News & Reviews News Our 2023 travels

Tis a new year, which brings with it new thoughts.  Like what is the point of daylight savings?  And why do I choose to live in England during winter?  So in the spirit of newness, let me tell you how I’m going to all the same places I’ve previously reviewed.

Actually, it’s looking like almost every property I’ll visit this year is previously unspoiled by my endless charm.

Here’s the outline of my travels this year.

East Africa

When: January

There are only a few exclusive-use lodges left in Eastern or Southern Africa that I haven’t been to.  I’m a completionist, so that’s what I’m going to do.  It’s why if you open a bag of sweets, I’ll finish them all in 15 seconds – that’s just part of who I am.

Even though I’ve visited Singita Serengeti House before, and even though it’s about ten minutes from their other lodge, Singita Sasakwa, and even though none of this makes any sense, I’m going because it has no reviews.  I’m off to change this stain on the internet.  Had I been more sensible, I would have stuck only to Kenya, but Singita is currently the best safari chain, and this is one of their best lodges.  Instead, I’ll waste countless hours flying into Kenya to get to Ol Jogi.  The website is so bizarrely vague on what’s happening in this property, but those I know who have been there described it as crazier than a honey badger fighting a shark.  It looks epic.  Once again, zero reviews.  You are all welcome.  My children barely recognise me, but y’all know whether to go here or not.  I hope you’re all happy with yourselves.

I then conclude the trip in Lengishu, whilst stopping by for some lunch in the recently opened Ishara, simply because I have so much time to kill until the stupidly late flight home.  Lengishu is on the same conservancy as the superb Arijiju, so why would I even bother going, you might think?  Because, as the football fans sing, there’s only one Arijiju.  And it’s often booked.


When: March

I.  Am.  Going.

For years I’ve planned to go, and each time found a reason not to – mostly it not being the Maldives.

We’ve booked Necker Island, and the rest of the trip is being planned around it.   I hope the Bearded One is there – now the UK has the most significant tax level in 70 years; I could do with his tax advice, like how not to pay any.  We’ll spend a few nights in Antigua at Jumby Bay, then head to the British Virgin Islands, where I’m currently flipping a three-headed coin between Oil Nut Bay and Little Dix Bay or actually go somewhere good.  Sick burn.  The property I’m especially keen on is Moskito Island, another Branson island.  For the king of marketing, naming your property after a deadly, deeply annoying creature probably wouldn’t have been the decision I went with, but then I’m not an international sex symbol, so what’d I know?  Moskito Island has only four villas, but seeing that they host between 18-22 people, it’s gonna get lonely if we book this by ourselves – I’m hoping the one-and-a-half-imaginary friends I have will join us.


When: May, July, September

It’s where I live, so it’s a bit hard not to visit it.

This was going to be yet another note on returning to Amanzoe (just not in a one-bedroom villa).  Lucie banned me from doing that, so I’m a bit at the drawing board.  On the one hand, I don’t want to do long haul, but on the other, I find Europe lacking in the beach resort, which is mostly all we’re doing this year, as they tend to have kids’ clubs and kids’ clubs means my children are spared the dishonour of spending time with me.  Current contenders are Porto Zante, Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc or just some put on some noise cancellation headphones and return to Park Hotel Vitznau.

The best time to visit Europe is May and September; less crowded, not as warm, no 365 night minimum stays imposed on you.  I would rather get naked and do the worm over hot coals than travel within Europe in July, but now I have to figure out if I hate long-haul more than I hate Europe.

I know this is a list of where I’m staying this year, and half the list is empty, which means this list is like turning in my homework with just “TBD” on it.

South Africa

When: September

I really wanted to go to Twsalu and Leobo last year, but it was too hard to suss out with the logistics.  Instead I will repeat the feat this year, therefore proving that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is in fact cool.  There’s also the sheer arrogance of The Homestead that makes it irresistible, in the same way you have to look when driving past an accident.

East Africa Part II

When: November

Thanda Private Island has long been on my hit list and we’re finally going to get the chance to experience it.  We were thinking of returning to Arijiju, where children of any age are allowed, but it feels like it might just be wasted on them as they’re so young.  So instead why not create memories for them they’ll never remember by instead going to Kisawa?   If we can make it work, I’m even prepared to return to Miavana.  It’s been six years, it’s time to forgive.

Maldives (or somewhere that isn’t England)

When: December/Christmas

I’ve finally got the approval to spend Christmas outside the country.  All it took was cooking whilst two children demanded attention, which is enough to make anyone reassess their life choices.  I initially planned a Best of the Rest Tour: Joali Being, Waldorf Astoria, One&Only Reethi Rah.  Except Joali Being is still standing fast and only allowing children whenever the planets align and there’s a blood moon or something.  My lifelong wait of eating healthy must go on, I suppose.  I always try and visit somewhere new, so we will still try out Waldorf Astoria and Reethi Rah but spend Christmas at Velaa or Cheval Blanc, depending on who hates me the least.

If this all backfires, Banwa in the Philippines appeals, but the flight times scare me, even if we did a long layover.  Does anyone know an anaesthetist?  Asking for a friend.

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Tom Cahalan

Written by Tom Cahalan on 12th Jan '23

Dorsia Travel’s co-founder Tom Cahalan’s take on travel is reliably candid. Here’s his take on what’s good, bad, and luxurious.

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