South Africa, Botswana, Kenya
Why I’m a Consultant
Travel helps us all grow as people. With each new experience we can better understand ourselves and the world. It has always been a priority in my life to see as much of the world as possible because the lessons I learn and the people I meet better who I am. I’m a Travel Consultant because I love to help people not only have once-in-a-lifetime adventures, but I find great joy in helping people understand themselves and the world a little bit better through experiences you can only get by traveling.
BA in Anthropology and Classical Civilizations, University of Massachusetts – Amherst.
While attending school, I was fortunate to study abroad in Florence, Italy, where I traveled the country extensively, taste testing every gelato shop from Como to Sicily.
Most Memorable Travel Experience
During a visit to the Okavango Delta in Botswana, I had a thrilling animal sighting that still gives me chills when I think about it. My group and I were on our way back to camp for dinner after an afternoon game drive. We were silently driving home in the dark when our driver came to an abrupt stop. I looked up, and there was a pride of about a dozen lions laying in the middle of the road. The driver turned off the engine and with only the stars in the sky to provide us with light, we quietly watched the lions as they got up off the ground and slowly walked to us. The lions took turns curiously passing by our vehicle, looking up at us as they went. They were close enough to the car that I could have touched the lions. After the lions were gone, my group just sat there quietly for a while, enjoying the thrill of that moment and watching the stars illuminate the sky. It was a magical evening.
My Most Recent Trip
I recently returned from a trip to South Africa, where I spent 4 nights in Cape Town and 9 nights on safari. South Africa is a great country to visit because there is a huge variety of ways to experience the area. On this recent 13-night trip, I enjoyed a tasting of South African wines in the Cape Winelands, watched a Leatherback sea turtle lay eggs, saw lions kill a wildebeest, and visited Robben Island to learn about the Apartheid. South Africa is a great one-stop shop destination for a taste of everything.
Recommended Right Now
If you’re like me and can’t sit still for too long, Kenya is the safari destination for you. It is my top pick for any traveler interested in going on safari but looking to be active. Safari can be a very sedentary experience, but in Kenya there are plenty of alternatives to get you out of the vehicle and exploring your surroundings in a different way. Horseback safaris, nature walks, hot air balloon safaris and interactions with the local people are just a few of the many activities awaiting in Kenya. To learn more, check out my blog post: Kenya: Beyond the Game Drive.
Shinde (Okavango Delta, Botswana)
Speak with any Travel Beyond consultant about best camps in the Okavango Delta, and you’re likely to hear Shinde Camp on their list. Why? Animal viewing is spectacular here, and there are plenty of activities to enjoy. Shinde offers game drives, nature walks, mokoro rides (traditional dugout canoes), motorboat safaris, and fishing. The camp is also near a permanent water source. So, while other camps in the Delta only offer water activities during specific times of the year, Shinde offers water activities year-round.
Sarara Camp (Namunyak Conservancy, Kenya)
As soon as I arrived at Sarara Camp and saw the spectacular views, I fell in love with this camp. While my mornings watching the sunrise out on my porch were pure bliss, the real magic of this place are the people. Sarara Camp is focused on creating a positive impact on local communities. Ninety percent of the staff come from nearby communities, and the camp helps even more people by offering a selection of activities for guests to learn about the community and the Samburu culture. You can visit a local village, bead with the local women, take part in an interactive workshop with IllKonono blacksmiths, and so much more. This is my favorite camp for anyone wanting to have an authentic cultural experience.
Cape Grace Hotel (Cape Town, South Africa)
The Cape Grace is an elegant but quirky hotel located right on the V&A Waterfront. This tasteful hotel is subtly designed to make you feel like you’re in a sunken ship with whimsical features like shoes and pots hanging from the chandeliers. The Cape Grace is truly unique to Cape Town. The location is also unbeatable. You can walk straight out the front door and walk two minutes to the waterfront, where there are many shops and restaurants to enjoy an afternoon.
Singita Sweni Lodge (Kruger National Park, South Africa)
Singita Sweni Lodge receives 5 stars from me in every category. The lodge is stunning with a contemporary design, bold colors, and a flood of natural light, thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows everywhere. Food here is also exquisite, and the lodge has its own wine cellar and in-house sommelier to provide recommendations to improve your dining experience.
If you can get yourself to leave the gorgeous lodge, you will be even more amazed by the wildlife here. Sweni Lodge is located within the Kruger National Park, which is considered the most productive area in all southern Africa. Although technically in the park, the lodge has a bubble of private land which means that at Sweni Lodge you get the same amazing animal-sightings as you would in the Kruger National Park, but with all the benefits of being on private land.