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Kenya, Podcasts, Sandy Wood, Tanzania
Sandy Wood talks to Tamara LePine-Williams on Classic FM about some fantastic safari and activity ideas in East Africa.
Listen to the podcast here
Meet Melanie Lamont, Pulse Africa’s Southern Africa and Indian Ocean Island Travel Specialist.
Melanie Lamont has been an enthusiastic traveller from a young age exploring a vast array of countries across the world and many throughout Africa. Melanie has an extreme passion for the African bush and is excited to share her experiences with her clients.
Melanie’s Favourite Place: Kruger National Park and MozambiqueTop Travel Tip: Never miss the opportunity to experience new adventures and local experiencesMelanie Never Travels Without: A good book and her cameraHer Favourite Pastime: Horse riding
• Swam in the Zambezi and the Okavango Delta• Done many safaris, including Sabi Sands, Serengeti, Delta, Chobe, Ngorongoro• Swam in Devils Pool at Victoria Falls, Zambia side• Dived all over Mozambique and swam with whale sharks• Climbed Kilimanjaro• Experienced the Makgadikgadi pans
• Gorilla trekking in Uganda/Rwanda• A stand up paddle boarding safari in the Okavango Delta (as long as I don’t fall in with the crocs and hippos)• A diving adventure in the Red Sea• A walk through the Avenue of Baobabs in Western Madagascar• Visit the Amazon• Hike to Everest Base Camp
Meet Leandra Hanger, Pulse Africa’s Supplier and Rates Guru.
Leandra is our product and rates guru and coffee connoisseur. Her organisational skills are second to none and subsequently we have a highly sophisticated product information system. Not only does she negotiate some fabulous rates for our clients, but she ensures that the consultants are always up to date with the latest product training.
Leandra’s Favourite Place: South AfricaTop Travel Tip: Always trust to travel expert at Pulse Africa, and research your destination…this will prepare you to be blown away!Leandra Never Travels Without: Passport, travel insurance, camera and bottled up excitement!Her Favourite Pastime: Spending time with my family and sharing special memories with family and friend….over coffee!
• Bungee jumped out of a cable car in the Swiss Alps• Did an island hopping from historic Paros to breathtaking Santorini• Enjoyed traditional Greek coffee on Monastiraki Square with the Acropolis in the background• Attended a traditional Irish wedding at Kilkea Castle….still the best wedding ever!• Took my Granny to see Phantom of the Opera in the West End• Spent 1994 Easter in Budapest with a Hungarian family. Visited underground churches and local festivals• Celebrating New Year in Harrachov, attended the German Bierfest skied in Salsburg, and swam down the Aare river in Bern for my 21st Birthday!• Overlanded through Southern Africa including the Caprivi Strip in Nambia, Okavango Delta, Zambia and beautiful Lake Malawi• Snorkelled in Praslin Island, Seychelles• Hiked Table Mountain• Gone skydiving and dune quad biking in Swakopmund• Done a sunrise balloon safari over the Magaliesburg
• Explore Southern Africa in an overland vehicle with my children, including trekking over the Lesotho mountains on donkeys• Explore the top 7 underwater cities and treasures of the seabed starting at Atlit Yam in Israel• Cruise Alaska• Explore Iceland• Tour the Arctic Circle to see the northern lights (Aurora Borealis) from Iceland to Norway, Sweden and Finland and pop in for a visit to Lapland• Stay at the Ice Hotel in Sweden• Explore Naples and the whole west coast of Italy• Visit Bhutan• Explore the pyramids of the world from Peru to Egypt to Rome, and even the underwater wonder at Japan’s southern Ryuku Islands• Fly to Antarctica and sleep at the South Pole
Meet Sandy Wood, Pulse Africa’s Managing Director.
Kenyan-born Sandy Wood has been at the helm of Pulse Africa since she started the business in 1991. Her expertise spans across all regions that Pulse Africa offers as destinations and she is constantly pushing these borders, exploring new regions and countries to offer her clients.
