Zanzibar is a culturally rich archipelago just a 20 minute flight from Tanzania. The islands fill your senses with the scents of spices, the sounds of abundant wildlife and the views of picture-perfect beaches and reefs. The Zanzibar Collection comprises of three boutique properties, Baraza Resort & Spa, Breezes Beach Club; great for families and couples alike and The Palms Zanzibar; a romantic hideaway ideal for couples and honeymooners.
A traditional dhow off the coast of Zanzibar
1. All 3 properties are set on an award-winning beach, chosen by Condé Nast Traveller magazine as one of the top 30 beaches in the world!
2. The Frangipani Spa at Baraza is huge, with a great variety of treatments including an indulgent Sultans treatment created especially for couples.
3. All three properties have access to East Africa’s only National Geographic affiliated PADI 5 star Dive Centre.
4. The Spice Tour to the north of the island, where cloves and vanilla are abundant, opens your eyes to the trade that was integral to the development of these islands.
5. The gardens at Baraza are gorgeously lit up when the sun goes down with pretty fairy lights that really complete the fairy-tale setting!
The pool at Baraza Resort and Spa
6. The Jozani Forest is thriving in wildlife including the famous red colobus monkeys, somewhere all children will love to visit.
7. Baraza has facilities to keep the entire family happy, including a Kids Club, a library, games and water-sports.
8. Palms is small and intimate and children under 16 are not allowed - an idyllic retreat for honeymooners wanting a peaceful sanctuary.
9. Each of the six thatched “bandas” at The Palms has a dedicated day bed allowing you to relax in your own privacy, where canapés and cocktails can be bought to you – pure heaven!
10. The spa at Breezes offers an “Apres-Safari Treatment” especially designed to rejuvenate those who have come from bumpy safari rides.
Breezes Beach Club
11. At low tide, staff can take guests on a reef safari and walk you out to the coral reef to see the spectacular marine life and corals.
12. Breezes can set up an area on the beach especially for you and your family; these are the personal touches that really make us love the Zanzibar Collection!
13. The capital of Zanzibar, Stone Town, is a great place for exploring ancient cobbled streets, buying wonderful souvenirs and eating like a local in the Forodhani food market – day trips can be organised to here from the properties
14. The Mojito at Baraza is the best in Zanzibar and quite possibly in the whole of Africa!
15. All the furniture at Baraza is hand made by local artisans who have perfected the art of wood carving, which Zanzibar is so famous for.
A stunningly decorated bedroom at The Palms
Bwejuu Paje Beach - where all three properties are situated
We have to add as a sixteenth reason that Freddie Mercury was born in Zanzibar – who wouldn’t want to visit an island where this superstar was born!
To find out more information of the Zanzibar Collection please visit our website or give an Africa specialist a call on 020 8682 5070
Reviewed by Kirsty Edwards (Ski Product Manager) and Bee Haywood (Marketing Manager)
Both of us suffer from the cold (even though Kirsty is supposed to be a ‘hardy’ Scot!), which certainly has its disadvantages when it comes to skiing. There is so much varying advice to regulate temperature – thick jackets, thin jackets, numerous layering techniques but invariably you nearly always end up carrying a rucksack crammed with spare fleeces and gilets as you can’t get your temperature just right.
So when we were offered the chance to try out the new Helly Hansen Floria Women’s’ Jacket (Kirsty) and W Panorama Jacket (Bee) we leapt at the chance – could there really be ski jackets that rise to the challenge of keeping us warm on a hard ski day, early in the season when temperatures are notoriously at their chilliest?
Kirsty rocking her “raspberry red” Floria jacket on the slopes
The Floria Women’s ski jacket comes complete with its techie yet rather cosy sounding PrimaLoft Infinity insulation, so I was excited about how that technology may just keep me warm all day. As I unpacked the jacket it wasn’t just the gorgeous vibrant ‘raspberry red’ exterior which caught my eye, it was the funky lining which immediately added a new dimension – instead of just the usual plain coloured interior, the lining on this jacket was more akin to the colours I’ve seen in the Northern Lights and immediately, I knew it was going to be different.
