Chobe National Park, which is easily accessible from Kasane, Namibia and Zimbabwe, is renowned for its high concentrations of wildlife, in particular its vast herds of elephant. A boat ride down the Chobe River, the border between Northern Botswana and Namibia, offers the chance to see dozens of elephant galloping excitedly down the forested banks to swim, play and wallow in the cool water. Keep your eyes peeled for kingfishers and young fish eagles and don’t be surprised if huge hippo appear right beside the boat. Just enjoy the refreshing breeze as you cruise back for brunch in the comfort of your lodge
Having been fortunate enough to travel extensively growing up, I have always been eager to seek out new destinations and experiences, visiting six continents so far. Extraordinary animal sightings on holidays in North America, Tanzania and Namibia cemented my passion for wildlife and the environment, while the local hospitality I experienced during voluntary work building a primary school in rural Tanzania embedded sub-Saharan Africa as a home away from home.
While studying for a degree in Zoology, I spent two months carrying out research on the elusive aardvark in South Africa’s Eastern Cape. Upon graduating, I moved to outback Australia, guiding at and managing one of the country’s luxury lodges for several years before joining Audley.
Since then, I have had the chance to take a flying safari across Botswana in the wet season and helicopter over the majestic Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. The wildlife and scenery of Canada and Alaska cement these areas as another firm favourite, with memorable close-ups of grizzly bears and moose on my most recent visit.
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Bordering Etosha National Park in Namibia, Mushara Outpost is the most indulgent of three properties on its own private game reserve. It’s a great base from which to self-drive or take expertly-guided safaris searching for the Big Five in Etosha. However, the large pool, creatively-stocked shop and stylish, thatched tents with floor-to-ceiling windows may entice you to stay put. It’s a sophisticated but homely, family-run property offering personal service and a good restaurant serving locally-inspired dishes and an impressive wine list. In the afternoon there’s no better place to relax than in the shade of the wraparound veranda, while in the evening guests enjoy sundowners around the fire.
I'll never forget when…
Sitting around the dinner table at Oddball’s Enclave, Botswana, with our guide, Knowledge, and the passionate lodge manager, Doc, we shared the day’s stories of lion tracking, mokoro (dugout canoe) trips and bush walks to the soundtrack of hyena whooping behind the camp. It felt like the quintessential safari supper and as the night settled in, the vast African sky put on a mighty show. With no visible moon, no light pollution and no buildings to block the view, the Milky Way twinkled above us in movie-like clarity. Its sheer size and scale was incomparable and left me completed humbled.