Safari Through the Landscapes that Inspired “The Lion King”

I think that it’s safe to say that one of the most anticipated films of 2019 is Disney’s live-action remake of “The Lion King”. Between watching trailers as they were released, reading behind-the-scenes details, and soaking up all of the beauty of the landscapes the creative team designed, I had been counting down the days until the film finally hit in theaters! “The Lion King” will begin inspiring a new audience of viewers this summer, and I am thrilled for the movie to spark a desire in even more people to travel to the land that inspired the film – Africa.

“Everything you see exists together in a delicate balance.” – The Lion King

The resounding response I always hear from clients who have traveled to Africa and experienced a safari is it’s simply transformative. The natural landscapes provide views that are astounding and beautiful, and it sets the stage to view the wildlife that calls that landscape home in their natural habitat. Game drives are always timed for the windows when animals are known to be their most active on their own. As you view the sights surrounding you, you will feel as though you are living that most famous song, the “Circle of Life”. Your moments will never be staged. Instead, you will view the dance of nature as it unfolds in front of you.

To inspire you to embark on your own safari adventure, I thought I would go into more detail about 5 of the most common themes and topics that I explore with my clients as we plan their adventure. If you take away nothing else from this guide, I hope this fact resonates with you: safari is for everyone!

Safari is for Every Stage of Life:

One of the most common safari trips that I design is for honeymooners. However, your honeymoons is not the only time to go on a safari. Instead, I also very highly recommend safari for:

  • Families: Once children reach the ages of 7-9 years old, they are officially a prime age to not only enjoy but also remember their experience. Celebrating milestone birthdays, like 16, 18, and 21, as well as milestone occasions, like high school or college graduations, are also wonderful times to go on safari as a family.
  • Multi-Generational Groups: Whether you’re traveling with many generations of your family or a vast group of friends, safari is a universal trip everyone can enjoy at nearly any age.
  • Solo Travelers: Many safari groups include 6-12 people, so solo travelers can seamlessly feel included! Safari is also a great way to travel alone without being completely on your own. Solo travelers make up many of the clients that I send on safari!

Adventure with a Range of Price Points:

When clients think about a safari budget, they sometimes think that it is completely out of reach. But, that doesn’t have to be the case! For every ultra-luxury safari that I design, there is a counterpart that promises to be equally as wonderful with a lower price point. I know that I can find a safari for you that meets both your dreams and your budget!

Custom-Tailored Experiences:

There are nearly countless scenarios and ways to experience safari. Be it expansive lodges or mobile tented camps, the Big 5 or primates and gorillas, animal conservation (collaring lions for tracking and research anyone?!) or community experiences with the local tribes; safari is completely customizable based on what is most important to you and that customization is where I specialize!

Go Beyond Safari:

After seeing “The Lion King”, a safari will be in the forefront of so many minds! However, there are many additional ways to explore the beautiful continent of Africa. I have an entire arsenal of ideas at my fingertips, but two of my favorite safari combinations are Cape Town/Winelands Region/Safari or Bush + Beach, which is safari followed by a relaxing stay on one of the nearby Ocean Islands! Track lions and elephants and then relax in the Seychelles like William and Kate, perhaps?

Plan in Advance:

Because a safari has so many intricate planning and design details, it’s best to start working with me as far in advance as possible. I always encourage my clients to start working with me up to 16 months in advance, if possible. In addition to getting the best rates and availability, there are so many details that I can customize, and I want to have every option at the ready to ensure that your trip is exactly the one you’ve been dreaming of experiencing. If you are even remotely thinking of safari sometime within the next few years, let’s start chatting now about general ideas and budgeting- both financial and time away from home!

When a Hotel or Resort Just Isn’t The Right Fit for Your Getaway…

Whether you’re dreaming of visiting Turks & Caicos, Florida’s Gulf Coast, Tuscany, or the Greek Isles, the most natural thing to do is to research all of the top hotels in the area. However, there’s another more immersive way to explore cities and destinations near and far: stay in a private home, villa, or even a castle!

These properties offer me the chance to unlock the doors to accommodations that include anywhere from two to 20 bedrooms, which means that I can design everything from an intimate soiree with friends or family to a large milestone celebration. And, many of the properties that I have access to have more to them than just a place to rest at the end of the day. Instead, many are fully staffed, include exclusive experiences that you might not be able to find on your own, and they still maintain incredible value.

Just this week, I am designing bachelor and bachelorette long weekend getaways, a milestone anniversary celebration for a large family, and a ski trip for a group of friends who travel together to a new ski destination every year- each in private villas and properties. So if you would like to know if a private residence is the best option for your next vacation, let’s explore the ins and outs together! 