I had chosen the slopes of Verbier to put this little beauty to the test and as soon as I zipped it up I immediately felt warm. And fit-wise it certainly ticked the box. Skiwear often has a propensity not to be terribly flattering and as a female you instantly feel better wearing a jacket that does have a flattering feminine shape. So I was feeling good as I set off to blast round the slopes.
First things first, when it came to keeping me warm, it positively excelled itself. My problem is that I generally ski pretty hard and fast so as a result I’m usually pretty warm at the end of a run. Then I cool down whilst I’m sitting on the chairlift and am really pretty chilly by the time I reach the top. And thus this perpetual cycle goes on for most of the day. However, I can honestly say that the Floria jacket was a complete revelation. I was basically zipped into my own self-contained little climate zone thanks to the fully taped seams and the PrimaLoft Infinity insulation. This technology is a system of treated fibres which stops them from absorbing moisture and also keeps them very dry in wet conditions. The PrimaLoft also mimics the softness and compressibility of down and works by trapping more body heat into small airspaces. The bottom line is that your temperature is completely regulated and you stay warm. Genius.
Other features about this Helly Hansen jacket worthy of a mention, is the clever ski pass pocket on the sleeve, discreet yet perfectly positioned and the stretchy cuffs with comfortable thumb-loops which anchor the sleeve in place preventing that awful gap you can get between the sleeve and your glove which can provide a sneaky way in for the icy air. The adjustable hood can easily be taken off if required and when I did venture off-piste to perform a rather graceful face plant, the powder skirt stopped the snow from finding its way in where it shouldn’t!
Kirsty’s jacket working as well off the slopes as on!
Postscript – Since my trip to Verbier, I have further put this jacket to the test whilst doing some introductory ski touring in Combloux, near Megève. Whilst not specifically designed for this type of skiing, it certainly stood up to the test well and managed to keep me from overheating on the ascent and kept me cosy at the summit whilst removing the skins from my skis. As I bounced through the untracked knee deep powder on the descent, that powder skirt served its purpose well!
Testing the jacket ski touring in Combloux
I headed to Meribel at New Year, where I got the chance to test the Helly Hansen W Panorama Jacket. Having selected the white version with a trendy fur trim on the hood, the pressure was on to ski like a pro, it would not be ok to snow plough down the beginner slopes in such a stylish and chic jacket; tight parallel turns at speed were required. The jacket is also very fitted and feminine so I sat on the chair lift trying to think what my Bond girl name should be…
On that note, the jacket is very fitted – I originally tried a size small (there is also an extra small available and as a size 8 I thought small would be about right – I definitely needed the medium, you need complete freedom to move, twist, turn, flex, bend and jump when skiing – the medium was still really flattering and the arms and length weren’t too long).
This feminine, fitted, waterproof, breathable and insulated ski jacket keeps the snow out with Helly Tech Performance fabric and your body warm with PrimaLoft insulation. It also uses the unique H2Flow feature, which allows you to control your body’s temperature. The idea of the system is that it can provide heat when needed, but with a high volume of mechanical ventilation, you can get rid of the heat and cool off when you are warmed up. Since heat is trapped in air pockets, the design features little pockets around the jacket. I only wore two light base layer tops underneath and remained toasty warm all day – even once the moon had come up and I was sipping vin chaud on the terrace of an après-ski bar – which at New Year in a high altitude resort is saying something.
The H2FLow feature on the W Panorama Jacket
There are also loads of ski-specific features throughout including a ski-pass pocket, dual hand warming pockets, internal pockets for goggles and electronics, zip-away powder skirt and RECCO Advanced Rescue system.
Kate modelling the full Helly Hansen outfit
And finally, Kate Pittam – our Marketing & PR Executive – paired the W Panorama Jacket with the W Legendary Pant. She loved them and reported back “…the pants were comfortable, breathable and warm. They have a feminine look that is neither too tight nor baggy – your perfect classic ski trouser with all the technical elements to ensure you stay warm and dry all day long. These ski trousers come in a great range of colours which will suit any jacket colour (in fact the purple stripe in the W Panaroma Jacket I wore, matched the purple ski trousers I selected – it’s all about coordinating!) and at a RRP of £160, they are great value. Similar to the W Panorama Jacket, make sure you are generous with the sizing. I normally take a 10 and the medium was perfect for me… there is nothing worse than tight ski trousers after a long lunch up the mountain!”
