Q: Does Travel Sommelier design trips to other destinations besides Africa?
A: Yes! Travel Sommelier sends clients to niche markets around the world. However, we are very careful about the destinations to which we send clients. We focus on unique locations that tick all of our boxes in terms of beauty, luxury, service and gastronomy. We personally research every location and continue to expand our offerings – please let us know if you have a particular spot that you would like us to add to our repertoire! We are increasingly led by our clients and their travel desires….
Q: Is Travel Sommelier geared towards wine lovers and foodies only?
A: Darren is unabashedly a foodie and wine expert! He can offer expertise in these areas at all destinations to which we send clients; however, each destination is amazing in itself, irrespective of food and wine! Darren spends time speaking on the phone or in person with each client before designing their trip and determines what is important to them. He is expert at balancing varying priorities/interests from different family members and can include adventure activities, cultural experiences and off-the-beaten-track sightseeing excursions to all itineraries.
Q: Is Travel Sommelier able to design trips for groups?
A: Absolutely! Travel Sommelier often coordinates either core travel or “add-on” components for companies, associations and alumni groups traveling to Southern Africa or elsewhere.
Q: Should I throw out my AMEX card?
A: We cannot advise you on that! However, we can certainly operate as your specialized travel concierge….
Q: Why should I use Travel Sommelier instead of just going on-line?
A: The answer to this is threefold: (1) Travel Sommelier has the knowledge, experience and relationships in destinations to know the best spots to go, time of year, room in the house, places to eat and so many other nuances; (2) Travel Sommelier is a true concierge service, offering you “ungooglable” opportunities and special treatment; and (3) Travel Sommelier pulls your trip together from soup to nuts and offers you constant communication and support. Your journey with us will be unique and custom-tailored using our first-hand knowledge and relationships – it will not be a compilation of google research and reviews read by the masses with questionable accuracy. Travel Sommelier offers an additional layer of effectiveness and coordination where multiple parties/ family members have varying interests.
Q: My spouse does not like to “rough it”. Will a safari be the right trip for him/her?
A: Safari can be the most luxurious and pampering trip on which you will ever go! There are a range of camps, and lodges within those camps, that run the spectrum from the absolute high-point of luxury to more rustic and “outdoorsy”. We know each camp intimately and customize each trip according to travel preferences.
Q: Am I exploiting the environment and animals’ natural habitat by going on safari?
A: Quite the opposite. Safari travel directly contributes to conservation of animals and the environment. Every safari is an act of philanthropy!
Q: Will I like the food on safari? What if I have an allergy or dietary consideration?
A: The food on safari is fresh, local and fantastic. The lodges offer a variety of foods and carefully cater to any allergies or special requests. Safari is not just about the animals – it is a true high-end culinary experience.
Q: I am flying a long way – what can I combine with safari while I am on the African continent?
A: Quite right! We suggest combining one or both of the major cities in South Africa – Cape Town and Johannesburg, the Cape Winelands and/or the beaches of Southern Africa.
Q: Is safari romantic enough for a honeymoon?
A: Absolutely. A large number of our clients are honeymoon couples. Many camps have specific honeymoon suites and treat honeymoon and anniversary couples like gold. We do not want to give away the surprises, but think champagne, rose petals, private dinners, bubble baths and massages…Many couples also combine safari with beach destinations such as Mozambique and the Seychelles.
Q: Will we have enough privacy on safari?
A: Safari is as private or communal as you would like to make it. The camps will set up a private table for you in any number of spectacular locations, or you can choose to sit with other guests and staff. It is a perfect scenario for couples who want to have alone time but also want to meet like-minded travelers from around the world. The bar is a popular meeting spot to chat about “who saw what” on their afternoon game drives.
Q: Is safari appropriate for children?
A: Safari is not only appropriate for children, it is enriching and educational. Many camps have lodges specifically designed to accommodate families, as well as impressive kid camps, crafts and cooking lessons. We have noticed a huge growth in inter-generational travel. Safari is ideal for such a trip. It offers built-in daycare and a platform for a meaningful, bonding trip that leaves memories to last a lifetime.