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Christian Fratello

Encino, California Travel Agent

Amazing Africa & Expert Tips

What first got me passionate about this area of travel? My love for nature and animals. 

The awesome experience of seeing animals in their natural habitat makes Africa a bucket list destination for many travelers. Yet, there are other not-to-be-missed experiences here as well. My favorite itinerary is one that I recently planned for a honeymoon couple. 

The Perfect Honeymoon

I started them in Cape Town, where one of my favorite hotels is The Table Bay Hotel. Steeped in history, the hotel was officially opened in 1997 by South Africa’s president and civil rights pioneer, Nelson Mandela. Set on the Victoria and Albert Waterfront, it affords views of Table Mountain and the Atlantic Ocean. The hotel also offers free shuttles to the V&A Waterfront, Two Oceans Aquarium, and the South African Museum and Planetarium at Table Mountain, making seeing the main sights carefree. Also suggested is a wonderful foraging expedition with the hotel’s charismatic executive chef, followed by a lunch prepared with food from your harvest.

Their next stop was what brings most people to Africa, a stay at a safari lodge. For the most luxurious adventure, I send my clients to Royal Malewane in Kruger. Each of its nine rooms is a stand-alone lodge with its own spacious marble bathroom and infinity pool. Of course, in nature, nothing is guaranteed, but a team of expert drivers and trackers will try to ensure you spot Africa’s big five: elephants, lions, buffalo, leopards and rhinos—as well as giraffe, zebra, hippos and wildebeest. And butlers and chefs will ensure you are well fed and well served. 

From here, the honeymooners flew to Victoria Falls. Here, the grand dame hotel is the Royal Livingstone Hotel by Anantara. Set of the banks of the Zambezi River, it overlooks the falls and combines Victorian elegance with excitement of safari expeditions in 4x4 vehicles, elephant treks, white water rafting, and jet-boating at Batoka Gorge.

And to top it off, what could be better than relaxing on an idyllic beach. My favorite post-safari spot is Fregate Island Private in the Seychelles. The island has seven large beaches and only 17 rooms, many with a private infinity pool and Jacuzzi overlooking the jungle and Indian Ocean. It’s totally romantic. They’ll serve you dinner wherever you like, including on the beach, or in a treehouse set in a large banyan tree. There’s also a spa which uses ingredients harvested from the island. And the resort is a leader in conservation; guests are welcome to join resort conservationists for an adventurous cross-island exploration or a guided nature walk where you may bump into giant tortoises and see more than 100 species of birds. This is the good life!

3 Expert tips from my life in travel:

  • Be Flexible – travel is sometimes unpredictable, but if you relax, it all works out and you can enjoy the journey.
  • Arrive early at airports unless you have a Meet & Greet or Delta Clear for domestic flights.
  • Spend a bit more and get private pre-arranged transfers unless you know the destination; it makes arrivals much easier and gets you to your destination quickly.

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