Kate ready to head down the mountain in style!
Shop Helly Hansen here: www.hellyhansen.com
To celebrate the expansion of our portfolio with the addition of three new villas in the south of France, Bastide des Virettes, Bastide Aixoise and La Perriere, Scott Dunn Founder Andrew Dunn is giving us his top tips on what to explore and discover in and around this beautiful region…
Bastide des Aixoise nestled into the hills
Stunning views of the coastline from La Perriere
Beautifully decorated Bastide des Virettes
1. Explore Antibes for its famous busy markets, brightly-coloured streets and beautiful harbour.
2. Experience Fête de Saint Jean in June, an event celebrated with fireworks, bonfires, bull running and concerts, held throughout the region.
3. Sit in Juan-Le-Pins in one of the many restaurants on the beach, watch the children playing in the waves with your private nanny whilst you bury your feet in the sand and sip chilled rosé.
4. Return via the Beaujolais region to stock up on their renowned cheese and wine.
Vineyards of the Beaujolais region
5. Visit the Matisse Museum in the Old Town of Nice.
6. Walk through Saint-Paul–de-Vence, a hilltop fortified village that once played host to Matisse, Picasso and Dufy, filled with galleries and boutiques.
7. A day trip to the famous principality of Monaco, head here in May to see the Monaco Grand Prix .
8. Nice Jazz Festival, in July, is an eclectic event held in an outdoor historic Gallo-Roman site. Lasting eight days, it involves over 800 musicians playing anything from blues to gospel and traditional jazz.
9. For a special occasion, take a 15 minute helicopter ride from Nice to Monte Carlo and enjoy lunch at Le Grill de l’Hôtel de Paris, a Michelin starred restaurant with panoramic views of the principality.
10. Spend the morning strolling the market in Vence where they sell local produce from olive oils and lavender soaps to delicious jams, perfect to enjoy when you’re back home.
Fragrant lavender fields of Provence
11. On the chef’s day off treat yourself to Saint-Paul–de-Vence’s most famous restaurant; La Colombe D’Or, ask your travel specialist to book this in advance for you.
12. Take a train to Ventimiglia, on the Italian border, for incredible coastline views, beautiful medieval churches and on Friday’s there is a charming clothes and leather market.
13. A Pyromelodic Festival in August is a must, several countries compete in a fireworks competition, set to music and off the shores of Antibes Juan-les-Pins.
14. For those wanting to experience all the glamour of the French Riviera, a day trip to soak up the laid-back elegance of the famous Club 55 in St Tropez is perfect.
The coastline of the Côte d’Azur
For more information on our new villas and itineraries in the south of France, visit our website or call a south of France specialist on 020 8682 5040
Bee from the marketing team here at Scott Dunn recently swapped the British storms for sunshine and adventure in Kenya, here’s her insight into what to do in Watamu.
Watamu, just south of Malindi, has one of the best beaches on the Kenyan coast. The crystal clear Indian Ocean and powder white sands are picture perfect and for those who enjoy snorkelling and diving, Watamu Marine National Park offers coral gardens merely 300 metres from the shore, where there are approximately 600 species of fish and 110 species of stony coral. Watamu is also renowned for its deep-sea fishing, with plenty to catch, including Blue, Black and Striped Marlin, Dorado, Sailfish and Tuna.
The Crab Shack at Mida Creek
Visitors will also love a visit to ‘The Crab Shack’ at Mida Creek. It is situated not far from Dabaso village and the restaurant is a discreet, low impact wooden construction standing at the edge of the mangrove forest with panoramic views of the Creek, Kirepwe Island and it also provides a good spot for bird watching. The restaurant offers lunch and dinner and those guests arriving for dinner are recommended to come early to enjoy the sunset with a drink in hand. It’s the ideal place for a romantic meal, fun dinner with friends and family or just to sit and enjoy sundowners. Access to the restaurant is via a 200 metre boardwalk, which gives guests a unique opportunity to absorb the beauty and magical atmosphere of the mangrove forest and Creek channels.
