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Asante Travel Founder Zephne Weston’s take on best destinations for your next Girls’ Trip

Asante Travel curates some majestic itineraries, a real treat for anyone looking to explore Africa through the lens of the highly personalised, luxurious experiences. For a Girls' Trip, share with us 5 destinations you know make a great trip for a group of women looking to get together for some traveling fun?

Most African destinations are ideal for the perfect girls’ trip adventure! For the ideal sized group of six to eight women, there are some unbelievable personalised packages that Asante Travel can put together. I’ll share with you destinations and experiences that I know will speak to the soul of a sisterhood looking to get away for some much-needed bonding time, laughs and discovery of self and each other…

1. South Africa and Mozambique Combo: Combine Cape Town, South Africa’s beautiful mother city with the Cape Winelands. To get the best that the Cape can offer, you must experience the vibe and the Atlantic seaboard of the city, as well as the magnificent mountains of the winelands. Enjoy some of the best food and wine options that our country has to offer in the Franschhoek area with its interesting shops and art galleries.

Next stop is the best wildlife experience in South Africa – the Kruger National Park in Mpumalanga. A safari at a beautiful modern lodge in one of the private game reserves in the Kruger National Park is a wonderful experience. From there, fly directly to Vilanculos in Mozambique to be whisked off to a luxury island escape, enjoying the incredible seafood and other dishes prepared by accomplished chefs.

2. Botswana Safari: If you could choose only one safari destination, choose Botswana! From its natural beauty to the true African hospitality, many of the lodges are boutique with only between three and six rooms. Travelling with a group of girlfriends mean that you can have the entire lodge to yourself. We suggest visiting three different areas while in Botswana, with the Okavango Delta an absolute must-experience!

3. Kenya Safari and Coastal Villa: Kenya is the origin of the African safari and they do it so incredibly. Think Hemingway and the romantic way in which he fell in love with Africa. Kenya is all of that and more. We would recommend staying at smaller, private, and more personal lodges in Amboseli, Maasai Mara and the Kenyan highlands. Horseback safari is a unique activity in this area. From there, travel to a private villa on the beautiful Kenyan coast where every desire is met. Ultimate luxury includes butlers, chefs, and amazing teams focused on making your stay the most memorable ever.

4. Gorilla Trekking and Primate Safari: For an unparalleled wildlife experience of a lifetime, made even more special if shared with your closest friends. Whether you decide to go to Uganda or Rwanda purely depends on your budget. Due to Covid-19 regulations, the maximum size of a group is six people, which makes it ideal to arrange an exclusive trek for your party. The accommodation options are incredible, but both Rwanda and Uganda are about so much more than just gorillas. We would love to introduce you to the amazing safari and adventure options and incredible vistas.

5. Tanzania and Zanzibar Combo: Enjoy Arusha, Tarangire, Ngorongoro Crater and the famous Serengeti where you would have the most incredible safari experiences. Next stop is exquisite Zanzibar for remarkable island retreat. East Africa is an extraordinary location for awe-inspiring safaris. Nowhere else are animals as visible as on the high plains of the Maasai Mara and Serengeti, and the land itself is quite something. To look down into the immense bowl of the Ngorongoro Crater is we imagine, almost like standing at the gates of heaven.

But we really cannot just choose five! Africa is incredibly diverse and there are so many destinations to choose from. Namibia with its crimson deserts and the breath-taking Sossusvlei and Skeleton Coast. Mauritius for relaxing next to white beaches and crystal-clear oceans. Reunion Island offers beautiful surroundings for superb adventure activities. The multiple islands, natural reefs and nature reserves of the Seychelles have some of the most magnificent beaches in the world. There is also Madagascar, Zambia and Zimbabwe which offer incredible authentic safari experiences with the added value of experiencing the majestic Victoria Falls.

6. Why those destinations and why Asante Travel to facilitate those trips?

At Asante Travel, we understand the unique requirements of every request and we take time to truly understand what your group enjoys, expects, would like to do and even what your dislikes are before we curate a trip. I love taking time out with my girlfriends, so when I plan your trip, I make sure that it is something I would love to do myself!

