Unforgettable Experience on Safari in Uganda - Photo Blog!

An African safari should be high on every bucket list. Seeing the sprawling, colorful landscapes along with the wildlife makes for an unforgettable adventure. When we were in Uganda in 2016, we had the opportunity to go on a safari in Murchison Falls National Park that we will never forget. While we did forget to post photos on our blog until now, we're thinking better late than never :) During our two day excursion, our good friend Eric took us on two game drives and also a day cruise on the Nile. We saw elephants, giraffes, warthogs, buffalo, hartebeests (antelope), hippos, nile crocodiles (terrifying), and bald eagles!

While all we had was our phones to take photos, we got some fun shots that we wanted to share. If you have a safari to recommend, we would love to hear about it! We're ready for another one!

A Serena Sandwich: Starting and Ending our Ugandan Adventure in Style

When you make the trip to Uganda from the United States (or from the west in general), you should be aware that it will be a little rough at times. While roads, hotels, tourism, and quality of life has improved immensely over the past 10 years, there will still be times where you may feel very far from home (you are, so get over it). We absolutely recommend that you get the full experience… so visit a village, meet the amazing people, and get out of your comfort zone. Take a trip out to Murchison Falls and look for lions, elephants, hippos, and hyenas. At some point, though, you are going to want a comfortable bed, some air conditioning, and some really good food. Whether it’s at the beginning or end of your trip, we would highly recommend refreshing yourself at a Serena Hotel, East Africa’s leading hotel chain. We recently had the opportunity to start our trip at the Serena Kampala, and finish up at the Lake Victoria Serena Golf Resort & Spa.


After long flights from Los Angeles to New York to Johannesburg to Kampala, the comfort of the Serena Kampala was most welcome. The hotel is part of the Leading Hotels of the World collection and is a 5-star, stylish gem in the heart of Kampala.


With all flying we had just completed, lets just begin with the bed. This cloud of a bed was so wonderful it made us forget the oh-so-common thought of “We miss our bed at home”. There is an ample supply of pillows to meet your particular needs, and there was a strong AC in our room which allowed us to indulge in the coziness of all the covers. Prior to dozing off, we pampered ourselves with some wine and room service (because why not?)

The next morning, we started with a delicious breakfast and then walked it off by exploring the beautiful hotel grounds. The architecture there is inspired by the lakes and rivers of Uganda, which is manifested in extensive water gardens around the hotel. Do yourself a favor and take a good chunk of time to relax in the gardens or by the pool… it is a rejuvenating experience.

If you go out and explore Kampala, make time to start your evening at the Mist Bar for an amazing cocktail. We recommend you continue the party at the Pearl of Africa, their fine-dining experience where you can sit outside and hear peaceful fountains, or sit in their central dining room and be serenaded by their resident pianist. The sounds, along with the scrumptious cuisine, ensures you will have a fantastic evening.


After this magical day at the Serena Kampala, we headed to Gulu where we spent time in villages and we even went on a safari. A week later we were in need of some rejuvenation. The Lake Victoria Serena Golf Resort & Spa came to our rescue…

When you arrive at the Lake Victoria Serena, you really feel like you’re in a different world. While it’s only about 20 minutes from Kampala, you feel like you have been transported to a Mediterranean seaside village. The hotel is styled after an Italian palace, with beautiful pastel colored villas, a magnificent pool, and lush, terraced rose gardens.

The Lake Victoria Serena is a beautiful place to get married. Not only do you have the stunningly manicured hotel grounds, but the event areas and villas all have panoramic views of the marina and Lake Victoria. We have our fingers crossed that some of our Ugandan friends will get married here and we will have an opportunity to go back.


We only had about 15 hours at this hotel, and it was wonderful. We spent the late afternoon by the pool, and had some appetizers at the Lake View Pool Terrace. Our last meal in Uganda was at the Asian Fusion restaurant, and it was a good one. If we had more time here, we would have definitely spent an evening at Kigo, the cocktail bar, and Bobby would have most likely hit the links at their 9-hole championship golf course.

Sadly, we had a really early flight so we were not able to stay out too late. Consistent with the Serena Kampala, the bed was a dream. We were so thankful to get good rest the night before 30+ hours of travel. Thank you Lake Victoria Serena!