A canoe trip through the mangroves
The local special menu includes delicious fresh fish, prawns and crab cooked by trained chef and MCCC (Mida Creek Conservation Community) member Dixon. Soft drinks and beers are also available, but you’ll need to bring your own wine. The crabs are farmed as part of another MCCC eco initiative and the fish are caught by local Creek fishermen. Eating out here really does support the local community and all profits go towards MCCC conservation activities.
You can take part in a canoe trip around the mangroves with your local guide beforehand if you like, it’s great fun. The canoes are traditional wooden dugouts, poled along by your expert guides. You’ll float through the mangroves spotting crabs, oysters, flying fish, turtles if you are lucky and huge numbers of beautiful birds. Keep an eye out for the flash of colour as a Woodland Kingfisher flits by or enjoy watching Cormorant fish.
Heading back to The Crab Shack for sundowners
The trip is available to book through Hemingways - a relaxed and informal hotel right on the beach. Guests return year after year to enjoy the charm, wonderful personal service and big game fishing. There are 76 rooms, all air-conditioned and en-suite, and the restaurant serves the freshest seafood. There are also lots of fun activities beyond the Mida Creek excursion including learning to kite-surf and a sunset dhow cruise, so you’d never be bored at Hemingways.
Lalin de Mel - General Manager at Ulagalla
What does ‘Uga’ mean?
The word Uga derives from two syllables of the Sinhalese word “ula-galla”, the flagship property of Uga Escapes. Ulagalla itself derived its name from one of the two man-made tanks/reservoirs (construction period unknown but possibly circ 500 - 700 AD) which borders the property.
Ulagalla offers 20 detached villas with private plunge pools, scattered over 58 acres of Sri Lanka’s finest rural landscape
What is it Scott Dunn guests will find most compelling about Uga Hotels?
Each Uga hotel is designed to exude care - infused from the moment of its creation - towards making every aspect environmentally friendly and sustainable, whilst also luxuriously comfortable. Modern conveniences blend into the design, to pamper you whilst immersing you in the surrounding beauty.
The staff always have welcoming smiles, a genuine attentiveness and are eager to share their particular corner of their island home with guests. They genuinely want guests to experience the flavours of their cuisine and the restoration gained from time in nature, not to mention the incredible spa treatments. They will delight in your elation at the sight of their fauna and flora, and feel pride when you choose to explore their local villages and ancient history.
Staff setting up a table for two in the middle of a peaceful “kamatha” (a paddy threshing floor)
Can one visit Sri Lanka and stay exclusively in Uga properties and how would you route such a trip?
Uga Escapes’ properties are located in the north central and eastern block of Sri Lanka. Hence, we currently have options to pick guests up from the airport and transfer to Ulagalla for cultural and wildlife experiences and then to the famed beaches of the east coast.
We’ve also laid plans to have properties in the central hills and Kandy, as well as Colombo and the south coast, of which some are already being developed. Our aim is to have these locations completed within the next two to three years and then offer our guests the opportunity to experience Sri Lanka in full while staying exclusively at Uga properties.
Jungle Beach, set on the unexplored east coast of Sri Lanka
What are the most interesting experiences that can be arranged from Ulagalla?
Since Ulagalla is situated in the middle of the ‘Cultural Triangle’, there’s a wealth of things to do, see and explore. A must see whilst in Ulagalla is the Ancient city of Anuradhapura, the largest and oldest of all Sri Lanka’s ancient cities. Anuradhapura held the royal seat for more than 250 Sri Lankan kings and is aptly recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
A bit further afield we arrange trips to Ritigala ancient monastery, Minneriya National Park where visitors can witness the “Elephant Gathering” (5th largest elephant migration in the world) and Wilpattu National Park – which boasts the highest concentration of leopard in Sri Lanka and home to the illusive sloth bear.
UNESCO World Heritage Site – The Ancient City of Anuradhapura
Elephants in Minneriya National Park
Sri Lanka has many adventures to offer, what would be at the top of your bucket list?
