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MOIRA SMITH

AFRICA & MIDDLE EAST

GENERAL MANAGER

It’s not about racking up the numbers though; each destination has so much to offer. It often takes repeat visits to really get to know a place. While I’ve been lucky to travel through Europe, Asia, and North and South America, it’s Africa that calls me back time and again. One of my pet peeves is when people talk about Africa as if it’s a country. Every single country in Africa (and there are 54) is unique. The culture, landscapes, people, cuisines, and experiences are all so different. Similarly, every safari encounter is unlike any other. And there are many different ways "to safari." Two of my favourite ways to experience the African bush is either on a canoeing safari or a walking safari. If you’re more sedentary-minded, a 4x4 vehicle can take you up close and personal. In some places, I recommend a helicopter flight for an aerial view, and if you’re so inclined, you can game-view from horse back.

My favourite places

  • Lower Zambezi National Park

    Africa

    My first truly wild African bush experience was in the Lower Zambezi National Park. It's the most spectacular wilderness, made all the more special because of the Zambezi River. The game viewing is exceptional and activities include walking, canoeing, catching a tiger-fish, and, of course, game drives.

  • Egypt

    Africa

    Egypt has always fascinated me. The first time I saw the pyramids, Luxor and Karnak Temples, and Abu Simbel, I was awe-struck. These incredible feats of engineering and architecture have survived millennia. And modern humans, even with all our technology and innovations, would be hard-pressed to recreate these today.

  • Isimangaliso National Park

    Africa

    Isimangaliso is an exceptional place that should get more attention. It has eight interdependent ecosystems, an enormous diversity of flora and fauna, and more than 450 bird species. Home to the only nesting site in Africa for Loggerhead and Leatherback turtles, it’s also South Africa’s top diving destination.

  • The Seychelles

    Africa

    1,000 miles from anywhere, the Seychelles is very special. With 115 islands, the best way to experience its diversity is to island hop. It’s not just about the natural beauty, the pristine beaches, or the clear Indian Ocean sea. It also has profuse flora and fauna, magnificent coral reefs, and stunning weather.

Did you know?

  • Pack lightly. If you're doing a fly-in safari, 15kg in a soft bag is often the limit. Ask us for guidelines.
  • The best season for birding in South Africa is summer (Dec-Mar). It’s also a great time to see baby animals.
  • Don’t be shy to barter when visiting the souks of Egypt, Dubai, and Morocco. It’s expected and encouraged.
  • Lake Malawi, aka the Calendar Lake as it’s 365 miles long and 52 miles broad, is a great add-on to Zambia.