All in all, we highly recommend Uganda and the Serena brand. As we said in the beginning, embrace the culture and rough it a little. Spend 10 days in villages and on safari. Get dirty. It will make those last 2 blissful nights at a Serena property so special. Trust us :) 

The Tintswalo Atlantic Experience... Heaven on Earth

Have you ever heard of Tintswalo Atlantic? How about Hout Bay? Okay, let’s backup… Cape Town, South Africa? Well, nonetheless, it's a gem. This summer we had the privilege of getting to visit Cape Town and stay in a few different locations in and around the city. Let’s preface by mentioning that every place we stayed in South Africa was amazing. This country truly has a refined understanding of hospitality. They understand the importance of little details: welcome drinks, turn down service, and extensive continental breakfasts, to name a few. Every hotel was warm and inviting, and had us wishing we could spend "just one more night". However, one small boutique hotel hidden down a windy road took our experience to the next level. Allow us to quickly digress…


Through our time traveling together, we have created a list of our top tier hotels. The places that, based on our particular taste, do everything flawlessly. This includes design, décor, staff, price, food, location, and overall vibe. These are the places that, although there are so many spots we still want to go, we would drop everything to go back there now. We mean right now. Take us. Please. That list of properties was two… The American Trade Hotel in Panama City, Panama, and La Bandita Townhouse in Pienza, Italy. We’re excited to say that Tintswalo Atlantic is now on that list for us. From the very moment you arrive, you know you have found something special. We’re going to give you a list of reasons why Tintswalo Atlantic is reason enough for you to head to South Africa on your next getaway!


1. It's SECLUDED (yet not removed!)

While Tintswalo Atlantic is less than 20 miles from Central Cape Town, it feels as if you are in a remote, exotic location. Tintswalo is located on Chapman’s Peak Drive on the outskirts of Table Mountain National Park. If you weren’t looking for it, you definitely wouldn’t find it. There is a private driveway just off the road where you park your car. A van drives up a windy dirt road and traverses you back down to the property. Tintswalo Atlantic is the only property on this part of Hout Bay, and from where it sits you have the most perfect view of the bay and the Sentinel Mountain Peak. This small boutique hotel only has 12 suites, each complete with unparalleled views and private decks.. Perfect excuse to hideaway in your room all day and not feel guilty about it. Or, head to their own private beach - featuring the most picturesque (and nap-worthy) hammock!

2. The breathtaking DECOR!

The hotel is decorated perfectly. Each of the suites have their own unique style and theme, and are named after some of the most magical islands on earth. We stayed in the Lamu suite, named after a beautiful island off the coast of Kenya. 


A 3 course breakfast and 5 course dinner… included in the price of your stay! The chef creates delightful dishes, with portions so generous that you may never need lunch. During our time there, we had Dorado, Springbok, Crayfish, King Klip, Calamari, Prawn, Mussels, and Chicken, and that’s just the meat and seafood. Breakfast included yummy coffee, parfaits with fruit, platers full of meat, salmon, cheese, and danishes, and a main course with scrumptious creations like a meatball, onion, and pepper frittata. We’re going to go out on a limb and say that you may gain a few pounds during your time here, but it’s SO worth it. And the wine...oh, the wine. Their wine list is heavenly. Splurge!


The view, the view, the view! The pictures don't do it justice, but they definitely help. We live in Southern California, where we have the luxury of staring at the ocean often. South Africa offers a different type of beauty that we could not get enough of. Tintswalo Atlantic sits within Hout Bay, and from every room on the property you are looking out at the dramatic Sentinel Mountain Peak. Let's just say, we were obsessed. 

We were at Tintswalo in the middle of winter, meaning cloudy days and some stormy weather. That did not stop us from spending the majority of our time looking at Hout Bay and the Sentinel. 

5. THE LITTLE THINGS (That make a big difference)

There are numerous little touches that separate Tintswalo Atlantic from the rest... 

-Hot Chocolate upon arrival (more on that later)

-Amazing antique fireplace with fire starter set up in your room

-Notes written in seashells in your room each day

-Port and/or tea in your room after dinner

-Cozy, cozy robes


We will try to recreate some of the story of the founders of Tintswalo Atlantic. It goes something like this... There once was a couple who dreamed of having a property like Tintswalo. One day, this husband and wife were standing on Chapman's Peak, and the wife decided to make a wish. She took a coin and tossed it off Chapman's Peak, wishing that one day they would have a hotel. The dream absolutely came true! To remember this amazing dream-come-true, each guest is given a rock to toss into the Atlantic, that you're supposed to wish upon. Each rock says "May your wishes come true!" I'm sure most people wish they get to come back soon. 

The next part of their story that we thought was important was a fire they had in recent years. It actually burned down nearly the whole property! The one thing that survived was the table you see when you first enter. While everything else burned, this silver table (to the right) survived. It still stands today in an INCREDIBLE restored and renovated Tintswalo Atlantic



(Yes, it needs its own category because it was THAT good!) Upon arrival you are greeted with a hot towel and a delicious hot chocolate. We were there in the middle of winter, so this was absolutely one of our favorite perks of this amazing hotel. We loved sitting on the deck, sipping our hot chocolate and watching the waves crash. We miss it so much!




8. SO MANY THINGS TO DO (If you don't stay in your suite all day!)

We wish we could have stayed longer, because we would have spent some of our days bundled up by the fire in our suite. If you choose to venture outdoors, Tintswalo Atlantic has SO much to do nearby. You can drive into Cape Town Central, hike Table Mountain, go see the penguins at Boulder's Beach, feel the gusts on Chapman's Peak, or look for sea shells. Regardless of how you spend your time, you are bound to have a rejuvenating, relaxing experience that will make you never want to leave!

