspective in ink-black nights lit by the stars of the Milky Way.
You’re woken by a gentle knock and softly spoken “Good morning to you!” as the aroma of freshly-brewed Zambian coffee wafts into your tent. It’s really early and your sleep-fuzzy brain reminds you that you lay awake until late into the night – safely cocooned under canvas in the snug comfort of your four-poster bed, listening to the whoops of hyenas and pensive hoot of an owl.
Driven by the expansionist turbines of Queen Victoria’s British Empire, the 19th century saw more progress in mapping and surveying Africa’s mysterious interior than the previous three centuries combined. The interior was extremely dangerous for Europeans, who succumbed to malaria, dysentery and sleeping sickness, or died violently at the hands of indigenous people.
Like a cardsharp with an ace up both sleeves, a safari villa is hard to beat. Not only are they tucked away in beautiful private reserves, but they are the best way to enjoy a completely individualized safari. And for the larger-than-usual group, they are exactly what's needed.
Four o’clock in the afternoon in Botswana’s Okavango Delta and a drum is tapping out a heartbeat. But this is no call to war: the drum’s beat is soon replaced by the sound of clinking china. It’s time for high tea.
Deciding to take a trip to Africa for a safari adventure is an enormous proposition, involving considerable research into which country you would like to visit, where you want go, which season to visit, and what exactly you want to gain from the experience. And that is before you have looked into booking flight tickets! With such a welter of options as to where, what and how, booking a safari can be rather overwhelming: even if you have decided on a particular country, you can choose between the cosseted pampering and luxury of a top-end lodge, with magnificent accomodation and an accompanying pricetag, all the way down to an overland adventure tour where you are required to participate.
Maybe it’s the way the world works these days; perhaps it’s also about old-fashioned Kenyan resilience. Whatever the reason, the fact is that Kenya is going about its daily business as it deals with the aftermath of the Nairobi shopping mall attack.
Special occasion holidays – honeymoons, family vacations, anniversaries and important milestones – deserve an unforgettable setting. They also need to be as foolproof as possible: you may be travelling with several generations of your family, which means different individuals with different interests. The challenge is to tailor-make your itinerary to balance everyone's appetite for relaxation and action. You need exceptional service throughout your stay, a rich variety of activities, and a daily routine that is as flexible as possible.