Safaris with Young Children
South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique, Kenya, Tanzania & Zanzibar, Rwanda, Uganda, Ethiopia, Seychelles, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Italy, Germany, France, England, Holland, Spain, Bahrain, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Cuba
University of South Florida – International Studies Major. I studied French in high school and Italian in college. I enjoyed a summer study abroad program in Perugia, Italy which got me officially hooked on travel.
Africa Product Manager at Cox & Kings USA from 2000 to 2010. I specialized in Northern India and the Himalayas, including Nepal and Bhutan, my first year in the travel industry.
Professional Awards & Accomplishments
- Travel+Leisure magazine A-List (2009-2012)
- Kenya Tourism Board Master KATS (Kenya Authorized Travel Specialist)
Why I’m a Travel Consultant
There are so many facets of planning travel that I enjoy:
- Being part of what begins as a dream, a trip-of-a-lifetime safari to Africa, and making that dream a reality for my clients.
- Dreaming up multi-generational family trips with something for everyone is incredibly rewarding.
- Working with repeat clients, who thought that they would only visit Africa once, only to find themselves “hooked” on Africa and going back for more.
- Having past clients refer their family, friends and colleagues to me, which is the biggest compliment to my work.
- The amazing relationships I have developed over the years with both clients and local staff throughout Africa and worldwide make me feel more connected to people all over the globe.
Recommended Right Now
South Africa wins for diversity in one destination with Cape Town, thee destination in Africa for foodies and wine aficionados, with Big Five game-viewing that delivers time and again, beaches, penguins, gorgeous Winelands and a fascinating history. Mozambique for a great R&R beach add-on to a safari and incredible diving including some fantastic private island options, this is where most of my honeymoon clients end up after their city (Cape Town) and safari portions of their honeymoons. Namibia for incredible landscapes, which are more like moonscapes, wonderful Himba culture and desert-adapted wildlife. Rwanda for the ultimate wildlife experience in Africa seeing the mountain gorillas in the Virunga massif, which is the only part of the world one can see these magnificent animals, ie in the Virungas as there are no mountain gorillas in captivity only lowland gorillas. Kenya for the classic “Out of Africa” landscapes and culture, great family friendly safari camps and lodges, and the world-famous Maasai Mara with its great annual wildebeest and zebra migration numbering over 1.5 million in some estimates. Botswana for the world’s largest inland delta, the Okavango and for one of the densest elephant populations on the planet. India for the epitome in cultural diversity, incredible luxury hotels many of them former or still palaces, and amazing service. Cuba before it becomes like every other island in the Caribbean
My Most Recent Trip
In April 2015 I visited India with a colleague and my 2 ½ year old daughter. Starting with a few days in Delhi we flew to Central India and the state of Madhya Pradesh, where we spent a week exploring India’s jungles including Bandhavgarh, Kanha and Pench National Parks. Next up was a few nights in Bombay before we wrapped up in the magical Princely state of Rajasthan, with its incredible forts and palaces.
I reconnected with my love for photography on this trip. As I keep saying, there are a billion people in India and I wanted to take a photograph of every single one! Photographing elders and kids is perhaps my favorite, and I was also so very lucky and fortunate to have had the opportunity to bring my 2yr old daughter with me. Every kid she met was a friend and language was no barrier. She happily spoke to them in Spanish or English and was spoken to in Hindi! This also meant lots of opportunity to photograph Indian children and my daughter with them. Lucky me!
There is something magical about seeing the world through the eyes of your child. Who knew that traveling with a toddler could be such fun!? She was the life of the party, as she bowed with folded hands and said “Namaste” to greet everyone we met.
Now I am back home, but India still fills my daydreams and nightly dreams alike. I’m completely torn between my love for Africa and my love for India for completely different reasons. There is no way I could choose one over the other, and from a self-proclaimed safari junkie with almost two dozen trips to Africa under my belt, that is saying a lot!
Singita Boulders, Sabi Sand Reserve, Greater Kruger National Park, South Africa
Singita just gets it right at all their lodges in every respect. Singita Boulders was the safari lodge that I feel started the race to keep up with the Joneses in the African safari scene. Their guides are top notch, it’s truly a foodie and wine connoisseur destination and the service is impeccable. It’s on the top end of safari camps in terms of pricing but worth every penny.
Serra Cafema in northwest Namibia
Bordering Angola and a three hour flight from Namibia’s capital, Windhoek, Serra Cafema truly captures the out-of-this-world feeling and is one of the most remote camps in Africa. The local Himba tribe offer a glimpse into one of Southern Africa’s fascinating nomadic cultures, who somehow manage to keep cattle in the middle of the desert! The night skies in this corner of Namibia surely are unrivaled anywhere in the world, there is simply no one and nothing for hundreds of miles and “light pollution” is not in the local vernacular. Here one can ride ATVs/four wheelers in the desert with only the oryx (aka gemsbok) peering down from the top of the sand dunes. The camp is on the Kunene River and everything about being at Serra Cafema makes one feel that for that moment in time, that piece of Africa is yours only.
Giraffe Manor, outside Nairobi, Kenya
A magical place to start or end an East African safari with the resident Rothschild giraffes joining one for breakfast by sticking their heads through the French windows to be fed! From here one can also visit the incredible Daphne Sheldrick wildlife orphanage, home to orphaned young elephants, many of whom were orphaned due to their mother’s falling victim to poaching. Both of these experiences are not to be missed when in East Africa and particularly Kenya.
Vumbura Plains in the Okavango Delta, Botswana
Vumbura Plains remains one of my favorite camps in Botswana because it offers the best of the Okavango including day and night game drives and land and water activities year-round. While game experiences are unpredictable and totally spontaneous in Africa, I have personally had some incredible sightings and seen great animal interactions when I have stayed at Vumbura Plains on various occasions. If a client is only visiting one camp in Botswana’s Okavango and is looking for a high-end well-rounded option, Vumbura Plains is my first choice (should they not wish to spring for the Mombo prices, although Mombo Camp is also a solid choice and about to be totally rebuilt starting at the end of this year, although not in everyone’s budget and also does not offer water or night activities).
Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodphur, Rajasthan India
Usmaid Bhawan Palace is straight out of a fairytale or movie or both. It’s hard to pin down just one reason I loved this amazing palace hotel, where the royal family still resides in another wing, but here are a few: the welcome was incredible (I won’t spoil it), each room is totally unique, the grounds and gardens are teeming with peacocks and so impeccably maintained and manicured, the spa is fantastic, breakfast on the deck looking out to the magical Mehrengarh Fort while listening to classical live Indian music being played and feeding the aforementioned peacocks is something I will never forget