Wanting to test the room service protocol I hoisted a yellow flag. Twenty minutes later a mini moke arrived and there was my perfectly made gin and tonic, just in time for me to enjoy the sun setting over the Caribbean from my little piece of paradise. A place I had wanted to visit ever since Judith Chalmers asked “Wish you were here?” I answered “yes” and 35 years later I was!Read More
After our amazing time getting up close and personal with wild animals in Kenya (read about that trip here), Julian and I flew to Zanzibar for a few days of culture before our beached out bliss.
Ever since I was young, the name Zanzibar has always sounded so exotic and conjured up images of streets filled with spice traders and intrepid adventurers arriving on dhows with billowing sails. In reality, the traders and adventurers were actually on the hunt for gold and power and Zanzibar was, at one time, East Africa’s main slave-trading port.
Today there are no slaves but the waves of Swahili, Portuguese, Omani, and Chinese traders who passed through the island over the centuries have left their cultural mark. This is most evident in Zanzibar’s capital, Stone Town, where elaborately carved doors, forts and ornate traders’ houses reflect layer upon layer of its past heritage, all weather beaten by the sea breeze.Read More
I don’t know about you, but I’m of the view that life is way too short not to celebrate every occasion. So, when Julian and I were approaching our 10th Wedding Anniversary, we decided we wanted to celebrate with a special trip; one that followed a similar pattern to our honeymoon – Cape Town, Kruger safari and Mozambique beach – but also ticked off a few things on our Travel Bucket List.
The question was: where to go? To be honest, I knew the beach section had to involve a stay on an island I’d wanted to visit for such a long time, Mnemba, which sits on the north-east coast of Zanzibar.
As for the safari, Julian and I had always wanted to experience a river crossing during the Great Migration. So, looking at the route of the Migration in September, our best chance of seeing this phenomenon was around the Mara Triangle in Kenya. So that was the safari sorted.
Finally, as we had to pass through Nairobi, I had the chance to tick a third item off my Bucket List, a stay at the legendary Giraffe Manor.
Here are the highlights of the first part of our trip, with Zanzibar and the beach section to follow next month.Read More
What is it with islands that hold our fascination? We in the UK obviously live on one and I’m certainly fond of being cut off from a mainland; somewhat aloof from the rest of Europe. I think it’s the distance from a land mass that gives an island a feeling of remoteness and some times that air of exclusiveness. Islands can often be difficult to get to and for that reason can be peaceful and tranquil places with limited tourists. Islands also come in all sorts of forms and so there will be one to suit everyone’s taste; from those with pristine white sand beaches surrounded by azure waters, to those with unusual land formations or animal life and those with an abundance of marine life.
Whatever your idea of the perfect island retreat, I’ll be able to find one that’s just right; here are a few that I know will appeal to your senses.Read More