The straight-talking team at Expert Africa specialises in tailor-making romantic trips and knows the countries it works with inside-out having lived, worked or travelled extensively in each of them. Here are five of the team’s favourite unusual and alluring properties:
Somewhere wonderfully laid-back on a Tanzanian island
Pole Pole is a sleepy little lodge; there’s promise in its name – ‘slowly, slowly’. Seven thatched bungalows are dotted around coconut palm-scattered gardens, overlooking a white sand beach on Mafia Island. It’s barefoot bliss: absolutely in keeping with its surroundings and yet perfectly comfortable. Take a dhow (traditional boat) trip around the bay, and enjoy a massage in the tiny spa on the beach.
Somewhere superbly remote in Namibia
Perhaps the most remote camp in Namibia, Serra Cafema, in the extreme north-west, sits on the enchanting Kunene River, overlooking desert, mountains and Angola. Combining rustic and luxury elements in a starkly beautiful location, it’s magical, exclusive honeymoon material. Venture into the rolling dunes, walk in the mountains, boat along the river and sprawl – book in hand – in the camp’s sunken outdoor lounge.
Somewhere you can be blessed in Kenya
For a real African touch, little Leleshwa – oozing with bush atmosphere on the banks of the little Ropile River in the Maasai Mara – can arrange a Maasai blessing ceremony. Lasting all evening, this usually involves around 30 community members and a bush dinner. There are virtually no other camps in the area and there are dense concentrations of plains game, including elephant and giraffe.
Somewhere you can afford in Zanzibar
Pongwe Beach Hotel, on one of the island’s most idyllic palm-fringed beaches, is something rather special: laid-back, low-key and wonderfully affordable. Relax by the infinity pool, take romantic strolls on the beach and enjoy the sunshine and pristine white sand. The hotel has its own traditional dhow for sailing and snorkelling trips.
Somewhere star-studded in Botswana
At Baines' Camp, in the Okavango Delta, opt for a star bed: a four-poster, draped with mosquito nets, which can be rolled out onto your own deck at night following an intimate, private dinner. Notable for its innovative construction, and for the opportunity it provides to walk with elephants, the camp has just five suites with thatched roofs and 'solid' walls made from recycled drinks cans and plaster containing elephant dung – unusual, eco-friendly and smarter than it sounds!
Expert Africa (020 8232 9777, http://www.expertafrica.com) covers Botswana, Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, the Seychelles, the Cape of South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Its sister brand, Wild about Africa (020 8758 4717, http://www.wildaboutafrica.com), is a small group specialist – known for affordability, inclusiveness and flexibility – to Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and Tanzania. Many of the safaris have very low or no single-person supplements.
Ends – 30 April 2014
Press: For further information, or to interview Chris McIntyre, MD of Expert Africa, call Mischa Mack at Travel PR on 020 8891 4440 or email email@example.com.