Jane joined us 4 years ago to manage our paperwork mountain. Being an ex civil servant she wields a mean spreadsheet and is now the calm centre at the eye of the admin storm.
One thing that has been firmly on my bucket list for a while was to go Whale watching, something have finally I managed to tick off. During a recent trip to St Lucia, Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa I had the opportunity to experience the exhilaration of searching out and finding these gentle giants of the deep. The Humpback whale season in this area runs from June to the end of November. We were there in November so to see not one but three was a pretty unexpected but wonderful experience. For such large animals, Humpback Whales are very good at hiding! It took us some time to find them in the inky blue sea, finally spotting the distinctive hump the whales make as they dive under the ocean surface, in the distance. The captain pulled alongside where we had spotted the whale and when he finally re-surfaced he had brought his friends with him! The three young males then swam alongside the boat for sometime before disappearing back into the ocean.
Getting up before sunrise is not always something I seek out on a trip overseas but my early morning encounter with the meerkats of the Klein Karoo was well worth the blurry eyes! After a strong al-fresco coffee, my group and I sat on portable chairs in a semi-circle as the first rays of sunlight hit the meerkat’s burrows. These burrows are over a century old and are located just outside the town of Oudtshoorn which is situated on the historic Route 62 in South Africa’s southern Cape. The meerkat troop is habituated to humans but viewing in a non-invasive way in the wild is a magical and educational experience. As the sun heats up so does the action and soon the troop will greet the sun and younger meerkats will begin to play! The tour last for around 2 – 3 hours in total and a further advantage of the early start is that you have the rest of the day left to enjoy the many of the other highlights of this historic and scenic region.
Situated on an established sand ridge overlooking Tau Pan, the camp commands stunning views of the permanent Tau Pan water hole and the endless Kalahari horizon. Guests are accommodated in 8 custom-built desert rooms under thatch, while the main area consists of dining room, lounge area and a viewing deck.
Located beside the Mandrare River, this luxury tented camp designed to resemble East African safari lodge. Offering day and night walks, there are six large tented rooms all with en-suite facilities and a veranda from which to watch the river life.
Tsarabanjina offers 25 comfortable wooden bungalows, split over both sides of the island ensuring complete privacy. The rooms all have air-conditioning, bathrooms with separate toilets, private verandas, hammocks, table and chairs and offer breath-taking sea views. The hotel is on one of the islands of the Mitsio Archipelago and offers high standards, white beaches, lush vegetation, turquoise seas and unspoilt reefs.
Located close the Amber Mountain National Park and offering panoramic views over the Bay of Diego, the Mozambique Channel and the Indian Ocean, Nature Lodge is a collection of 12 spacious and comfortable bungalows. Each bungalow has a private terrace which is a lovely place to sit back, relax and appreciate the view.
Ideally located just 500 metres from the town centre, the Couleur Café offers 15 pavilions which are set in beautiful and peaceful gardens. The pavilions are all en-suite with a lovely fireplace. Each pavilion has its own décor that showcases handicrafts and Malagasy materials.
This exclusive, privately owned safari lodge is in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Matobo Hills. Tucked away into an ancient Bushman’s shelter. The granite domes and castle kopjes of the Matobo Hills echo the essence of tranquillity and the majesty of untamed Africa. Here you will find the highest concentrations of Leopard and Black Eagle in the world. Amalinda consists of nine individually thatched rooms including a trio of suites, ideal for honeymooners, all of which are set into the imposing boulders.
Tucked away in lush tropical gardens near the quaint, sleepy village of Belle Mare, this luxury hotel in Mauritius is situated on a glorious stretch of the island’s eastern coast. Each of the thatch-roofed suites and villas are blessed with sea views and bright interiors.