I fell under the spell of Africa at a young age when I heard stories of my mother's childhood living in Kenya and their adventures on safari. After a gap year teaching in Jamaica and then traveling round New Zealand and Australia, I studied Anthropology at University, which increased my fascination with foreign cultures.
I spent the summer vacations in South East Asia, South and Central America. I eventually ended up organising vacations to Africa, which has given me plenty of opportunities to explore and work in many corners of this incredible continent.
My love is getting off the beaten track into the wilderness areas and having a brilliant guide who brings the place to life. A day in Africa is also not complete without scrambling to the top of a hill to watch the sun go down, with a gin and tonic in hand.I recently took my young daughter to South Africa for the first time and it was wonderful to see her excitement at seeing penguins, elephants, monkeys and of course meeting some new friendly dogs. As a parent you realise how it really is the small things which can make or break a vacation. A well-rested happy child means happy parents. My blogs
What my guests have said
"A superb bespoke vacation, great responsiveness from the UK team in building the vacation and communicating with us beforehand. When we are spending a considerable amount of money, this level of service is exactly what we're looking for - it's important. And the vacation met and exceeded all our expectations."
"Louisa can do no wrong by us! She and the rest of the team at Scott Dunn have the ability to tune into individual requirements and then recommend the best vacation based on their huge experience."
"Louisa's name is a great card to play! She is well known and liked by everyone - a real door opener."
"Extremely knowledgeable and very responsive and created an itinerary that was exactly what we had wanted and with hindsight, all Louisa's recommendations (e.g. where, order, time split between destinations etc.) were spot on and contributed to the experience."
"Louisa was amazing from the first time we spoke. I asked a gazillion questions and she answered them all with no tone of annoyance at any point :) She was extremely knowledgeable and advised me very well at every stage - big thanks."
"Louisa was great. I only made an inquiry and she'd just about sold me the vacation by following up immediately with info, prices, dates, etc and making provisional bookings. I'm glad she did as we would have hated to have missed it. Great feedback on the difference between Vamizi and other places such as Mauritius. She answered all my pre-vacation questions quickly and helpfully."
"I just wanted to write and say thank you so much for organising a truly wonderful first anniversary trip to Kenya for us. Scott Dunn has once again delivered a very special and unforgettable experience for us. We are extremely grateful."
"I just wanted to write and say thank you so much for organising a truly wonderful first anniversary trip for us. It was a most appreciated touch to have us set up for dinner and a freshen up at the Palacina in Nairobi on the way home. It was a lovely way to break the journey and as a result we arrived home feeling in much better shape than we otherwise would have. Scott Dunn has once again delivered a very special and unforgettable experience for us. We are extremely grateful."
"Thank you for the amazing trip climbing Mt Kilimanjaro. The entire eighteen day trip was planned and executed flawlessly. My only regret was to not have the opportunity to meet you in person."
"Where to start?! Perfect perfect perfect! How do they get it so right?! Blown away by the service at Birkenhead House in particular - all else fantastic too. Thank you for recommending it and setting it up."
"You never fail us! Whilst we could book our vacation independently going with yourselves creates a blanket of reassurance that things will go smoothly and if they do not then you are there to help."
"Louisa Verney couldn't have been more helpful, especially when we had to change our travel arrangements when we were out there, due to a family funeral."
"My wife cried when we had to leave Tanzania - says it all. Our honeymoon was organized from start to finish - I didn't have to lift a finger! Louisa was very helpful and in her absence someone was always there to answer our questions. We would happily recommend Scott Dunn to anyone!"
"Louisa Verney and the rest of the team could not have been more helpful. We did have to make a few changes (and one quite late on) to the itinerary but these were responded to immediately and effectively with great care. We cannot thank Scott Dunn enough for preparing such a wonderful vacation experience. The attention to detail, local knowledge and courtesy that Scott Dunn provides is second to none and makes dealing with them an absolute pleasure. The service industry in the UK is unfortunately so undervalued and therefore usually underpaid that it is often a challenge or disappointment when eating out, traveling or even shopping. A refreshing change to deal with experienced personel."<
"Everything was organized by Louisa from the beginning to the end of the trip perfectly with no hiccups. Scott Dunn listened to what we wanted and got it spot on."
Favourite places I've been
Never travel without an oversized suitcase for easy packing, a great camera and a good book to while away time in an airport.
In one bush walk in South Africa’s Madikwe Game Reserve, we walked up downwind of 3 white rhino, followed by watching a very chilled lioness watching us. Then we opened up a Giant Eagle Owl’s dropping to find a mouse skull, which was fascinating.
The views from Lamai Serengeti in Northern Tanzania are mind blowing… even before you add the wildebeest crossing the Mara River into Kenya’s Maasai Mara.
My hot picks
Chem Chem is a magical spot on the banks of Lake Manyara with possibly the best sun sets in Africa!!
Service and food to die for in Zanzibar - and Robinson Crusoe would be thrilled with the beautiful cottages. The beach and the diving are incredible as well.
This Wilderness Safaris lodge is on the Laikipia Plateau in Kenya. It is Wilderness Safaris first foray into East Africa and I am very excited about them bringing their high standards of guiding and service to Kenya.