Sri Lanka is regarded as one of the best destinations to spot blue whales, sperm whales and even the rare humpback whales. So for a wildlife enthusiast it would certainly be a treat not only to see the largest sea animal but also the largest land animal in one trip. We therefore highly recommend a combined national park and whale and dolphin watching experience.
Also, the famous World War II wreck; the British aircraft carrier HMS Hermes, lies half-entombed by coral at an accessible depth. The wreckage of her escort vessel HMS Vampire, also sunk by Japanese bombers on the same day, has never been found – an opportunity for enterprising wreck-divers! The wreck is one of only very few air craft carriers that are sunk close to the shore.
Both these experiences can be arranged by Uga Escapes making all three of our hotels bases for such expeditions.
Diving the famous wreck in Pasikuda
For more information on Uga Escape properties visit our website or call one of our Sri Lankan specialists on 020 8682 5075
Gone are the days of sprinting to your gate at the airport, reaching your destination to realise you’ve forgotten your wash bag or being stranded in a city with no money. With these apps for your smartphone, travelling is more stress-free and enjoyable than ever….
Scott Dunn’s Instagram and Jetlag Genie
Instagram (free, iOS, Android)
Instagram turns everyday pictures and videos into works of art. The app works by adding gorgeous filters and effects to your photography creating imagery that you’ll be dying to share with friends and family. Being connected to Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Tumblr and Foursquare, the app makes sharing your magical moments from around the world that much easier.
FlightTrack (free, iOS, Android)
FlightTrack tracks more than 1,400 airlines at more than 3,000 airports worldwide. The app gives you flight and gate information, lets you know when your plane is delayed and forecasts postponements based on historical data. The app even colour codes flight information so you know if you have time to grab a bite to eat or if you need to get moving to the gate! You can add friends and family to the app to track their flights and set up notifications to let you know when to head to the airport. Finally the app shows the amenities on a plane so you can chose the perfect seat well in-advance.
Jetlag Genie (fee, iOS)
Spend half your holiday beating jetlag? Enter your travel dates and flight information into this clever app and it will give you a plan to reduce the dreaded jetlag. This is done by subtly changing your sleeping patterns and exposure to sunlight and even takes into account your sleeping preferences.
A great Packing Pro list and a Photosynth screenshot
Packing Pro (fee, iOS)
This is a simple list maker for those of you who always forget the basic things like socks! The app has default lists for all sorts of holidays that can be personalised and starred for future reference. There is the option to import lists that you may have already started or export lists to a member of the family to let them do the packing! You can also create reminders of things to be done before you leave home, for example, watering the plants.
Photosynth (free, iOS, Windows)
Photosynth lets you capture places, moments and events in a 360° panoramic form and share with your friends. The app creates panoramas not only horizontally but also vertically, creating a gigantic, full-sphere, 3D like picture that you can forever return to.
Spotify suggesting new music and Find an ATM
Find an ATM (free, iOS) If you’ve ever been in a foreign country and suddenly realised you have no cash when you really need it, this app is for you. It locates where you are (worldwide), shows all the ATM’s in the local area and even gives you directions to it. A life saver in many situations.
Spotify (free, iOS, Android)
Make the most of this music app by paying the subscription of £9.99 a month so you can instantly stream any song or album, create playlists, discover new music from friends or anyone in the Spotify community and play them on all your mobile devices even when you’re offline! A no brainer for those of you with a passion for music!
Sharing media within a group chat on WhatsApp and Google Translate
WhatsApp (free, iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows and Nokia)
This is a messaging app which allows you to directly message someone without any SMS charges, available for any smartphone, between any smartphone! As long as you’re connected to Wi-Fi (don’t use data browsing whilst abroad, it costs a fortune) you can create groups and send each other unlimited images, video and audio messages. The perfect way to stay connected whilst on holiday.
Google Translate (free, iOS, Android)
Google Translate is a handy little app for all your language difficulties, translating text or speech between more than 70 languages. The app will translate out loud to help pronunciations, allows you to star favourite translations for easy access when offline and has built in dictionaries with single words and phrases if you’d rather work it out for yourself.