Sandy’s Favourite Place: Laikipia, KenyaTop Travel Tip: Research the country you are visiting before departureSandy Never Travels Without: A sense of humourHer Favourite Pastime: Entertaining friends at home
• Cooked on a yacht around the Seychelles and Thailand• Ran the Lewa Marathon in Kenya, surrounded by wildebeest, zebra and giraffe• Sat next to a gelada baboon in the Simien Mountains of Ethiopia• Driven along route 62 in the Western Cape• Been on a camel safari in Samburu, Kenya• Taken a microlight flight over the Zambezi• Hurtled along the 425 m long zipline from one side of the Zambezi to the other in Victoria Falls• E-biked in Sossusvlei, Namibia• Climbed Mount Kenya• Cycled alongside Daisy Rothschild – Kenya’s famous giraffe
• Visit Goa, Bengal and the tigers• Dive the Great Barrier Reef• Have a coffee with Desmond Tutu• Have a second honeymoon at Fundu Lagoon, Zanzibar• Take a dhow on the Nile and stay at The Old Cataract Hotel, where Agatha Christie wrote “Death on the Nile”
Meet Lia Tynan, Pulse Africa’s Financial Manager.
Lia is our feisty, Greek financial manager. She works with our numbers all day, every day and ensures that every cent is where it should be. Her sense of humour keeps us all smiling.
Lia’s Favourite Place: San FranciscoTop Travel Tip: Pack lightLia Never Travels Without: A face towelHer Favourite Pastime: Shopping and reading a good crime novel
• Held a snake• Witnessed my pet giving birth• Swam at night in Mozambique• Bottle fed a baby lion• Gone tubing
• Visit Cuba• Visit Rio de Janeiro carnival• Go white water rafting• Soak in a hot spring• Learn how to swim
Meet Claudine Rigney, Pulse Africa’s Admin Queen.
Our admin queen, Claudine keeps everything running smoothly behind the scenes. Having worked in travel for many years she is au fait with the ins and outs of planning holidays and recognising the kind of support our consultants and our clients need.
Claudine’s Favourite Place: Makakola Retreat, MalawiTop Travel Tip: Be on time….be courteous, have important stuff close byClaudine Never Travels Without: A fab handbag & lipstickHer Favourite Pastime: Making good memories…chatting away
• Travelled to Dubai. Cruised on a Dhow and enjoyed a camel ride and dinner in the desert• Gone sightseeing in London, walks in Hyde Park, pub lunch in Camden Town and went to see “Les Miserables”- a definite highlight• Visited the Holy Land. Eilat is a favourite spot, as is Tiberius and Caesarea. The food was amazing and the sights unbelievable• Floated on the Dead Sea• Went to Plettenberg beach, the absolute best in the world. I love the beauty and tranquillity of the Garden Route• Kayaked on Lake Malawi and relaxed in the sun• Went game viewing in the Northern Kruger and Pilanesberg.
• Visit small towns across South Africa• Go to Morocco to take in the sights and smells• Experience East Africa’s bush and beach• Have dinner at a long table with locals, somewhere in Italy• Cruise on the Nile river• Experience Madagascar
Meet Lisa de Swardt, Pulse Africa’s Jill-of-all-trades.
Born and raised in Kenya, Lisa has a deep-seated passion for all things African. Pursuing a career in the travel industry seemed an obvious route to follow and now, many years later, Lisa has evolved from consulting to marketing and all things IT.
Lisa’s Favourite Places: The Kenyan coast and Laikipia.Top Travel Tip: Ask the locals where to eat, shop and watch the sunset.Lisa Never Travels Without: Her many kikoisHer Favourite Pastime: Making jewellery
• Kissed a giraffe in Kenya• Watched the sun rise on a new year on the Kenyan coast• Swam with dolphins in Zanzibar• Watched the Rhino Charge in Kenya• Went shopping in Stone Town• Did a self-drive trip along the Garden Route in South Africa• Did the Sentinel Peak Chain Ladder hike in the Drakensberg• Went on a walking safari in Northern Kruger• Witnessed the migration in the Serengeti• Stayed at some of the most spectacular lodges in Africa
• Self-drive from South Africa to Kenya• Go on a camel safari in Northern Kenya• Go to a yoga retreat on the Kenyan coast• Sleep under the stars in the Kalahari• Visit the rock churches of Lalibela• Explore the markets of Marrakech• Travel around the island of Madagascar• Do a sailing trip on a traditional dhow off the East African coast• Eat lobster at the Rock Restaurant in Zanzibar• Learn traditional skills from the silversmiths of Ibo Island
Meet Nancy Wood, Pulse Africa’s Marketing Guru and Africa Travel Specialist.
Our resident Canadian, Nancy Wood came to Johannesburg in 2001 for a 3-year posting … and never left! She has travelled extensively on the continent and offers a foreign perspective in planning African travel for her clients.
