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From crazy activities like throwing myself off the Victoria Falls bridge and rafting down the Nile, to more relaxing stints in a hot air balloon over the Serengeti and a mokoro through the Okavango Delta, I've been lucky enough to experience some of the best that Africa can offer, through a mixture of travel, work and volunteering.
My love for travel then took me to Asia, where I spent some time teaching English, learning to dive and training to become a scuba-diving instructor. An initial year of travel stretched into several years working abroad. My love for the natural world and exploration then led me to cruise directing for an adventure diving company around South East Asia.
After working in dive operations in Asia and Micronesia, the lure of Africa was strong and so I returned, to manage a hotel in the Drakensberg in South Africa. It was the perfect place to hone my hiking skills and, after finishing the job, I spent some time exploring Southern Tanzania then headed north to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. Reaching the summit of Africa is one of my top experiences to date. Moving on to Zanzibar to manage a dive lodge on the east coast, I took every opportunity to continue exploring the surrounding areas.
I moved back to the UK in late 2016 to be closer to family, and joined the Expert Africa team shortly after. I completed my first trip to Rwanda in May 2017, then trained up with the Zambia and Southern Africa team - including four really detailed research trips to Zambia.
I took a break from London life for a couple of years, largely over the pandemic period, to work with a small, high-quality adventure travel company based in the Pyrenees, in France where I helped travellers from all over the world to go climbing and trekking in high, remote areas. Perhaps the high point of my time here, in more ways than one, was leading a team of my own to the summit of Kilimanjaro.
Now, I'm delighted to be back with the Expert Africa team! Zambia remains still close to my heart - who could forget the camps, the characters, the wildlife, and a particularly amazing trip to the remote Liuwa Plain in the west of Zambia? So, I'm now back to managing our Zambia programme and really looking forward to building further on my knowledge of this beautiful country and the many amazing experiences that it has to offer. And then, perhaps, exploring more of Southern Africa in more depth ...
Amanda's most recent Africa trips
Heading back to the South Luangwa is like revisiting an old friend. It's always a pleasure to be in the Valley, especially earlier in the season when the bush is green and vibrant. From a wildlife perspective there were plenty of the 'usual suspects', but I was delighted with some more unusual sightings: a large python crossing the road, mating leopards, beautiful roan antelope, and a curious juvenile spotted eagle owl. I was able to re-visit old camps, many with some great refurbs, and a few new camps also. From simple rustic bushcamps to more luxurious options, but all with stellar guiding and service. Looking forward to my next visit already...
This was my fourth trip to Zambia, to visit a couple of new camps in the South Luangwa and also to head across the the remote Liuwa Plain National Park, to the west of Zambia. I was expecting remote wilderness, but fell in love with the incredible landscapes of Liuwa, the spectacular lightning storms, the mass of the wildebeest migration and the beauty of the scenery and wildflowers - I hope I get the chance to return!
Amanda's previous Africa research
|Length of stay
|Kigali, Lusaka area, Lower Zambezi National Park, Kafue National Park, North Luangwa National Park, South Luangwa National Park
|Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana
|Windhoek, Etosha National Park, Caprivi Strip, Victoria Falls, Chobe National Park
|Lusaka area, South Luangwa National Park, Livingstone & Victoria Falls
|Lower Zambezi National Park, South Luangwa National Park
|Akagera National Park, Kigali, Nyungwe Forest National Park, Lake Kivu, Volcanoes National Park
Self-driving through Namibia to update the Etosha & Caprivi chapters was a brilliant way to see the variation of landscapes. I loved the eco ethos and design of Nkasa Lupala and Serondela - and the elephants wandering through Nambwa was a highlight!
As part of the Zambia team, I updated the Livingstone section for the 2018 edition of the Botswana Safari Guide - it was great to spend an extended period in this historical town and properly explore an area I've previously only passed through.