Just Back From… Bermuda!

The summer travel season has officially arrived, and mine kicked off with plenty of color! I just returned from beautiful Bermuda where I snuck in the perfect amount of fun while sourcing hotels, experiences, restaurants, and more on behalf of my clients traveling there this year and in 2020. My whirlwind trip solidified why everyone, including you, should visit this stunning island!

Bermuda is as elegant as it is laidback, and it feels as though it’s a world away. However, it’s reachable by a quick non-stop flight from Atlanta and even easier from the NYC airports and JFK for my clients in the Northeast. That’s just enough time to get lost in a great book while you prep for even more immersive opportunities, including culture, history, relaxation, and exquisite cuisine on the island. Plus, I love knowing Bermuda is Zika-free, which makes the island a wonderful spot for honeymoons, babymoons, and family adventures!

Now that I have you thinking about visiting Bermuda soon, I want to make sure to share just a handful of the incredible hotels and resorts I visited during my trip to help inspire the one that I can design for you. Most are offering VERY valuable promotions right now and I will add exclusive complimentary perks and amenities to your stay!

·Rosewood: With views of pink sand beaches and access to world class golf nearby at Tuckers Point Club, the Rosewood is one of Bermuda’s most sophisticated and luxurious resorts. The relaxed British flair and legendary service make for a very traditional Bermuda feel and I was blown away by their private beach club and hillside views!


· The Fairmont Southampton: One of Bermuda’s most quintessential resorts, The Fairmount Southampton is absolutely perfect for families! With its own private beach on world-renowned Horseshoe Bay, the Turtle Hill Golf Club in its backyard, an unbelievable spa, and 10 restaurants onsite, you will never run out of things to see and do. You must dine at their very historic Waterlot Inn Restaurant and save room for the sticky toffee pudding- the BEST I have ever had!

Fairmont Southampton

· The Loren: Before welcoming their new baby, The Bachelor’s Arie Luyendyk Jr and his wife, Lauren, spent their babymoon at The Loren. The resort seamlessly combines modern style with touches of luxury and has a very relaxing vibe. They offer incredible villas for families or groups of friends, too!

The Loren

· Cambridge Beaches: A winner of countless awards and a favorite haunt of A-List celebrities, guests come back year after year over multiple generations for the hospitality and tradition! Cambridge Beaches pioneered cottage accommodations, and outside of your cottage, you will also want to experience the Ocean Spa and infinity and roman style pools, which are just a few of the features at this legendary western Bermuda resort.

Cambridge Beaches

· Hamilton Princess & Beach Club: the “Grand Dame” of Bermuda resorts, Hamilton Princess & Beach Club, also known far and wide as the “Pink Palace”, was the official hotel for the 35th Americas Cup! Bermuda’s only luxury urban resort, the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club offers a stunning infinity edge pool with uninterrupted views of Hamilton Harbour, a private beach club, an Exhale spa and gym, and an array of dining options including Bermuda’s only celebrity chef restaurant- Marcus’. Don’t miss Marina Nights on Fridays- it’s very popular with the locals and a great party!

Hamilton Princess & Beach Club

· Rosedon: What the Rosedon lacks in beachfront property, it more than makes up for in unique amenities, incredible service, and an outstanding culinary program- which would be expected of this Relais and Chateaux property. Plan to enjoy the hotel’s convenient Hamilton location and spacious balconies before you board the complimentary shuttle bound for Elbow Beach or explore the island on one of the complimentary bicycles. I can’t recommend their Huckleberry Restaurant more!


Coming Soon!

· The Ritz Carlton Reserve at Caroline Bay (scheduled to open in 2020): What if you could stay in a private home within one of the most luxurious communities in Bermuda? The soon-to-open community and resort by The Ritz Carlton will offer just that and access to some of Bermuda’s most exquisite beaches, marinas, and diving locations.

· The St. Regis (scheduled to open in 2021): The St. Regis in lesser-developed St George will welcome travelers to what will be one of the most exclusive resorts in Bermuda. Offering guests prime access to pristine beaches and the links at the St. Regis Bermuda Golf Course, this resort is going to be a game-changer for the island in a few years and I am VERY excited to return and visit the finished product!

I completely fell in love with Bermuda and found it to be such a wonderful fit for couples, the little ones, multi-generational families, and groups of friends. You can easily spend a long weekend on the island, and a full week is even better! You are going to be hearing more and more about Bermuda over the next year (I was there when they announced their role as the Official Tourism Partner of the US Open Tennis Championship!) and I can not wait to help you experience this wonderful destination! Contact me soon for the latest promotions and for insight and ideas! 

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