Nancy’s Favourite Place: Sabi SandsTop Travel Tip: When deciding what to pack: Take half the clothes and twice the money!Nancy Never Travels Without: A patient attitude- it goes a long wayHer Favourite Pastime: Dancing and tennis. Not at the same time
• Experienced a four-month, self-drive, camping adventure with my husband and 4 kids (aged 6-12) from Johannesburg to Alexandria (our own version of Cape to Cairo!)• Enjoyed the sights, sounds and smells of magical Zanzibar, complete with Maasai dancers and fresh sugar cane juice at the vibrant night market, frolicking in the turquoise waters, walking on the white sand beaches and getting lost in the winding alleyways of the UNESCO heritage site of Stone Town• Watched countless zebra and wildebeest crossing the Mara River in Kenya during the annual great migration, while they attempted to avoid the lurking mouths of the crocodiles below• Lain still and silent on the white endless plains of the Makgadikgadi salt pans in Botswana• Broke the fast during Ramadan with a welcoming family in Sudan• Slept under the stars on a canoe trip down the Orange River in Namibia• Screamed with joy (and terror) while doing the zipline canopy tour in the beautiful Tsitsikamma indigenous forest, Eastern Cape, South Africa• Admired the astonishing architectural feat of the 12th century rock-hewn churches in Lalibela, Ethiopia
• Sailing and cycling in Croatia• Seeing the Cherry Blossom festival in Japan• Trekking with the gorillas in Rwanda• Viewing the Northern Lights and fjords of Norway• Snorkelling in Cabilao Island, Philippines
Meet Sandi Elkington, Pulse Africa’s East Africa Travel Specialist.
Sandi Elkington has a passion and reverence for her work like no other. She is in charge of the East-African destinations, including Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda and the spice island of Zanzibar. Sandi has a genuine love for her job and Africa and brings this passion to the forefront in planning safaris for her clients.
Sandi’s Favourite Place: Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, KenyaTop Travel Tip: Take a smile, good manners and general common sense. Learn a few local words before you travel. Oh, and tip your shoes upside down before putting them on in the mornings!Sandi Never Travels Without: Her passion for adventure and funHer Favourite Pastime: Swimming
• Floated above the sweeping curves of the Masai Mara in a hot air balloon in the soft morning light• Had uninterrupted time watching the cubs of the Marsh Pride play and frolic right outside Governor’s Camp, on the edge of the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya• Experienced the Ruaha National Park on foot with one of East Africa’s most prolific walking guides• Fallen asleep to the sounds of the African night in a luxurious tent in the middle of the Selous Game Reserve with my husband by my side• Climbed to 3030 meters and come face-to-face with a black back gorilla of the Titus group of gorillas in the Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda• Enjoyed an early morning swim with my best friend in the warm waters off the coast of Zanzibar before the tide went out
• Swim the clear waters of Lake Malawi• Sail on a gulet in the turquoise waters of Turkey• Lie in bed in a tent in the middle of the Serengeti and listen to the sounds of the African night• Fly from Windhoek up the Skeleton Coast to Serra Cafema Camp• Lie by the pool after a refreshing sunrise dip in the sea at Shooting Star, Zanzibar• Raft the Breede River with my little family
Meet Natasha Jericevich, Pulse Africa’s Southern Africa Travel Specialist.
Natasha Jericevich has been an avid traveller her entire life. Encouraged to do so from a young age by her father, she set out exploring different regions of the world before settling into African tourism. Sincere and imaginative, Natasha is able to empathise with her clients, creating dream safaris they will never forget.
Natasha’s Favourite Places: Okavango Delta, Botswana & SeychellesTop Travel Tip: Take the opportunity to experience new thingsNatasha Never Travels Without: Her Nikon cameraHer Favourite Pastime: Photographing new places
• Trekked with the gorillas in Rwanda• Joined a walking safari in Mana Pools, Zimbabwe• Swam in Devil’s Pool in Livingstone, Zambia• Gone on safari in the Serengeti & Ngorongoro Crater• Cycled in Lake Manyara National Park• Island hopped in the Seychelles, visiting Mahe, Praslin, La Digue, Fregate & North Island• Ticked off numerous safaris to Botswana. Some of the highlights included mokoro trips in the Okavango Delta, helicopter flips over the Linyanti Reserve, quad biking and having a meerkat interaction in the Magkadikgadi Salt Pans• Visited Dead Vlei & Damaraland in Namibia• Explored Mozambique, including historical sites such as Ibo Island and Ilha de Mozambique, island hopping from Benguerra Island, Bazaruto Island, Medjumbe Island, Matemo Island and Quilalea Island, and a safari in Gorongosa National Park• Gone paragliding in Mauritius
• Visit Antarctica• Visit Argentina & Chile• Visit Venice & Rome
Meet Nicci Lenferna, Pulse Africa’s Director & Group Travel Specialist.
