The Allure of Africa
27 June 2017

The Allure of Africa

The Dovetail Agency

Dovetail's Rebecca shares her love of Africa.

“The only man I envy is the man who has not yet been to Africa - for he has so much to look forward to." Richard Mullin.  

Growing up I never dreamed I would visit Africa, a land which seemed so far removed from suburban Surrey. My only concepts of this far-continent where those glimpsed on TV or in glossy magazines. This May I returned for the third time in just over six months. Why? Because this magical destination has captured my heart and my mind in a way unlike any other.  

At Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve in South Africa, I’ve witnessed elephant calves playing, surprised a leopard drinking from my swimming pool and sat in awe observing a pride of lions on a kill. As one of the best renowned safaris in all of South Africa, arriving at Sabi Sabi awoke a passion for wildlife I never knew I had, from the smallest dung beetle to the tallest giraffe. Exploring the bushveld with an expert pairing of tracker and local Shangaan guide, you see the world through a different perspective. The keenness of their sight is as remarkable as their knowledge, with no day or sighting alike. Combined with extraordinary dining and the most luxurious accommodation, it feels like an escape from the ‘real world’.  

Hopping across the border to Botswana offers another perspective. At The Lodge at Feline Fields you are whisked to an untouched and ancient landscape, where the romanticism of the Kalahari combines with the warm welcome of the Botswanan people. Awaking each morning to a fiery African sunrise beats any alarm clock, while the opportunity to learn the skills of the Bushmen which have seen them survive thousands of years in the desert is a rare and insightful privilege. The distant cry of the jackal while dining in the middle of the savannah surrounded by flickering lanterns sends a shiver down your spine.  

The beauty of travel is the sense of discovering the new. Travel takes you out comfort zone and makes you feel like a child: you might not be able to read the writing, speak the language or understand the customs, yet in its own way this is part of the magic. A visit to Africa is all this and more, combined with the heady mix of dramatic landscapes, rare wildlife, enchanting villages and fantastic people. From dawn to dusk, each day is a surprise, and this thrill keeps me coming back for more.  

Having started with another’s words, it seems fitting to finish on more. Ernest Hemingway once said “I never knew of a morning in Africa when I woke up that I was not happy.” I must say I agree.