All the marketing material I have ever seen for Seychelles has focused on its leaning palms, white sand and topaz waters – so my biggest surprise were the forests clinging to the granite hills like a brilliant green skirt. I fell instantly for these verdant forests on Mahe: tangled heart-vines, strange flowers, groves of cinnamon trees and flat topped Albizias. It feels like a story book forest, complete with white Frigate birds winging overhead, giant tortoises and fuit bats, leaves like small canoes and tumbling springs of fresh water . So alive, with a hot steamy breath.
The Northern reaches of Mozambique’s coastline is best known for its azure waters, white beaches and great resorts. As seasoned travellers, discovering the unspoilt wlderness of the Machangulo peninsula in the South, was a real wonder. Situated adjacent to Inhaca and Portugeuse islands in the Bay of Maputo, the long narrow peninsula is flanked by the calmness of the bay on one side and the wildness of the warm Indian Ocean on it’s Eastern side, and the Maputo Speical reserve in the South.
They are many great lodges in great places with great guides – but many of them lack something. I have been lucky enough to travel to literally hundreds of safari lodges and many more hotels and guest houses in my career, and I decided I needed to properly identify what it is I mean about this WOW factor. I reflected back to all the lodges I have visited at the special things that jumped out as WOW. Some might surprise you.
Despite being well-seasoned travelers, going on a caravaning holiday was new for both Dave and I. We are both privileged in having had access to holiday houses that gave us a very insular idea of what a holiday was. We always went to the same places, with the same extended family and friends and mixed with people with similar backgrounds.Then we both entered in to the tourism industry and have in our adult life spent much time in top-end hotels, safari lodges and resorts. We don’t have any experience of South Africa’s camping and caravan community and feel sure we have missed out.
Jenni Saunders travels to Zanzibar with her husband and two sons in search of the best private villas for families
"Jambo!’ call the women wading in the shallows in their wind-twisted colourful kangas, resembling bright sweets in a turquoise bowl. This is Zanzibar, where the colours and contrasts are as startling as the island’s famous textures and tastes. Silk, sand and warm breezes mingle with lime, coconut, passionfruit, cloves. Zanzibar Island is safe, friendly and eas to get around, with good roads and taxis that are never far away.
Tourism marketer, Jenni Saunders and Photographer David Rogers have travelled all over Africa with their two young boys, and have visited a host of lodges, giving them a wealth of insight in to the important issues to navigate. Here are their ten top tips.
When booking a safari you have a host of platforms to help make the selection, and more and more people are researching their accommodation independently. This means they are often victims of good SEO ( whoever is well optimised will come up at the top of their google search), subjective reviews, and agents with preferred relationships.