It was meant to be a short-lived African travel adventure through southern and eastern Africa – and then of course Rich and I would find another exotic destination to explore.
Six countries and six months – with little more than an old Land Rover known as Mwabu (the one who moves lazily), a roof-top tent, and a long dusty African road filled with the promise of adventure, new experiences and friendships. That was the plan. But we were unprepared … such richness and diversity, spectacular beauty reflected in so many dimensions – it was inevitable that this would blossom into a dedicated love affair with all that is Africa.
It was in Zambia, on a chilly winter’s evening around the fire in a camp called Mchenja (located on the banks of a river deep in the South Luangwa National Park), that really changed the course of our lives. Friendly dinner banter with others in the camp led to questions about our travels – where were we going next, what about marriage, and what about the idea of running a safari camp like this?
And so the idea was cast. At the end of our six-month African adventure, richer and wiser from being with the inspirational people and magnificent landscapes of the countries we’d explored, we returned to run Mchenja bush camp. This really gave us first-hand exposure to what makes for a memorable safari experience, but it also deepened our commitment to Africa. It was also here on the banks of the Luangwa River that Rich proposed … and so the next chapter in our lives began.
After our year in Zambia, we headed home to the little town of White River, South Africa, filled with the desire to share the life-changing African experiences we’d had. And so African Avenue was born – a small, hands-on travel company with experience, warmth and a love for making holiday dreams come to life. White River is close to the well-known Kruger National Park, and it is seldom that a guest of ours doesn’t call in on route to their safari destination.