A lot of planning goes into curating each of our experiences, but a trip for a close-knit group of women is something truly special and there is so much to consider. From female game rangers to be with them while on safari, to experiences with local women seeing how they live, cook, make jewellery, all the small details and additional considerations that makes a first-rate getaway will be considered in our planning.

We consider all the finer details, every minute of the experiences to ensure that everyone is catered for, feeling comfortable, relaxed, and secure.

7. You travel with your girls often? What do you believe are your circle's biggest reasons for wanting to get together over some time that involves packing suitcases and going over itineraries?

I travel with my tribe and my girl trips are essential. Whether it is with my mom, sister and cousins or my closest girlfriends, the time we spend together on these trips, the conversations we have and the unforgettable experiences we have together stays with us for years to come.

Every trip is unique and special. Every day is extraordinary. Every moment is treasured – and when I am 80 years old, we will still talk about some of the experiences we had together.

8. In the destinations you've shared, what are the biggest sells in your picks and why?

Traditional girl trips have changed. It is not so much about shopping and spas anymore, but escaping from the daily grind and sharing authentic, heart-warming experiences and not having to be concerned about responsibilities. At Asante Travel, we go the extra mile to create life changing and enriching experiences. But you don’t have to abandon spa treatments all together! There are some exceptional spa experiences in many of the lodges and hotels that can be included in your retreat. Our best-sellers for girls trips definitely include Cape Town and the Winelands and the Kruger National Park Safari experiences in smaller, intimate lodges are always popular. The islands are also firm favourites as it offers more than just lovely beach experiences but also amazing activities, food, and cocktails on demand.

9. You have had the great privilege of staying at some of the most iconic hotels, lodges, and bush camps as part of your line of business? When Asante Travel partners with accommodations, what criteria do you look for in curating the perfect getaway for group travel?

Firstly, location is fundamental. If you stay in a city such as Cape Town, you want to be close to where the action is. Ideally, if located in the V&A Waterfront you don’t need to take additional transfers, taxis or ubers to get to restaurants.

Secondly, levels of service are vitally important, communication and also working with partners that we know will go the extra mile for our clients. For safari getaways, it is an unforgettable experience for a group to take a lodge exclusively. Where possible, we try to match the amount of rooms available at the lodge with the amount of people in the group.

The gastronomical experience is another important component of a great trip, so we consider food and wine offerings, as well as other added values such as bush brunches, boma dinners unique entertainment and so on.

The age, energy and fitness levels of the individuals is the next factor as it’s essential understand the client’s expectations. What would they want to do, see, or experience? Do they have a bucket list or something that has significant meaning to them?

Ultimately, we focus on quality. We want to offer an exceptional experience so that you want to return to Africa again and again.

10. Let's switch to a little R&R talk, especially for the ladies. Wellness retreats have become some sort of a hit over the years as women, seek to take some time out to discover or reconnect with themselves. Why do you think this is important and why should travellers coming out of the UAE consider Asante Travel to curate a specialised itinerary that ticks all their boxes - be it for a pre-wedding/bridal getaway, yoga retreat, a trip that focuses on culinary experiences and so on?

Anyone can plan a trip, but what makes Asante Travel stand out is our personal attention and attention to detail. We are with your group, every step of the way. While you are travelling, we are in constant contact with you to ensure that everything works and is exactly as planned. But more than that, is our passion. We prepare every itinerary as if it is for a loved one or for ourselves. We want to you to compare every other travel experience you have ever had with the one we plan and execute for you. We have excellent relationships with the suppliers and are very often able to provide experiences and private offerings that cannot be arranged by anyone else.

It’s personal for us. Your experience with Asante Travel is personal and our staff’s dedication to your group’s experience is unmatched.

But regardless of who you book through, have that ladies’ trip! It’s incredible for the soul and we all need to spend some unique and quality time with our tribe!