Africa Travel To Senegal Four Weeks Immersed in Creativity

Senegal - Artistic expressions

Nanga def, (‘hello, how are you’ in Wolof… and, also the name given to a rather yummy cocktail!).
Four weeks in Dakar have come and gone leaving in their wake a kaleidoscope of sights, sounds and colours. My time Dakar was amazing, surpassing my expectations. There are times when some things are just meant to be, when everything just comes together; I felt that during my time in Senegal. I went to Senegal with no real plan of what I was going to do, having deliberately chosen to adopt a-wait-till-I-get-there approach. Unbeknownst to me at the time of planning, my trip coincided with the Dak’Art 2012 Biennale, which quickly formed the framework to my days, as the city was taken over by exhibition openings, performances, and discussions centred on art and design.
[Image credits: clockwise from top left; Fishing Boats via Senegal.co.uk
Obstacle Serge Alain Nitegeka, Installation at l’Institut Français © Tapiwa; 
The Millennium Door Statue © Tapiwa, Ocean View © Tapiwa; 
Sous Verre Paintings via Le Pays De la Teranga; and Baobab Treetop © Tapiwa]
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Moroccan Interior Design Peacock Pavilions On Elle Decor

Maryam Montague is probably best known as My Marrakech, the inspirational blog she established documenting her life in Marrakech, Morocco running the boutique hotel Peacock Pavilions that is also her home; and which she designed, built and decorated from scratch with her architect husband Chris Redecke. You can take a peek into the Moroccan interior design and African decor accents in Peacocks Pavilions as the home is featured in the April issue of Elle Decor, which celebrates beautifully, decorated homes from around the world as part of their international issue.
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Luxury Africa Travel To Romantic Boutique Hotel Riad Noir D’Ivoire

Tucked away down an unassuming alleyway in the Bab Doukkala quarter of the Marrakech Medina you will find Riad Noir DI’voire, a luxurious and romantic boutique hotel defining luxury Africa travel. Riad D’Ivoire is a place that will surprise and entice from the moment you arrive, making it the perfect romantic getaway. Leave the hustle and bustle of the souk behind as you enter through a wooden door emerging into the spacious courtyard of an elegantly restored traditional Moroccan riad.
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Africa Travel To Babylonstoren Luxury Farm Hotel in the Cape Winelands

I grew up in Harare, the Sunshine city with a spacious yard to run around in with not a care in the world and taking for granted the ‘comforts’ that come with city living i.e. TV and electricity. My paternal Grandmother, now late, lived a traditional way of life in the rural areas i.e. no TV and no electricity, calling for visits throughout the year, prompting anxieties in my ten year old mind over how to cope without seeing favourite shows or the trappings of city life for the week or so that we would be away; however upon arrival a few hours of getting over the inevitable ‘culture shock’ would soon see us running around and exploring to our hearts content and off course chasing chickens under the vast open skies with the sun on our backs; and later as the sun set sitting around a fire growing sleepy, and as much as I would whinge it’s experiences like these that have shaped me, beginning to fully appreciate the visits as I grew older and the sense of bliss that comes with being in the countryside; although the ‘culture shock’ still hits- I am after all a city girl! This said the thought of spending a vacation on a farm isn’t exactly at the top of my list, let alone being synonymous with luxury. In my mind farms equate mud, noisy tractors and way too early mornings. But I am however a person who relishes peace and quiet, and the space to think things through, so whilst doing some online research stumbled across the idyllic images of Babylonstoren, a luxury farm hotel situated in the heart of South Africa’s Cape Winelands, that has changed my perceptions.

[Image source: Babylonstoren, the Hot List 2011 – Conde Nast Traveller]

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Africa Travel Wild Frontiers The Natural Beauty Of Ethiopia

Often receiving more than its fair share of negative press, means for far too many holiday seekers Ethiopia doesn’t immediately spring to mind as an ideal Africa travel holiday destination, but this year I have read about more and more people choosing it as their Africa travel holiday destination of choice as they search for a more meaningful way to spend their vacation time. Wild Frontiers is a pioneering, award winning travel company that specialises in taking small groups of it’s discerning clientele to places that don’t tend to be part of the popular tourist trails and return offering them a unique experience, and one of the places on its itinerary is Ethiopia. Inviting potential travellers to look beyond the usual headlines of a no go area defined by famine and poverty, Wild Frontiers acknowledges a country of dramatic landscapes from flat topped mountains to cascading waterfalls and one that is overflowing with culture.
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Luxury Africa Travel To Exclusive Boutique Hotel Villa Monticello

