Duchess Meghan and Prince Harry are back in the UK now after returning home from their 10-day trip to southern Africa. They travelled through Cape Town and Johannesburg together, with Harry making solo trips to Botswana, Angola and Malawi during their time on the continent.
The Duke of Sussex has spoken extensively about his love for Africa, from its people to its incredible landscapes and vistas, and its amazing cuisines and abundant animal life.
This wasn’t their first joint trip to the continent, either! Harry and Meghan journeyed to Morocco earlier this year – a place beloved by travel enthusiasts and those curious about its rich culture.
There’s a good chance many a royal watcher has caught the travel bug after seeing Harry, Meghan and Archie experience all the sights and sounds and some of the best spots South Africa, Botswana, Angola and Malawi have to offer. So HELLO! Canada reached out to Mary Jean Tully of Tully Luxury Travel. She’s one of the world’s best travel advisors!
We spoke to her about the where to visit and stay in those four African countries and other gorgeous places throughout the continent. Here’s how you can go deeper with your experiences and see some of the best Africa has to offer.
HELLO! Canada: What are some of the best locations, places to stay, hotels, spots to visit for new parents with little ones who are visiting South Africa? What are some of the best ways travellers can give back while in Cape Town or Johannesburg?
Mary Jean Tully: At Tully Luxury Travel, we work with a company called African Link, which organizes enriching experiences for clients, in communities and villages in Africa. They not only curate incredible experiences in destinations like Cape Town and Johannesburg, but also are a great resource for parents! The company is owned by a gentleman who is a father himself, so this is a great partner for families who are planning on travelling through South Africa like Meghan and Harry. They are passionate about South Africa and provide unique choices from hotels to programs/daytime activities while having focuses on conservation and philanthropic efforts. They have the ability to make any arrangements that any guest would be looking for, so we absolutely love working with them!
In terms of places to stay, I highly recommend Cape Grace Hotel in Cape Town. The service is absolutely fabulous and the property is right on the oceanfront. One&Only Cape Town is another wonderful property that I cannot rave enough about. They have one of the best “KidsOnly” program that is catered specifically to travelling families. I also recommend Ellerman House, which is about 10 minutes outside the city, right on the ocean with ample privacy.
There are so many different foundations in South Africa to get involved with – some of my personal favourites would have to be the Nelson Mandela Foundation, which focuses its work on the legacy of Nelson Mandela to promote equality and freedom, and the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation, which provides treatment and conducts research for HIV/AIDS. These causes are especially close to the hearts of the Royal Family.
HELLO! Canada: What are some of the best attractions for travellers to take in Botswana’s rich natural beauty? And how can they give back while there? What are some of the best places to stay and best hotels?
Mary Jean Tully: Witnessing wildlife in Botswana, especially on the Okavango delta, is indescribable! The game viewing is abundant and the movement and protection of rhinos is hard for me to put into words because it’s so special and I’m so happy it is happening in the animal conservation world. While Botswana unfortunately lifted its ban on elephant hunting and poaching, the game viewing is distinctly different than anywhere else.
I always recommend travellers align themselves with the camps that include a charitable component. It truly gives people the best of both worlds – luxury and philanthropy. Most camps have special projects that involve communities and villages, which always makes a trip more meaningful and inspiring.
HELLO! Canada: What about Angola? Best attractions? Places to stay? Hotels? Ways to give back? It has made huge strides in recovering from its decades-long civil war, but still faces significant issues related to mines. How can people pitch in there and help out, just like Harry and Diana have both done with The HALO Trust?
Mary Jean Tully: Angola is still very much a conflict-afflicted country, and travellers need to be aware when visiting here. Organizations like Halo Foundation, which is based on the movement of land and clearing of landmines, are doing incredibly difficult and meaningful work. This is a foundation that Prince Charles was previously involved with and one we still champion today. With the help and work of groups such as The Halo Foundation, we hope that we will be able to see changes in Angola, so that more and more travellers can freely explore that part of the continent.
HELLO! Canada: Malawi is kind of like the gateway to East Africa and is also gorgeous. What are some of the best spots to visit there? Places and hotels to stay?
Mary Jean Tully: In my opinion, one of the best and most luxurious properties is Malawian Style – Kaya Mawa, located on the southern cost of Likoma Island in Malawi. Surprisingly, this lodge is not a 5 star, but rather 3 or 4, making Malawi a very affordable but high-end place to visit.
There was a successful cheetah reintroduction in Liwonde, Malawi last year, as the moms have been reproducing a high number of cubs – tripling the number of cheetahs in the township! Lions have also been reintroduced this year, which is always breathtaking to see. The animal populations are growing from strong to stronger and sightings continue to be better and more frequent. Get to Malawi before the crowds. It is so exciting to see conservation success in Africa.
HELLO! Canada: Both Harry and Meghan are huge foodies. We saw this while they were visiting Morocco earlier this year. They were fascinated with the food at several events they attended. The cuisines of all these countries are highly diverse and varied, but what are some things travellers must try in each spot and why?
Mary Jean Tully: La Villa des Orangers is a must-see in Marrakech, Morocco. This riad loft is trendy, contemporary and a popular spot in the area. The ambience is absolutely breathtaking, so it is one of my personal favourites. Al Fassia is another restaurant I highly recommend. They serve mouth-watering traditional Moroccan cuisine, plus the restaurant is run entirely by women, which I personally love, as I truly admire and stand behind strong women – female empowerment is close to my heart, as I know how difficult it can be to be a female entrepreneur. If you’re looking for a restaurant for special occasions, The Restaurant (which is actually the name of the restaurant) at La Maison Arabe is a great choice.
I recommend all of these places as they give you the authentic Moroccan experience, both in atmosphere and cuisine. Offering local cuisine, these restaurants are great choices for foodies like Meghan and Harry, who want to try something new while visiting Morocco.
HELLO! Canada: The royals have a long and rich history of visiting many countries in Africa. What other spots outside the countries Harry and Meghan visited are worth exploring? Charles will visit Rwanda next year, which I particular is booming after the recovery it made from the 1994 Genocide. Are there highlights there? What about north and west Africa – Egypt, Ghana, Libya? What other recommendations for travel outside the four countries on their big tour do you have for our readers?
Mary Jean Tully: Some other spots I always recommend (and personally love to visit) are Egypt, Tanzania and Kenya.
In Rwanda, trekking with the gorillas is a bucket list item for many people, and rightfully so! Several of our clients have gone multiple times because it is such a unique and memorable experience. Visiting the Kigali Genocide Memorial and museum is a must. It is important for visitors to see and understand what the country has overcome and what people went through.
I also recommend visiting Namibia and Zambia. Etosha National Park in Namibia and the Cheetah Conservation Fund are just a couple of the most-do and see experiences in Namibia. To stay, Serra Cafema, Skeleton Coast is picture-perfect. There is also the Hoanib Valley Camp, which is a luxury, remote, tented camp in Namibia off the Skeleton Coast. Prince William stayed there, so it’s Royals-approved!