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.
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 25 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.
Samantha’s love affair with Africa began 15 years ago with a visit to Ethiopia to see Lalibela’s sunken churches and trek in the Simien Mountains. Since then she has dived off the coast of Mozambique, caught tiger fish in the Zambezi and learned to fly along Namibia’s eerie Skeleton Coast. Other highlights of her Africa explorations include getting up close to lemurs in Madagascar, tracking wild dog in the Serengeti and spotting leopard while walking in Zambia. What could she possibly want to do next? A riding safari in Botswana’s Okavango Delta of course.
After a travel and tourism degree and working in Canada, Charlie travelled the world, visiting 17 countries and the length of Latin America. With 15 years’ of travelling throughout Latin America and Antarctica her favourite experiences have included helicopter flights over glaciers in Chilean Patagonia, dancing the night away at the Rio Carnival, riding with gauchos in Argentina, swimming with turtles and hammerhead sharks in the Galapagos and glimpsing humpback whales in Antarctica.
Chris spent a decade travelling throughout Australasia, Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America following college, accumulating a wealth of knowledge. He settled into the travel industry in the 1990s, specialising in exotic island destinations. Chris has a fascination for the uniqueness of island life: its diverse people and their customs, the endemic flora and fauna, and of course their magnificent beaches. He’s had the privilege of snorkelling around the islands of Borneo, shark diving in the Bahamas, hiking in Mauritius and bird watching in Trinidad.
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.
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 one of the world's best villa rental specialists for his expertise in Provence by Conde Nast Traveler.
Elena is Red Savannah's Italian villa specialist. Following a successful career assisting entrepreneurs in the pharmaceutical and finance sectors she decided to focus her strong organisational and marketing skills on her true passion: Tourism. After graduating as a GWU-certified Sustainable Destination Manager, Elena worked for six years as a consultant for destination and hospitality operators throughout Europe before joining Red Savannah. Her in-depth knowledge of Italy as a destination, coupled with her extensive experience in the luxury market, enables Elena to match the most beautiful holiday homes in Italy with discerning international clients.
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|