David Ellis

Fiona Hay – Africa travel advisor extraordinaire!

As a travel writer of a near-40 years standing, we’ve become used to having so much organised and arranged for us – after all, those inviting us want to ensure that we will come back with the best of impressions.

So when my wife Gwenda and I decided in our semi-retirement we would head to Africa for our 50th wedding anniversary, it was an entirely new experience – WE were going to have to organise it OURSELVES.

Enter Fiona Hay. We met with Fiona in Sydney and laid out roughly what we had in mind and confessed to having no idea if (a) it would work and (b) how we would put it together.

Within 30 minutes any fears, anxiety and trepidation had disappeared: Fiona treated us as if members of her family, talked us through the possible and the more problematic (time-wise mainly) and assured us that everything we wanted to do, we would do…

And true to her word, by week’s end we had a complex itinerary finally detailed embracing everything from air travel to time in Cape Town with organised sightseeing, 12 days with daily sightseeing on the Shongololo train to Victoria Falls, time there with sightseeing, a couple of days on a houseboat on the Chobe River in Botswana, flights to Johannesburg and a visit to the amazing Sabi Sabi Game Reserve, all with the most amazing guides to assist us from viewing Victoria Falls to Walking with the Lions…

And as a highlight for our 50th wedding anniversary even a spectacular dinner at Victoria Falls Safari Lodge with an outdoor table reserved for us with the most extraordinary views imaginable…

We could not recommend Fiona more highly as someone with an encyclopaedic knowledge of the African scene, an understanding and empathy for what we as travellers were seeking and to whom, with our questions or requests, there was no such word as impossible.

Travel Writer and Broadcaster