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Seven memorable places our Travel Specialists visited this year

In OROKO, we don’t just talk about travel and plan incredible holidays; we also spend as much time as we can travelling around the world! Our passion is travel and we love nothing more than sharing our experiences with our clients. Over the past year, our travel specialists have explored 34 countries. Today, they are sharing some of their favourite memorable moments so far in 2019. From Arabian thoroughbred performances in Marrakech to witnessing majestic whales in South Africa, they are sharing the little things that made their trips so special. Get your pen and paper at the ready; we know you’ll feel inspired.

Mary Masterson | Marrakech

I’ve been to Marrakech more times than I can count. It has a booming food scene with lots of glamorous bars and restaurants, hence why our most recent trip included lots of wonderful food experiences. We recently dined at +61 restaurant; a modern Moroccan eatery run by Australian native Cassandra Karinsku. You don’t want to miss it. Sunday Brunch at Selman Marrakech is also an excellent dining experience and I come back every year. Sample dishes from the decadent buffet spread and watch Arabian thoroughbreds parade and show off in the manicured gardens. On the last day, we took a fun sidecar tour of Marrakech which included a stop at the life-size upside-down house of Dar el Sadaka and around its beautiful gardens.

Aisling O’Carroll | Kerala, India

I visited Kerala this summer and I was blown away by how lovely and welcoming the people are. Nothing is a problem and you are really made feel so welcome. Wonderfully diverse, each place has something completely different to offer. One minute you are in desert conditions and the next you are surrounded by tea plantations and endless green. A highlight among many would be Thekkady. There was so much to do including visiting elephants in a nearby sanctuary and sleeping to the sounds monkeys fighting for the last peanuts outside the lodge. A beautifully chaotic place, it makes for an amazing experience that I will never forget.

Mark Glynn | Zambia, Africa

Zambia is one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited. It is such a great example of why we love wild Africa; vast and unspoilt plains, great views and superb wildlife. An experience I would love to do again is a sleepout under the stars in a dry riverbed in South Luangwa. After an excellent private walking safari, decadent dinner and sundowner cocktails, we arrived at the sleepout camp to enjoy the night in total exclusivity beneath a blanket of stars. Other memorable moments included canoe safaris on the Chongwe River, witnessing a pack of wild dogs on the hunt and a stay in the luxurious Mchenja Camp. From our villa, we listened to bellowing hippos and watched a herd of elephants roam just outside our tent.

Andre Migliarina | Java, Indonesia

I am just back from a trip to Java, Indonesia. An island between Sumatra and Bali, it is where over half of Indonesia’s population call home. The city may be chaotic, but there are several natural beauties that blew my mind away. One morning, I cycled from my hotel through small villages, arriving at the Buddhist temple of Borobudur at dawn. The most mystical time to see the temple, the first rays of the day illuminate the structure in the still morning air. Exploring the massive Buddhist temple, we marvelled at thousands of intricate carvings along the walls that depicted stories of the incredible history behind its construction.

Brendan Breen | Maldives

On my most recent family holiday, I rediscovered relaxation in the Maldives. After exploring India, we decided to spend four nights on Niyama Private Islands. We loved it. Upon arrival on the island – via seaplane, which the kids loved – it was refreshing to see there was no reception area. Our private butler, known as a Thakuru, was on hand to organise everything from dinner reservations to sea excursions. After settling into our family beach villa, we hopped on our complimentary bikes and explored the islands. Special moments included kayaking, dolphin watching, sunset drinks by the beach and snorkelling with turtles with the family.

Matthew Thorington Jones | South Africa

I am just back from South Africa and I couldn’t have had a better time. It is hard to pinpoint a favourite moment. From the excellent service and personal touches at Tsala Treetops Lodge to the private plunge pool overlooking the watering hole at Chitwa Chitwa, outstanding hotels and lodges made a huge difference to our holiday. During our stay at the boutique-style Marine Hermanus, we were blown away with the views from the Premier Suite. Sitting back, watching whales from our room, it really was something special. Other special moments would have to include; the best meal of my life at La Colombe and the Wild Meerkat Adventure Tour, we couldn’t believe how close we got!

Susan Flynn | Tuscany

The beauty of Tuscany comes from its understated beauty, rich heritage and laid-back way of life. Visiting small farming villages and quaint hamlets across the region has a lovely way of transporting you back to simpler times. On our most recent trip, we took a scenic bike ride through the heart of Val d’Orcia. Incredibly beautiful, it boasts quintessentially Italian landscapes. Extending from the hills south of Siena to Monte Amiata, we just gazed, mesmerised at distant views across the valleys, with cypress-lined lanes and farmhouse estates dotting the landscape. That evening, we enjoyed a romantic dinner in the charming hilltop town of Chianciano.

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