Trip Journal (fee, iOS, Android)
Trip Journal is the ultimate digital diary, allowing you to track your itinerary using an integrated Google map and attach photos, videos, comments and blog entries along the way. It also creates trip statistics on distance, time and geography travelled. You can then share your journey with friends and family back home and at the end of the journey, you have created an interactive and rich journal, full of memories, pictures, videos and notes that you can keep for life and share for many years to come.
Italy has to be my top tip. Ridiculously I had never been there prior to last year, so to those of you who have been I guess I’m preaching to the converted. To those of you who have never been there, go there - I love the country. Although I’ve always loved Paris I much preferred Rome as it is so intimate and so easy to get almost anywhere on foot. We stayed at the Spalletti, a glorious family villa, now a marvellous and perfectly located hotel, although you should know there is no pool. There is a lot to do but you can certainly see a lot of the city in 3 days. Everyone knows the must sees but the key to my mind is having the right guide and our Scott Dunn guide Fabio is just that person - jumping queues, judging just how much history you can take and knowing when it is time to call it the end of the day. After visiting the Vatican, and I suggest going quite early, go to the Piazza di Santa Maria in Trastevere and have the best orange juice at Caffe della Arance - you can recognise it by the orange table clothes and oranges on display. Then go to Gli Amici for lunch which is around the corner in Piazza Sant’Egidio. Where to eat? Lunch at Aroma on the top floor of the Hotel Palazzo Manfredi, overlooking the Colosseum, is wonderful but expensive - it would be a better dinner option where the seven course tasting menu with different wines could be highly enjoyable for an ultra-special treat. The Colosseum looks fabulous at night but it will cost you €195pp including a different glass of wine with each course. Settimio All’Arancio is the true Italian experience - the waiters don’t speak much English and it is predominantly frequented by locals. Book a table outside on their narrow terrace.
Inside the Vatican museum
If Rome is lovely from a cultural and food perspective then the Amalfi coast is gloriously romantic and utterly intoxicating. My wife and I stayed at the Monastero Santa Rosa which is, as you might guess, an old monastery. The rooms are lovely but smallish in that two nuns cells have been knocked together, one area being the bedroom and the other the bathroom - which is rather nice. However after the tiny surprise at the size of the rooms you will love this place as it is so utterly peaceful. The infinity pool is tremendous and I have to say I enjoyed the spa which is one of the best small spas I’ve come across. Amalfi itself is great and well worth aimlessly wondering around. I didn’t like the main beaches although when we moved to Ravello and stayed at the Palazzo Avino they do have a great beach club set up. Walk from Ravello down to Minori which is very worthwhile, however given there are over a thousand steps it’s sensible to get a lift back up.
Lastly my top tip would be to charter a boat and cruise the Amalfi coastline, circumnavigate Capri and lunch at La Conca del Sogno in Nerano before returning to Amalfi.
Monastero Santa Rosa infinity pool
Dawn at Monastero Santa Rosa
For more information on Italy, head to our website or call a European specialist on 020 8682 5080.
Last summer I was lucky enough to go back to Zimbabwe. The last time I visited was in the summer of 2000 with my sister when we spent a week in Victoria Falls, living like kings as the Zimbabwe Dollar value dropped through the floor. So it was fantastic to be back and find the country so much more positive – there was a real feeling that things were on the up wherever we travelled.
Elephants in Hwange National Park
One of the highlights of our trip was Hwange National Park – packed as it is with pachyderms. I just love watching elephants, and this is the place to be to see enormous herds. We couldn’t believe our luck when we arrived at Somalisa Camp to see a herd walking towards camp. We made a call and decided to spend the afternoon by the pool and miss the afternoon game drive. Which was the right call to make; I can highly recommend an afternoon by the pool at Somalisa. I use “pool” in the loosest term as effectively it is another watering hole for the elephants that dominate Hwangwe National Park. Its fresh, clear water is a mecca for ellies, much tastier than the muddy waterhole, and on that afternoon I spent a wonderful two hours barely drawing breath as a breeding herd of eighteen ellies came down to quench their thirst, including some tiny calves, small enough to fit under their mother’s bellies meaning they were less than a year old. We sat within metres of them with only a small pool of water separating us but felt completely safe. Seeing these magical animals at such close quarters is a privilege and experience you will find hard to beat.
