Born in Zimbabwe, Vanessa's love for wildlife and the great outdoors began at a young age, with regular visits as a child to Hwange, Lake Kariba, and Victoria Falls. When she and her family moved to the Kwa Zulu Natal coast in South Africa, Vanessa also developed a deep love for the ocean and marine life.
Vanessa knew from the start that she wanted to be involved in the Travel industry, and upon finishing school she studied Tourism for 3 years. She initially entered the corporate travel sector and stayed for several years in South Africa. Vanessa then moved to the UK where she has enjoyed a career spanning over 25 years in several senior roles ranging from sales, operations, and product.
I have so many wonderful experiences from my travels to this amazing continent. The most memorable have to be spending time with a family of mountain gorillas in Uganda, a truly humbling experience; having a front row seat to the Great Migration in Kenya, without a doubt the greatest show on earth; floating silently over the Maasai Mara in a hot air balloon, and a 5-night Okavango Expedition in Botswana which included a night fly camping on a remote island in the Okavango Delta... magical!
A walking safari in the South Luangwa with some R&R at Kaya Mawa, and snorkelling the crystalline waters of Lake Malawi.
Jack's Camp in the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, it is one of Africa's most iconic camps and is reminiscent of safaris from a bygone era. There are so many activities on offer including quad biking across the pans, horse riding, bushman walks, game drives and visits with the meerkats. Afternoon tea in the Persian tea tent is a stately affair and not to be missed!
It is like being asked to pick your favourite child, however if pressed I would have to say elephant. These gentle giants are extremely intelligent and have such deep family bonds, and they also experience grief and compassion, just like humans.
It is such an exciting time to be joining Mahlatini in their milestone year as they celebrate their 20th anniversary, and I am very fortunate to spend some time in the fabulous Cape Town office.
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Our bespoke 12 iconic African journey brochure showcases some of our travel experts' favourite African destinations and safari experiences to help you plan your next travel adventure. Each chapter highlights the unique history, wildlife, culture and experiences of each distinct destination; as well as suggestions for trip extensions, places to stay and top tips from our travel experts who have been there.