Regions: East Africa, Southern Africa, Egypt & Jordan
Travel Types: Luxury Travel, Safaris, Romance & Honeymoon Travel, Special Celebrations, Primate Treks, Family & Multi-Generational Travel, Active Travel
Special Interests: Beach, City Tours, Conservation, History & Culture, Food & Wine, Eco-Tourism, Hiking & Walking, Nature & Wildlife, Photography
Africa: Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Ethiopia, South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia, Mozambique, Madagascar, Egypt, Morocco
Latin America: Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Galapagos Islands, Guatemala, Belize, Mexico
Southeast Asia: Cambodia, Thailand
Additional countries: Jordan, Israel, Abu Dhabi, Antarctica, Falkland Islands, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, England, France, Switzerland, Nepal, Curacao, Antigua, Canada, and various parts of the United States.
Why I’m a Travel Consultant
Helping people to realize their dreams is perhaps the main reason why I am a Travel Consultant. I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to visit some of the world’s most amazing places, so I can use my personal experiences to design the perfect trips for my clients. I firmly believe that there is no “one size fits all” safari experience, and I love creating unique itineraries which best match with each of my client’s personal interests. Many people say that travel to Africa is a once in a lifetime bucket-list dream trip, and I especially love it when clients enjoy their first safari so much that they want to go back again and again!
BS in Psychology, University of Pittsburgh
I joined Travel Beyond in 2011. Prior to this, I worked at luxury travel company Abercrombie & Kent for 11 years. I planned and sold both custom independent trips and escorted group tours before becoming the Product Development Manager for Africa & the Middle East destinations for 5 years, responsible for designing enticing and unique tour programs to a variety of destinations. This included extensive international travel to research and develop new tour program ideas.
Luxury Travel Advisor Trendsetter 2018
Most Memorable Travel Experience
I have had so many amazing travel adventures that it is difficult to choose a favorite. One early experience that I feel has shaped my approach to travel took place in Peru. We were out chasing the total solar eclipse when the clouds rolled into our observation zone. Eventually, we heard the words, “We’re moving!” and rushed to the waiting bus to travel to a better viewing location. Flying down the rural road at about 80mph, we were only minutes away from totality. At the perfect time, the bus skidded to a stop and we all ran into the desert where we were treated to the most spectacular celestial event, under perfectly clear and cloudless viewing conditions. This experience taught me that if you are prepared to expect the unexpected and remain flexible and open-minded during your travels, you will be rewarded with many incredible memories.
My Most Recent Trip
In September 2023, I spent 10 days exploring Egypt. I visited not only the main iconic sites that make Egypt a popular “bucket list” destination, but also added on many special experiences which enhanced my appreciation of this magical country. On my first day, I was able to get a sneak peek of the GEM – the Grand Egyptian Museum – before its official opening to the public. The venue is stunning, and it will ultimately have one section dedicated solely to the treasures of King Tutankhamun. I cannot wait to return to explore once it is opened! A second special treat was being able to cruise the Nile in a Dahabiya, a small traditional sailing boat that allows you to experience life along the river at a slower pace, and visit small villages that the big boats cannot reach. Luxor’s west bank holds many treasures including the famed Valley of the Kings, and two more special moments awaited me there: a Hot Air Balloon soaring above the serene beauty, and a surprise visit to Deir el-Medina, home to the artisans who worked on the tombs of the royals.
The true highlight on my return to Cairo was an excursion to Sakkara to meet with Dr. Mostafa Waziry, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, at an active archeological dig site. He regaled us with tales of some of his amazing discoveries to date as well as ongoing projects, and we were lucky enough to see a few of his recent finds. This was followed by a visit to Sphinx, with special permission to go inside the enclosure and go right in between the paws of the Sphinx. Imagine being so close to this 4500-year-old ancient wonder. What a an absolutely perfect ending to a truly memorable trip!
Recommended Right Now
What I love about travel is the opportunity to disconnect from the day-to-day hustle and bustle of our lives, and Africa is the perfect place to get away from it all. The wide open spaces allow you to reconnect with nature, and for me travel to Africa is always rejuvenating and renewing. From quiet moments gliding in a mokoro canoe in Botswana’s Okavango Delta to the impressive power of thousands of thundering wildebeests crossing the Mara River, each experience will forever live in your memory and bring a smile to your face for many years to come.
In no particular order,
Singita Sabora (Tanzania)
Sabora provides the quintessential safari experience. Its prime location on expansive savannah grasslands affords you to opportunity to view wildlife throughout the day, both while on game drives and from your very own tent. Redesigned in 2020, it maintains the feel of a classic tented camp with a fresh updated look. Each tent offers plenty of comfortable indoor space, along with impressive outdoor space including a deck, shaded daybed and quiet meditation area. This space allows you to spend time reconnecting with the nature that is all around you. I also love the unique deli area with its fresh and healthy gourmet treats. You can easily create your own picnic any time of day.
Tswalu (South Africa)
Tswalu offers a unique environment that is not found in the other game reserves in South Africa, and combines well with the greater Kruger area to provide two truly diverse experiences. Tswalu is often referred to as the “Green Kalahari,” and the mixture of savannah grasslands, mountains and desert supports a wide variety of animals, including species such as meerkat, pangolin and aardvark which are not typically seen elsewhere. The opportunity to walk with the meerkats is unquestionably one of my favorite wildlife experiences! Another thing that I love about Tswalu is the that each couple or family group has its own private guide, which allows you to customize each day to your personal preferences. There are plenty of activities to choose from, including day and night game drives, guided walks, horseback rides, and visits to the community and research projects.
Lewa House (Kenya)
I really love the personal, home-like feel of this small safari lodge, and absolutely adore both Sophie & Calum, the property’s extraordinary hosts. This lodge is perfectly situated in the heart of the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, a game-rich private conservancy focused on the protection of wildlife, including several endangered species such as the black rhino and Grevy’s zebra. In addition to game drives and guided walks, you can also visit the conservancy headquarters to learn about their conservation efforts firsthand or accompany Calum on a walk to ancient archeological sites. There are two styles of accommodation here, both of which work well for any traveler: the comfortable family cottages or the stunning Earthpods nestled along the hillside. This property always gets rave reviews from my clients!
Jack’s Camp (Botswana)
Jack’s Camp is located in Botswana’s Kalahari Desert and offers a superb contrast to the other regions in the country that you will visit while on safari. It is excellent to combine with an Okavango Delta camp for a totally new and different safari experience. The unique Makgadikgadi Salt Pans provide opportunities to view specially adapted desert species such as brown hyena, interact with the habituated meerkats, explore this otherworldly environment on quad bikes, and immerse yourself in compelling bush walks with the Zu/huasi bushmen tribe to learn more about their ancient culture and rituals. Couple this with extraordinary guides and outstanding service, this is an experience like no other and is highly recommended.