Even a commission in the Coldstream Guards and a fast-stream pass in the Foreign Office exam were not enough to prevent George from pursuing a 27 year career in luxury travel. Milestone adventures include being the first westerner to travel through central Asia by private saloon railcar in 1990, and planning and accompanying HRH Prince of Wales walking in the Himalayas and on safari in Tanzania. He is a keen skier, diver and pilot.
Stints living in France and Portugal and a languages degree from Oxford University inexorably led Ed into the travel industry. He has paddled up the Irrawaddy in a dug-out, swum with sperm whales in the Azores and forged across the Empty Quarter in the camel-footprints of Wilfred Thesiger. Other favourite adventures include pioneering a route through Spain’s wild Maestrazgo, sailing a Polish brigantine to Tallinn and riding the train from Mandalay to Hsipaw. Ed also roots out the most comfortable and characterful gulets and yachts - with the friendliest crews - in the Mediterranean. Edward has been recognised as a Travel + Leisure A-List Specialist.
Sarah-Leigh happily fell into the travel industry while working in the South of France. What started as a summer job led to a Masters degree in Tourism Management and 25-year career working with some of the industry’s most respected names. Never one to be afraid of a challenge, she has been a pioneer of social media, has slept under the stars in the Sahara, riddled targets with an AK47 in Vietnam and ridden the length of Monument Valley.
As a Naval Officer’s daughter, Mel’s sense of adventure and desire to see the world were in-built. Highlights of her 28 year travel career have included snorkelling with manta rays in the Komodo Islands, watching grizzlies catch salmon in Canada, sharing a cocktail with Mark “Occy” Occhilup at the World Surfing Championships in the Maldives, sampling Vietnamese street food at high speed from the back of a Vespa and riding a Sumbanese stallion along a deserted beach at sunset. Melissa was recently recognised as a Top Travel Specialist 2020 by Conde Nast Traveler for her expertise in Indonesia.
Samantha’s love of long-haul travel began with a family trip to Australia. She returned for three months sailing a catamaran around the Whitsunday Islands before embarking on a degree in Russian that led to stints studying in St Petersburg and working in Moscow. Not long after she was to be found galloping with nomads across the Mongolian steppe and trekking in Central Asia. After learning to dive off the coast of Lombok in Indonesia she headed to underwater wonderlands in the Indian Ocean before spending 15 years exploring Africa, experiencing everything from flying over Namibia’s eerie Skeleton Coast, tiger fishing on the Zambezi, making friends with lemurs in Madagascar and tracking gorillas in Uganda and Rwanda. Needing a break, she spent time working with a Caribbean specialist, getting to know the ins and outs of slower-paced island life. Samantha has been recognised as a Travel + Leisure A-List Specialist.
Clare’s visceral passion for Europe progressed from childhood holidays to living and working both on the west coast of France and in Rome. For the last 15 years she has been operating and creating extraordinary tailor made journeys across the continent, seeking out new hotels from boutique hideaways to the modern restoration of the classic grand dames. Always hunting for new experiences, she has yet to find a destination that doesn’t provide her with inspiration. Her love of these countries has also fuelled her passion for languages and she is fluent in French, Italian and Spanish. Above all, she has long known that it’s so often serendipity that make travel so special. Discovering the frescoes in a hidden Venetian church, listening to an impromptu music performance in Dubrovnik, or picking perfectly ripe figs in Provence – these are the experiences that form such profound memories. Clare was recently recognised as a Top Travel Specialist 2020 by Conde Nast Traveler for her expertise in Europe.
Childhood holidays exploring Europe sowed the seed for Oonagh’s longstanding passion for travel, cemented by two years living in northern Spain following her degree in Modern Languages. It was studying the history and culture of Latin America at university that really sparked Oonagh’s interest in adventures further afield, however, leading her to make Peru her first port-of-call in an extended expedition through the many diverse nations of South and Central America. 12 years working in luxury travel followed during which time Oonagh has returned to Latin America as often as she can, recently adding cruises to the Galapagos Islands and Antarctica to her portfolio of adventures on dry land.
During her 29 years in the travel industry Rachel has been heli-hiking in the Bugaboo Mountains of Canada, dived the Great Barrier Reef, been whale watching and white-water rafting in New Zealand, explored vast tea plantations in Sri Lanka and watched the sun rise at Tiger Hill in Darjeeling. A wildlife aficionado, Rachel has also enjoyed leopard spotting in Sri Lanka, tiger safaris in India and spending time on Kangaroo Island, Australia’s answer to the Galapagos.
Not many people can claim a call from the French Foreign Secretary when in urgent need of a villa. But then Nick Westwood, Red Savannah's Executive Director, knows his game. A linguist who has lived and studied in France and Italy, Nick's entire career has been devoted to seeking out Europe's most beautiful private homes. Nick has recently been recognised as a Top Travel Specialist for his expertise as a villa rental specialist in France by Conde Nast Traveler 2020.
Born in Florence, the cradle of the Renaissance, from a family of architects, Giulia grew up surrounded by Tuscan culture. She earned her stripes running her family’s vineyard and holiday resort in Chianti. Such a wonderful upbringing didn’t stop her from wanting to embark on a series of adventures around the world, however. During a trip to France she met her match, a Londoner with Japanese roots. With three beautiful children, Giulia now enjoys skiing trips and holidays along the Mediterranean shores. A seasoned team member at Red Savannah, Giulia knows our Italian villa portfolio inside out and is perfectly placed to advise on the perfect retreat.
With 20 years as a European villa rental specialist, Michelle's role has seen her seeking out tranquil family retreats in the Greek islands, private chateaux to host birthday parties on the Côte d’Azur and contemporary hideouts close to the best beach clubs in Ibiza. Her address book is second to none and there are few people more qualified to source a villa to suit.
Samantha makes the pursuit of a healthy body and mind a central part of her daily life but would be the first to admit that this is not something any of us find easy to achieve. As our Zen Guru she has tirelessly investigated the benefits of Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Mayr Cure and more, uncovering the very best health resorts and clinics in Europe, India and Southeast Asia. Whatever health benefit you seek, she is here to guide you.
"Thanks to you also Melissa for being so flexible and for really listening to our feedback. Looks like we have settled with your help on a super itinerary."
"It is lovely to see that Red Savannah still has the personal touch which many companies sadly seem to have lost! "
|£££||Great quality at competitive prices|
|££££||Excellent accommodation at a moderate to higher price level|
|£££££||The very best in class and priced accordingly|