THE IN­SID­ERS BEST OF AFRICA

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - TRAVEL & INDULGENCE - JULIE McIN­TOSH DI­REC­TOR, THE CLAS­SIC SA­FARI COM­PANY

LIVE LIKE A LO­CAL: South Africa’s Per­fect Hide­aways is a col­lec­tion of owner-run, self­ca­ter­ing prop­er­ties dot­ted in and around the Cape. These homes dis­play per­son­al­ity and quin­tes­sen­tial South African style, from Cape Dutch her­itage res­i­dences and pri­vate farm­houses, such as Ka­roo Cot­tage in Sneeu­berg Na­ture Re­serve, to quirky beach es­capes such as Seag­ull Cot­tage on the west coast and Look­out House at Plet­ten­berg Bay; per­fec­thide­aways.co.za.

BARE­FOOT BEAUTY: Mozam­bique’s com­mu­ni­ty­fo­cused Ibo Is­land Lodge of­fers the ul­ti­mate in re­laxed lux­ury with sugar-white beaches, dhow sail­ing on turquoise wa­ters and lazy beach pic­nics on call. Freshly caught fish, spicy hot chilli prawns and green pa­paya salad get the taste­buds tin­gling and the crum­bling beauty of his­toric is­land build­ings adds a touch of ro­mance; ibois­land.com.

GO BUSH: Tan­za­nia has so much more to of­fer than its world-fa­mous Serengeti. The Selous, Ruaha, Katavi and Ma­hale Moun­tains na­tional parks are all still very re­mote, wild and un­touched. Hun­dreds-strong herds of buf­falo wan­der through gi­ant baobab forests, the scent of wild jas­mine fills the air and the chim­panzee en­coun­ters are some of the best in the world. On Lake Tan­ganyika you can laze on white sandy beaches and snorkel with shoals of fresh­wa­ter trop­i­cal fish; no­mad-tan­za­nia.com.

LIV­ING­STONE WAS HERE: Zam­bia’s Luangwa and Zam­bezi are among the world’s great rivers — long, me­an­der­ing and teem­ing with life. Their net­work of chan­nels and oxbow la­goons sus­tain ele­phants, leop­ards, herds of buf­falo, scores of croc­o­diles and gi­ant hippo pods, plus a stun­ning ar­ray of birdlife. In­tense wildlife en­coun­ters are the norm; re­moteafrica.com.

AC­TIVE AD­VEN­TURE: Pad­dle and Sad­dle is no arm­chair sa­fari. In Botswana’s Oka­vango Delta, keen horse rid­ers and novices alike can com­bine sad­dle time rid­ing through clear wa­ters with adrenalinepumped ca­noe­ing and a walk­ing sa­fari along the Selinda Chan­nel. A he­li­copter flip over this in­land wa­ter oa­sis is a must; ride­botswana.com.

South African-born Julie McIn­tosh founded the Syd­ney­based Clas­sic Sa­fari Com­pany 25 years ago, spe­cial­is­ing in African wildlife and wilder­ness en­coun­ters. The com­pany also op­er­ates on the In­dian sub­con­ti­nent and in South Amer­ica. More: clas­sic­sa­fari­com­pany.com.au.

In­sid­ers edi­tor:

Gra­ham Erbacher Gra­ham.Erbacher@news.com.au

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