From an early age, Georgia always had an affinity for nature
and a deep love of animals great and small.
It was almost inevitable that these two interests would lead her to a love of travel, which in turn has led to the opportunity of working in tourism with a particular focus on conservation for the last 5 years. Georgia been fortunate to have travelled extensively through both Central & South America and in recent years visited the time-warp island nation of Cuba, seen the powerful Iguazu Falls and traversed the salt flats between Bolivia and Chile.
Her travels have also taken her to Africa, and she has been lucky to explore this vast continent on multiple occasions, including climbing its highest peak, Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Over the years Georgia’s experienced the majestic Victoria Falls (twice – in high and low water seasons), observed rhino in the Ngorongoro Crater, explored beautiful Botswana on a mobile safari and searched for leopard in South Africa’s incredible MalaMala Game Reserve.
A trip to Mana Pools
Aside from the famous Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe is also home to some of Africa’s most wild and exciting wilderness areas. Fabulous Hwange National Park is the country’s largest, however there are a number of other sensational gameviewing areas including beautiful Mana Pools National Park. Mana Pools is a strong contender for top spot on my list of favourite destinations. Not only is it one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been, but it offers the opportunity to view wildlife in a variety of ways. Gliding down the Zambezi River in a canoe is one of the highlights of my travels in Africa – not much compares to looking up at a meandering elephant as it walks along the riverbank beside you. The national park is also famous for offering walking safaris, which allows you to experience the minutiae details of the wilderness. Of course, these experiences can’t take place without some of the highest guiding standards and I can say with confidence that Zimbabwe is home to some of the best safari guides in Africa.
A stay at Chikwenya
While in Mana Pools I had the privilege of staying in a beautiful camp called Chikwenya. Positioned only a stone’s throw from the Zambezi River, the camp offers spectacular views across to the Zambezi escarpment. A small and exclusive property, the camp accommodates a maximum of just 18 guests in 7 tents (including 2 family units) with a beautiful outdoor deck overlooking the floodplain. During our stay, it was not unusual to sit down for brunch or afternoon tea, while the local pack of wild dogs or a myriad of other species were active in front of the camp. Chikwenya is situated within a private reserve inside the national park, so the only other vehicles you will come across are those from the camp itself. This means that every time you go out for your activities, it feels like your own private slice of nature has been carved out just for you.
A trip to Chile – Atacama
Chile is home to impressive cities and some incredibly beautiful and varied landscapes from Patagonia in the country’s far south to fascinating Easter Island in the Pacific Ocean. One region which cannot be missed is the Atacama Desert in the Altiplano (high plateau) north of the country. In addition to sand dunes and wind-hewn gorges, the region is dotted with hot springs, great canyons and impressive geysers – It’s not surprising so many people compare the landscapes of the Atacama to the surface of another planet! The region offers a wealth of unique experiences and impressive geological formations all waiting to be explored on foot, 4WD or by mountain bike. Make sure you take some time to look up at the night sky during your stay, as there is little to no light pollution or cloud cover, making for an unparalleled stargazing experience.
A stay at Tierra Atacama
One of the premier accommodation options in the small town of San Pedro De Atacama, Tierra Atacama is a luxury lodge designed to reflect the beauty of the surrounding desert landscape. Each room is decorated in minimalist fashion with nude and cocoa tones reminiscent of the landscape. Large, sliding glass doors open onto private terraces that offer surrounding desert views, whilst ensuite bathrooms have both indoor and outdoor showers. Views of the desert and striking Licancabur Volcano are available from around the lodge – including from the hotel’s beautiful outdoor pool. You can do as much or as little as you like while here, with plenty of daily excursions available. Alternatively, you may choose to visit the Uma Spa for a relaxing and rejuvenating treatment. Whether you’re exploring the desert or enjoying a spa circuit, Tierra Atacama will leave you feeling refreshed and reconnected with nature.
What’s your most memorable travel experience?
It’s tough to pick just one, but I think summiting Mount Kilimanjaro would have to be it. Climbing “Kili” was a physical and mental challenge, so the moment I reached the summit was intensely rewarding. The view from the top was spectacular too!
What is your best piece of travel advice?
It’s a cliché, but ensure you take some time to be in (and appreciate) the moment. Personally, my favourite travel memories are not just about where I was or what I’d done, but about how the experience made me feel – that’s what will stay with me once I return home.
What is one thing you always pack for a safari?
Binoculars – having a pair on hand will ensure you don’t miss a thing! Every game drive I make sure that my binoculars are just as accessible as my camera.