For expert Africa travel advice, look no further than the Cox & Kings team who have lived, worked and travelled across the continent. As our travel consultants are sent to experience a destination, luxury lodges and tented camps on the ground, their advice is informed by first-hand experience and they can tell you which option is best suited to your needs.
Meet the team - Africa
I come from a small town called Nottingham, but my family has more interesting and varied roots. My mother was born in Zambia and grew up in Papua New Guinea, and now lives in Australia, while my father is Caribbean and spent a lot of his childhood in New York. My aunty was born in Uganda, grew up in Papua New Guinea and now lives in Zanzibar.
Having a family that lives all over the world and a childhood full of exotic holidays inspired my love for travel. I recently spent two years living in Zanzibar, which really cemented this passion and the desire to work in the travel industry.
Tanzania is my favourite country. It has everything – stunning beaches, private islands, sandbanks, Big Five safaris, the Great Migration, Mount Kilimanjaro, dolphins, chimpanzee trekking, catamarans, yachts, historical towns, busy towns, and more.
My recommendation when going to the Sandbank is to find a private boat in Livingstone for just you and your companions. Make sure that the boat has a sheltered area so you can have some shade if necessary. Be sure to check the tide table; low tide is the best time to go because the sandbank is at its biggest and you have more time to enjoy it. Either go early at around 09:00 or later in the afternoon at around 16:00 to avoid the busy tourist period. I recommend 16:00 if the tide allows it, as you can watch the sun set on an unspoiled sandbank you will have virtually to yourself. Finally, make sure to take your own snacks and drinks to really have some fun.
My favourite experience would be my 23rd birthday solo-trip to the Serengeti National Park. I stayed at some amazing camps and lodges such as Four Seasons Serengeti Lodge, Lemala Nanyukie and Asilia Namiri Plains. Namiri Plains was my favourite accommodation during the trip as the semi-permanent tented camp was stunning. I also joined a hot-air balloon ride over the vast plains of the Serengeti National Park, and it was truly breathtaking. There is just something unreal about driving around the wilderness in an open 4x4 vehicle looking out for predators as they hunt their prey. This is when I truly fell in love with Africa.
My favourite place to travel would have to be Zanzibar. I have been many times and it never disappoints. It is a year-round destination with great weather even during the rainy seasons, the beaches are beautiful, you have the wild side of the safaris a short flight away, and the people are always so happy and welcoming. It is also great value for money compared to other Indian Ocean beach destinations such as Madagascar, the Seychelles and Mauritius. There are still some untouched beaches in Pemba – Zanzibar’s less-visited second island – so, for a more secluded destination, I recommend Pemba’s Aiyana Resort.
My favourite hotel would be Zanzibar’s White Sand Luxury Villas & Spa, a Relais & Châteaux property. This accommodation holds a special place in my heart as I spent my 18th birthday here in the Presidential Villa, and the staff even arranged a private beach dinner for me. The villas are located just a few minutes’ walk from Paje Beach – part of one of the best stretches of Zanzibar’s coast – where you can watch kite surfers and happy tourists swimming in the ocean. Each morning, guests attending the sunrise on the beach are offered complimentary champagne, and those at the breakfast buffet are treated to unlimited prosecco (a dangerously tempting prospect). The spacious, luxurious villas are secluded enough that you often feel as if you’re the only people at the resort, rarely encountering other guests outside of dinner and breakfast times. Each villa has a private pool, dedicated butler, and a separate living area to the bedroom, making it the perfect home from home.
I was born in Zimbabwe and I am half Kenyan. Travelling back and forth between both countries opened my eyes to the uniqueness and diversity of the African continent – from the beautiful morning sunrises in Zimbabwe, which make the perfect start to your day; to the rich red soil in Kenya, ideal for cultivating the world’s best tasting tea and coffee.
In Zimbabwe, I vividly recall long drives to Victoria Falls, passing via the Kariba Dam – the world’s largest man-made lake and reservoir by volume, a truly incredible site. The country hosts a large number of animals all year round, and it was amazing to see a pride of lions basking on the massive rock formations and admire the majestic herds of African elephants casually crossing the road.
As you arrive at Victoria Falls, you can hear the roars from the waterfall, there is no doubt why it has the name “Mosi-oa-Tunya” (The Smoke That Thunders). Whilst in Victoria National Park, you can admire the falls from a variety of amazing viewpoints, feeling the spray from their magnitude.
I would highly recommend taking an evening river cruise along the Zambezi River, where you can spot giraffes and elephants grazing and drinking along the riverbed – all while enjoying delicious Zimbabwean cuisine as the sun sets over Africa’s fourth longest river.
Kenya is the perfect multi-trip in-destination holiday, where you can easily combine excursions across land and sea. This vibrant country has a great culture, superb nightlife, exquisite cuisine and impressive wildlife reserves – including the famous Masai Mara, Amboseli and Tsavo National Parks.
Pass by the world-famous Lake Nakuru, located in Kenya’s part of the Great Rift Valley, to see the greatest bird spectacle on earth, comprising one to two million birds in one seating. Witness a multitude of pink flamingos flocked over the Lake, an amazing scene. Lake Nakuru is also famous for viewing the Rothchild giraffe, white rhino and black rhino.
Mombasa is the coastal city of Kenya and the second largest city in the country. Situated on the coast of the Indian Ocean, it hosts some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, perfect for water sporting activities.
I love visiting Mombasa. The white beaches create an atmosphere of peace, and the city sure does comes alive at night. I would suggest taking a glass-bottom boat out into the sea where you can find the perfect spot for snorkelling. Take a tour of the historical UNESCO World Heritage Site of Fort Jesus, built by the Portuguese in the 16th century to gain advantage of the Indian Ocean trade routes.
My favourite hotel is the iconic Giraffe Manor in Nairobi, said to be one of the most Instagrammed properties in the world. Set on 12 acres of land, it is home to the endangered Rothschild giraffe that regularly visit in the mornings or evenings in search of tasty treats. Dating back to the 1930s, Giraffe Manor is stunning and prides itself on serving “the most unforgettable bucket-list breakfast in the world”.