A Flawless Combination
South Africa & MozambiqueRead more
Zambia tops my list for several reasons: the variety of the landscapes between the different national parks, the extraordinary wildlife and the sense of space and freedom the country affords. Thrown into the mix are places to stay that range from small authentic bush camps which feel completely off-grid and immersed in the wilderness (my favourite) to highly polished lodges that blur the lines between wellness retreat, safari lodge and design statement.
While the leopards frequently steal the show in the South Luangwa, a visit to the Lower Zambezi offers a totally different perspective with the interaction between the land and the mighty river being the backdrop to wildlife activities. River fishing for tiger fish, with a cold beer close to hand, the sun setting in a plethora of colours with elephants traversing the river is an experience that is hard to rival anywhere in the world and I will never forget.
Upstream, the Victoria Falls is more than just a spectacular natural feature, being one of the world’s largest waterfalls; this is the convergence of central southern Africa, where countries and cultures meet. I first visited the Falls aged eight and the ‘Smoke that Thunders’ is honestly a must-see for any trip into Zambia, Zimbabwe or Botswana.
Before Visiting Namibia it is hard to fathom the scale and the breathtaking beauty of this captivating country. I loved the remoteness, the wildness and the never ending colours - favourite areas include the magnificent Sossusvlei dunes and Deadvlei, flying over the wild and epic Skeleton Coast, tracking desert elephants in Damaraland and my absolute highlight Serra Cafema - in a location so remote and vast.
My favourite way to see the country is from the air so you can grasp the magnitude – it is only from above that you see the fog rolling off the Atlantic – the eerie shipwrecks, the expanse of deserts and all the absolute contrasts.
Few things appeal more to me than a long lazy lunch in the dappled shade in a Tuscan village square. Revered for its history, surrounded by beautiful landscapes and with the famously generous cuisine, holidaying in Tuscany or Umbria is always time well spent.
My honeymoon was spent soaking up culture in Florence, dining in little unknown gems to exploring ancient charter markets which line the cobbled streets of hilltop villages.
Some of my most memorable experiences have happened on African soil and I feel a deep affinity with this vast continent. A horseback safari in Botswana’s Okavango Delta stands out because of the opportunity it gave me to connect with nature. We galloped alongside giraffes, came face to face with a bull elephant and glided on our horses in the watery channels of the Delta. A meeting with the San bushmen in Makgadikgadi pans in Botswana made a lasting impression learning about tracking and their lifestyle. Sweeping over to the Himalayas, another standout travel memory was hiking the Annapurna range in Nepal to the base camp – a very humbling and challenging experience.