The next ‘it’ family spot
Africa is a wonderful place to experience with family. My son is an adventurous traveler, one of his favorite activities is reading through all of my travel catalogs and picking out all the tours he wants to take and I can’t wait to take my family on the Beyond the Rainbow to Zimbabwe. The country is somewhat overlooked and unexplored but you’ll not only be awed with a different perspective on Victorial Falls, but also by some of the greatest game-viewing on land and water safaris. For another fantastic family option, especially mutli-gen gatherings, I recommend Best of Botswana and Victoria Falls.
Conservation and meaningful connections
So many travelers want authentic connections and to help the planet. My answer: go to Kenya! At Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, for instance, you’ll learn about their rhino rehabilitation efforts and experience wildlife through horse and walking safaris. In Kenya’s north, visit the singing wells of the Samburu tribe and observe the warriors perform an age-old tradition as they chant and collect water for their cattle. If you plan to visit Kenya add a 4-day ME to WE experience helping a local northern Maasai Mara community. It’s a great way for your kids fulfill a class project with real world impact and for us to experience giving back together.
Botswana’s new eco-safari lodge
Wherever I travel, I always look for ways to re-connect with nature, so I am very excited about Xijera, the new Red Carnation Hotel Collection safari lodge. It’s set in the Moremi Game Reserve in the heart of Botswana’s Okavango Delta where wildlife viewing is incredible. The area is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the Seven Wonders of Africa, where over a third of the continent’s elephants roam.
For my more adventurous friends, and anyone looking to be surprised by the extraordinary, I highly recommend Discover Rwanda. The country’s variety of wildlife viewing and new lodges is drawing travelers but it’s the people and the beauty of “the land of a thousand hills,” that is stealing hearts. A tip though, permits are limited to see the country’s star attraction—the endangered mountain gorilla—so start planning now.
Ultimate desert safari
I always like to look for new ways to go off the beaten path on safari. Namibia Desert Escapes, African Travel’s flying safari, delivers this with a one-of-a-kind desert safari exploration in one of the most other-worldly places on the planet. I’m always amazed by Namibia’s contrasts where you can explore the wildlife rich Etosha National Park, the red sand dunes of Sossusvlei and shipwrecks along the Skeleton Coast. Creatures here continually adapt to their harsh environment, which is really something to behold.
Africa’s magical islands
The islands of Africa from Mozambique to Zanzibar are often overlooked but are some more ecologically diverse. These islands boast pristine beaches and are easily combinable with a safari experience. Right now, I’m fascinated by one and Magical Madagascar is calling. Often referred to as the eighth continent, this island is home to 5 percent of the world’s wildlife and vegetation. The year-round 70-degree Indian Ocean is also a huge draw, as is seeing 11 species of lemurs!
A taste of South Africa
And finally, I can’t miss recommending South Africa! I’m especially eager to tuck into the culinary scene in and around Cape Town. Wolfgat, recently voted #1 in the World’s Restaurant Awards, and beautiful wine regions like Stellenbosch and Hemel-en-Aarde are just a road trip from the city. I highly recommend Southern Explorer to experience the regions food and wine.