Nicci Lenferna was the first to join Pulse Africa with Sandy Wood. Her attention to detail and lively attitude have earned her a reputation for major group event planning and coordination. Nicci plans small, medium and large scale private and corporate group trips around the world, all year long, each one boasting a unique success.
Nicci’s Favourite Place: MadagascarTop Travel Tip: Visit fewer places for longer periods of timeNicci Never Travels Without: A kikoiHer Favourite Pastime: Exploring new destinations
• Trekked with the gorillas in Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda• Floated in a Hot Air Balloon over the Masai Mara• Swam in Devil’s Pool on the edge of the Victoria Falls, Livingstone Island, Zambia• Visited the pyramids in Egypt• Floated in a mokoro down the waterways of the Okavango Delta, Botswana• Paraglided off Table Mountain, Cape Town, South Africa• Set off on a quad bike through the dunes in Namibia• Braved white water rafting down the Zambezi River, Zimbabwe• Been on a walking Safari through the Luangwa Valley, Zambia• Gone scuba diving off the coast of Benguerra, Mozambique• Soaked in a hot bath on the edge of the Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania• Captured the spectacular light and smiling faces of the Malagasy people on my EOS camera, Madagascar• Cruised around the island of Mauritius on a catamaran• Hopped on a helicopter flight over the Piton de la Fournaise Volcano, Réunion
• Walk the Camino de Santiago, Northern Spain• Explore the Amazon Jungle, Brazil• Travel India in five-star luxury• Visit the Amalfi Coast in Italy for a hiking and food extravaganza• Visit Japan to see cherry blossoms and enjoy authentic cultural experiences• Explore the maze-like medieval quarters, medinas and souks of Morocco
Meet Bronwen, Pulse Africa’s ***.
Bronwen’s Favourite Place: Old Mdonya River Camp, Ruaha National ParkTop Travel Tip: Always smile and be niceBronwen Never Travels Without: A good book and her cameraHer Favourite Pastime: Waking up before everyone else and enjoying a strong coffee whilst listening to the birds chatter
• Watch a large breeding herd of elephants walk across a dry lake in Amboseli• Canoe on the Zambezi River in Lower Zambezi NP where I got very close to the largest crocodile I have ever seen• Trek gorillas in Uganda, nothing ever prepares you for that moment seeing them up close• White water rafting in Victoria falls• Watch a herd of elephants dig for water in a dry river bed in Ruaha National Park• Walking on foot in the Selous and being followed by an elephant who stopped to smell everything we touched• Walking Safari in Hwange National Park and getting close to an elephant …safe distance, excellent guide very thrilling and educational• Camel trekking and camping under the stars from Sabuk• Watching the sunset from a house boat on Chobe River listening to hippo and fish eagles (with a cold beer in hand – you might not want to add that part)• Snorkeling off a dhow in the bay in Mafia• Bird watching in Lake Manyara National Park from Wayo Camp
• Spend time in Katavi National Park for remoteness and large herds• Walking in Kafue National Park• Self drive and camping in the Kgakagadi Transfrontier Park• Night desert walk in Swakopmund• Orange River Canoe trip• Camp in the Central Kalahari• Visit and camp in Namaqualand in Spring• Camp in the desert in Morocco under the stars• Spend a night in a tree house in Hwange National Park and sleep under the stars
WHERE CAN I GO?
Blessed with towering elephants, zebra crossings and enigmatic landscapes, Botswana is one of the great safari destinations in Africa.
Egypt's allure goes way beyond the ancient wonders still being uncovered from beneath its golden sands. For centuries, history and archaeology enthusiasts, as well as adventure and culture-loving travellers alike have made the journey to dig up Egypt's trove of treasures.
Whether it is visiting a jazz club in Addis Ababa or watching the salt caravans of the Afar people, a journey through Ethiopia offers a unique and distinct experience.
With hauntingly beautiful landscapes supporting an abundance of wildlife, impossibly beautiful weather and the most friendly, welcoming people, Kenya is the quintessential safari destination.