Whether you’re a frequent traveller to Ghana or just looking for a stylish luxury Africa travel cityscape, Villa Monticello is an exclusive boutique hotel positioned to tempt the discerning traveller in search of ‘something a little bit different’ without having to compromise on luxury and quality. Situated in the capital, Accra Villa Monticello combines the ambience of luxury Africa travel with the rich culture of Ghana and is a very chic city retreat comprising just fourteen suites, a defining feature that allows the hotel to extend a highly attentive and personalised service to each guest who comes to stay. What sets Villa Monticello apart is that each suite is custom designed making each completely different from the next; a departure from look-a-like hotel rooms that allows guests a totally different experience each time they stay should you opt to choose a different suite; or depending on the length of your stay you could potentially switch things up every few nights.
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Spectacular Africa Travel To Victoria Falls Safari Lodge

Picture

Last summer I spent four amazing days representing Zimbabwe with my jewellery at an art fair in Oxfordshire; amongst the memories I left with were the number of people who stopped by my table to reminisce on their visit to Zimbabwe, frequently mentioning Victoria Falls; and what really made my day was hearing how most of them had visited within the last few years. The Victoria Falls is a must see Africa travel destination; and is a place that holds a special place in my heart; not only did I get to work on some of the brands established in the area including the luxurious Victoria Falls Safari Lodge and Elephants Walk Shopping Village; I won a competition to visit it when I was about ten and made the exciting trip with my Dad having such a wonderful day that I vividly remember to this day. Providing a spectacular backdrop to an area filled with legend and creativity; the thundering Victoria Falls is also known as the  ‘Mosi-oa-Tunya’, which translates as the ‘smoke that thunders’ in the local dialect, words that aptly describe it.

[Image credit: The Victoria Falls – Illustrations Photography]

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Africa Travel To The Chic Radisson Blu Hotel Dakar

Radisson Blu Dakar

Lately it seems everywhere I turn on the net I keep seeing the banner advert for Radisson Blu Hotels; curiosity got the better of me so I clicked in a bid to find out what was on offer and when it came to the hotel chain’s African properties there are quite a few to be found across the continent for looking for contemporary Africa travel hotels and destinations. The Radisson Blu in Dakar caught my attention; I admit I was seduced by the opening image of a chic property in a spectacular night setting.

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Idyllic Africa Travel To Kaya Mawa Eco Lodge Malawi

Kaya Mawa

At the moment, there seems to be a festival taking place everywhere you turn and not to be outdone Malawi will soon host what has been dubbed ‘Simply the finest festival in the world’ by noted UK leading music magazine; Q Magazine… high praise indeed! In partnership with arts and development organisations from the UK, the three-day extravaganza entitled the ‘Lake of Stars’ has rapidly made a name for itself across the region and beyond since launching in 2004. The showcase has grown considerably over the years; attracting top musicians, DJs and artists from Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Namibia and off course Malawi, as well international talent from Sweden, Canada and the UK. The award winning festival was set up as a platform promoting Malawian arts and tourism to the international world and to attract visitors in search of Africa travel destinations to the country; aiding economic development. Along the picturesque shores of Lake Malawi; the country’s most well known tourist attraction, local and international visitors enjoy music, dance, theatre, spoken word, market stalls, film and exhibitions from over 90 notable artists, and this year the festival will be held from 30th September to 2nd October at the Sunbird Nkopola Lodge in Mangochi, Malawi.
[Image credit: Kaya Mawa]
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Luxury Africa Travel To Grand Hôtel du Lagon Réunion Island

Grand Hotel du Lagon

I know I have often referred to the ‘hidden gems’ of luxury Africa travel throughout the Travel posts but Réunion Island, or Ile de La Réunion to give it its proper name truly signifies the words ‘hidden gem’. A French overseas department located to the east of Madagascar and 200kms south west of Mauritius; Ile de La Réunion is probably one of the region’s least known tourist destinations, as most visitors tend embark at the bigger more well-known islands of the Seychelles and Mauritius.
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