Our "Please don't make us leave" faces...

The Pros HEAVILY Outweigh the Cons for South African Airways, Trust Us.

Spoiler alert... there are no real cons. 

We recently had an INCREDIBLE trip to South Africa, and are dreaming of the day we can head back. We flew there on South African Airways, and wanted to take some time to share the pros and cons of this airline with you. Let us see if the pros outweigh the cons, and if we can get you to book a trip with SAA for your next great adventure.



-SAA has been voted the “Best Airline to Africa” by various leading travel publications. SAA stands out among it’s competitors, and makes you feel you are flying in style. Because they are a large airline, they are able to have the fastest routes to their destinations in Africa. It is a LONG journey to Africa, and flying non-stop from the U.S. is the best way to do it. SAA will take you non-stop to Johannesburg from both New York and Washington D.C.

-The food is delicious, they have a great wine selection, and their entertainment system is stocked with movies, TV, and games.

-They take you to South Africa. How obvious of a Pro is that? We’re sorry, but we just have to drive this point home. South Africa is one of the most beautiful places on earth. From Table Mountain, to Stellenbosch, to Boulder’s Beach, there are so many magical places to visit there.

-The lounges are LEGIT. We had the opportunity to do some serious lounging during our time flying with SAA. In New York, we loved the lounge where we could sit with mimosas and watch the planes take-off. Their JFK lounge was quiet, uncrowded, and was a great stopover before heading to South Africa. When we landed in Johannesburg the first time we had a short layover before heading to Cape Town, so we spent some time in the SAA Domestic Lounge. It was hip! Great coffee and atmosphere! We spent the majority of our time (probably more than 12 hours during our whole journey) in the SAA International Lounge. We were obsessed. An awesome selection of food and drinks, a marvelous place to shower, and La-Z-Boys. Yes, that’s right, La-z-boy recliners. We spent hours reading, indulging in snacks, and sleeping in these chairs. Those chairs may have been our favorite part of lounge life. With so much time spent there, there were some stretches where it was pretty crowded. SAA has done a great job designing this lounge with multiple rooms and partitions, so even when it is busy it feels quiet and private. All in all, SAA has a strong offering of lounges that makes traveling more comfortable and adds to the luxury of your vacation.

-Lounge life continues on the plane… While we’ve already talked about the planes, the leg room on SAA has to be mentioned on it’s own. SAA has the most legroom in Economy Class of ANY airline to Africa. So even though we weren’t able to get in Business class, Bobby’s long legs were able to fit comfortably.

 So there are 5 Pros. How about some Cons.



-Unless you are moving to South Africa, you’re going to have to leave eventually.

 -The plane ride from the USA to South Africa is long. Let’s be honest, it’s a really long flight. But we actually didn’t really care, because we had a great time on our flight. But we just figured we should acknowledge it is a long ride.

-After flying SAA, you will be disappointed if you fly any other airline to Africa. South African hospitality is a real thing. South Africans are so friendly, warm, and hospitable that no other airline will be able to come close to your experience with SAA.

-Did we already say that you have to leave South Africa?

The pros heavily outweigh the cons for South African Airways… trust us. Do yourself a favor and book with SAA today!

South African Airways: Why You Need to Fly SAA for Your Next Vacation

When adventuring to South Africa, who better to take you then South African Airways?! 

This was our first time partnering with SAA - and it definitely won’t be our last. From the welcoming staff, to the comfy seats and delicious South African wine, it was an experience we’ll never forget. We’d heard plenty of people rave about “South African Hospitality” - but it wasn’t until we experienced it onboard our SAA flights that we understood just how special it is!

We began with a 14 hour flight to Johannesburg out of NYC, and the crew was kind enough to let us tour the plane - and Bobby’s highlight - sit in the cockpit!! We were so impressed by their willingness to spend time with us, and their pride for their country. We may have been thousands of miles from South Africa, but from the moment we boarded the plane, we felt as though we were already there!

While the flight was long, it was really enjoyable. The food was delicious and there were plenty of entertainment options - but what really blew us away was the wine! We were thrilled to see that some of our favorite South African wines were available on the flight - definitely a huge perk of flying SAA!


Once we landed in Johannesburg, we spent a few hours in a SAA Lounge (more on that to come!), and then boarded a quick flight to Cape Town. Once again, the SAA fleet succeeded our expectations with another warm meal, kind service, and an incredibly seamless flight. It almost went too fast!!

If we could pick one thing that stood out about flying with South African Airways, it is most definitely their outstanding hospitality. We have never met such warm, kind, and inviting crew members - and on long and exhausting travel days, their smiles made all the difference. 

When planning a trip to South Africa, we highly encourage you to fly with South African Airways. You’ll fall in love with the country, the people, and the wine - all before you even land! Stay tuned for our next blog on South African Airways, where we highlight their amazing lounges, as well as show off some of the beautiful places they can take you (see below)...