LITTLE BLACK BOOK
DUTCH-born Alex van Heeren is the owner of The Huka Retreats: Huka Lodge, New Zealand; Grande Provence, South Africa; and Dolphin Island, Fiji. More: hukaretreats.co.nz. Most inspiring travel moment: An epic journey with friends on Harley-Davidson motorbikes from Cape Town through the Western Cape and Namibia to the Angolan border, then Zambia across the Zambezi River, returning via Botswana. Desperate to get back to: Paternoster, a fishing village in South Africa’s Western Cape, for freshly caught crayfish. Must visit: The Okavango Delta in Botswana and the Caprivi DEALS OF THE WEEK Beach bliss: Visit Kingscliff on the northern NSWcoast this winter for a three-night minimum stay at Mantra on Salt Beach Hotel; from $155 a night twin-share, including daily buffet breakfast, one $40 Season Restaurant voucher per stay and late checkout.Valid until August 31. More: 1300 551 669; needtoescape.com/deals. Strip in Namibia for incredible safari experiences. Best travel narrative: Monsoon by Robert D. Kaplan for fascinating insights into the Indian Ocean region. Best shopping secret: My Brussels tailor: Degand from La Maison Degand, Avenue Louise. Nice and icy: Save 20 per cent on Antarctic cruises booked before July 30, including the 13-day Antarctica Classic in Depth visiting the South Shetland Islands. Departures from Ushuaia on November 7, 18 and 29 and December 10; from $5663 a person twin-share, including meals. More: 1800 221 712, bentours.com.au. Best afternoon tea experience: Cafe Hoppe, Spui 18-20, Amsterdam, established in 1670, for lively atmosphere and clientele. Best food destination: Restaurants in Sydney are varied and exciting; I love Asian food at Longrain. Best travel companion/s: My children — all are intrepid travellers. Hotel with the most: Rovos Rail, the ultimate hotel on wheels, from Cape Town to Dar es Salaam. Best travel dollars you’ve ever spent: A Bantam two-seater microlight aircraft invented in New Zealand and flown in remote areas in southern Africa. Borneo bound: Travel through Sabah and Sarawak on a 16-day tour departing November 13; from $5811 a person twin-share ex Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth, including return economy airfares, accommodation, meals, transport, tours, entrance fees and guides. More: 1300 727 998; wendywutours.com.au.