Known as the ‘Paris of the East’ during the swinging 60’s, Lebanon was – and to a large extent – still is, the playground of the Middle East. This is a country whose earliest evidence of civilisation goes back over 7,000 years, predating history itself. The fabled ‘promised land’, it is a fascinating melting pot of different civilisations from the Bronze Age through to the Phoenicians (whose maritime power flourished for a 1,000 years) before coming under control of the Romans in 64BC.
Following the end of the Crusades, the Ottomans ruled for the next 400 years, only coming to end in 1918 with the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. Thereafter it became a French Mandate before being granted independence in 1943.
The road from independence has not always been easy and despite the fame, financial power and glamour of 1960’s Beirut, Lebanon was shattered by civil war in 1975 which lasted until 1990. Even after the war came to an end Syrian forces remained in occupation until the ‘Cedar Revolution’ in 2005. A year later, Israel invaded and occupied Southern Lebanon following attacks by Hezbollah.
Today, Lebanon is a treasure trove of ancient sites and historic ruins amidst, mosques, churches, souks and the most unbelievably delicious cuisine. Beirut is a pulsating metropolis with a flourishing art scene, glamorous shopping, fascinating museums and pulsating nightlife. The Lebanese like to party like there’s no tomorrow.
Outside the capital, the country is peppered with UNESCO World Heritage sites from the staggering ruins of the three temples at Baalbek to the Roman Hippodrome at Tyre. Wandering the maze of labyrinthine alleys in the souk at Sidon (and discovering the small door leading to the crypt of the St. Nicholas Church where St. Peter met St. Paul in secret), or standing on the ramparts of the Crusader castle at Byblos, enables one to process the incredible spectrum of history that is just waiting to be discovered.
The idea for Red Savannah was always based on a clear market need. A small team of the most experienced travel designers, supported by the latest technology and delivered with the lightest touch. In short, a travel company redefined for the 21st century.