From the moment you arrive in Madagascar, a sense of the unusual envelops you. Explore one of the most biodiverse places in the world as most of what you’ll see here is like nothing you’ve ever seen before.
Malawi might not seem like an obvious choice to visit, but this sub-Saharan hidden jewel nestled in the heart of central Africa exudes personality and vibrant culture.
Nowhere else can you indulge in flaky croissants for breakfast and seafood curry for dinner, or admire pastel-coloured Hindu temples on the road alongside French colonial mansions. With a hypnotic blend of Indian, African and French influences, Mauritius is a gem that enchants all who visit.
Mozambique is no ordinary holiday destination. It uniquely combines not only spectacular beaches, but also impressive colonial architecture and fascinating local culture.
Namibia is a land of incredible contrasts and colours where dry, arid desert meets the roaring Atlantic Ocean.
Situated east of Madagascar and lapped by the temperate waters of the Indian Ocean, lies the island of Réunion. Unimaginably verdant with an endearing mix of French, Creole and Indian cultures, Reunion is quite possibly unlike anything you have ever encountered before.
Prepare to be left in awe as you adventure into mist-shrouded forests and lush tea plantations. Holidays in Rwanda offer a heart-stopping adventure and wonderful wildlife encounters.
When the going gets tough, the tough get going; whilst the rest of us conjure our ideal escape, dreaming of the Seychelles with golden beaches, secluded coves, and tropical coco de mer palms.
From city getaways to safaris and beach holidays, South Africa is a world in one country, accommodating all types of travellers. Fondly known by locals as the 'Rainbow Nation', this is an extraordinary country to which you will want to return again and again.
The name Tanzania conjures up images of wildebeest stampeding across vast savannah, rain forests teeming with monkeys and birdlife, and great plains full of legions of game. All of these natural wonders and more are on offer in this exceptionally diverse African nation.
Uganda is one of the most beautiful countries in Africa. With its dense misty forests, snow-peaked mountains, glassy lakes and sprawling savannas, it’s no wonder this beautiful country is dubbed the Pearl of Africa.
A holiday in Zambia bursts with adventure and natural beauty. From awe-inspiring walking safaris and exhilarating white-water rafting, to seeing one of the world’s largest waterfalls, there are very few places left in the world where such wild experiences are still possible.
The archipelago of Zanzibar comprises several islands in the Indian Ocean that bead their way down the shores of East Africa, just off the coast of Tanzania. This group of islands, surrounded by beaches that rate among the world’s most beautiful, will allow you to discover peace and serenity unlike anything you've ever experienced.
Bungee jump over Victoria Falls, white water raft down the Zambezi River, canoe beside fish eagles swooping over Lake Kariba or soak up the magic of the bush in Hwange National Park. A safari holiday in Zimbabwe piques all the senses.
WHAT CAN I DO?
The palm-lined, white-powdery beaches of Africa are those that dreams are made of. Whether you’re looking for the perfect island holiday, or an adventure-packed water sports paradise, there is a spot for you on the continent.
East Africa is where safaris were born and the rest of Africa is where they have grown-up. Whether you are keen on day or night safaris, walking safaris, specialised photographic or ornithological safaris, there is definitely a safari to suit you.
A trip to Africa is, more often than not, planned around animals. Be it the Big 5, the great migration, gorillas or lemurs, there is no question that the animals take centre stage.
Second possibly only to the animals, the landscapes in Africa are to be marvelled at. From jungles to deserts, mountains to oceans and the wide open savannas of East Africa, the enormity of these landscapes will leave you speechless.
Africa is not short of adventure, in fact it is the ultimate adventurers’ playground. Whether you’re looking for water adventures, animal adventures or adrenaline pumping adventures, you’ll find something to thrill you in Africa.
There is no shortage in Africa of world-class spas, golf courses or yoga retreats. If you’re looking for a wellness holiday, then we have a place for you.
South Africa is a country that lends itself to long, fascinating road trips. The landscapes are breath-taking and the routes full of interesting little stops. If you’re looking for a self-drive adventure, then this would be the place to do it.
There is no shortage of art nor culture in Africa. With over 3,000 tribes spread across 53 countries there is so much to see, learn and experience.
Arts & Culture
The history of Africa is certainly colourful. It begins with Ancient Egypt then the discovery of hominids in East Africa and continues with slavery, tribal wars, colonialization, and political unrest. The continent is a patchwork quilt of stories and legends like no other.