Close encounter with one ellie!
Another unexpected highlight was The Matopos, an area of outstanding beauty, where huge boulders balance precariously on top of one another amongst lush green foliage. The area is also a significant part of Zimbabwe’s history; not only did the San bushmen leave more than 3,000 rock art sites in their wake but the Matopos is also the final resting place of African pioneer Cecil John Rhodes. Our walk up to his grave at sunset with Paul Hubbard as our guide was exceptional as brought this small part of Zimbabwean history to life. He is a born raconteur and a must have addition to any trip to this corner of Zimbabwe; his knowledge of Cecil Rhodes’ life and history of the area and country is unparalleled.
Rock art left by the San bushmen
We loved spending time in Mana Pools, in Zimbabwe’s north, and bordering Zambia’s famous Lower Zambezi. Our days were spent walking, driving and canoeing through spectacular landscapes observing an abundance of game. There are lodges in Mana Pools to suite everyone from the luxurious Wilderness Safaris Ruckomechi Camp, to Kanga Camp, set away from the river by a peaceful lagoon. For those with a more adventurous streak there is Goliath Safari Camp, with simple Meru style tents owned by legendary guide Stretch Ferreira, known for his knowledge and close bond with the bull elephants in the area – as a result of this bond he is able to walk among them in relative safety.
Louisa at the luxurious Ruckomechi Camp
This was my third visit to The Victoria Falls, which never fail to impress me. Nestled between Zimbabwe and Zambia the Zimbabwean side has the distinct advantage of no less than 18 viewing points. Some of these are set precariously close to the gorge offering quite literally a bird’s eye view of one of the seven natural wonders of the world. There is so much to do in and around the Falls from bungee jumping for the brave, white water rafting or a leisurely tea at the iconic Victoria Falls Hotel.
Victoria Falls in full flow
High tea at the iconic Victoria Falls Hotel
One question I was asked endlessly before my trip was ‘Is it safe?’ Zimbabwe does have a chequered history, which has been splashed across more than one front page. From my recent trip I can honestly say the safari parks and private reserves, camps and lodges are looking better than ever. My journey was by road and air, and as I travelled I met some of the most vibrant and enthusiastic Zimbabweans who are passionate about their country and are just desperate to keep getting on with things. I could not agree with them more.
Scott Dunn’s Sara is currently racing in The Rickshaw Rally, a race in India from Jaisalmer to Cochin in a rickshaw (otherwise known as a tuk tuk). Below are some small blogs and pictures of her journey so far.
Ant and Sara’s personalised “London Bus” rickshaw
Well done and thanks to everyone at Scott Dunn for the £200 (20,000rupees) raised so far. I just visited the Salaam Balaak Trust in Delhi, where the money will be going to help fund the shelter and education of street kids. There’s still plenty of time to donate!
Salaam Balaak Shelter
Popped in to The Imperial in Delhi for high tea in their atrium to enjoy a slice of colonial luxury. This grand hotel oozes history with elements of Lutyens Art Deco style.
Decor of The Imperial
Jodhpur, the blue city, is my favourite in all Rajasthan, with its atmospheric market square and imposing Mehrengarh fort. What better way to appreciate it but from the rooftop bar at the glorious Raas hotel.
The Mehrengarh Fort from Raas Hotel
Jaisalmer is an amazing medieval fort in the Thar desert. The road from Jodhpur is much improved, taking a mere 4.5 hours in our rickshaw. The fort town is labyrinthine with temples and havelis throughout. A new haveli, soon to open, is the Sonoor Haveli, set outside the fort, so space is not an issue and tastefully decorated throughout- a mere 8 rooms will ensure personal service.
Sara in Jaisalmer
We wish Sara the best of luck with the rest of her adventure and keep your eyes peeled for the next set of blogs and pictures!
If you like the look of Rajasthan, take a look at our Essential Rajasthan itinerary… http://www.scottdunn.com/luxury-tours/essential-rajasthan