Another Mango on the Tree: Meet Suzanne

Getting to know our new safari specialist: Suzanne Spencer​

 

1. It’s hard to choose just one, but what’s your favorite African travel memory?

This is a hard one as I have too many travel memories that are my favorite. I love having the time to sit still and observe wildlife behaviors.  A few years back I was in the Lamai region of the Serengeti and we came across an elephant herd with a young calf.   The calf had yet to figure out how to use its trunk but it was determined and was watching its elders and mimicking their actions.  It had found a stick and was trying to hold it.   Once it got a firm grip on the stick it would wave it in the air so proudly.  Every few minutes it would drop the stick and start again with the long process of picking it back up.   It had no skills yet with its trunk but yet it just kept trying over and over again.  It was a beautiful moment in time to watch. 

2. What are the must-have travel essentials in your safari bag?

Water bottle, binoculars, notepad and pen (I love jotting down the new things I learn while on the road), sunscreen, a good sun hat and a good book (in case of any delays)

3. What are your top travel tips for first-time safari-goers?

1)While it is great to take photographs to record what you see – make sure you take time to lower your camera and record it with your own eyes. 2) Pack light – it makes life easier   3) travel with an open mind and an open heart.  

4. What is your favorite thing about traveling?  

I could honestly make a list of my top 100 favorite things about traveling.  Travel to me is about exploring new places, meeting new people and all of the new experiences that occur.

5. You’ve already visited over 80 countries, but what are the top three countries left on your bucketlist and why?  

My answer to this changes constantly as I am greatly influenced by seeing what travels my friends and colleagues are up to.  Right now Oman, Democratic Republic of Congo and Norway are appealing.   I have not visited the middle east in all of my travels.  I would love to spend some time in the ancient port of Muscat, visit the dunes, hike in the Hajar Mountians and hang out along the coast in the fishing villages.    Democratic Republic of Congo – I was lucky enough to visit the Congo a few years back and loved exploring Odzala-Kokoua National Park with its incredible diversity.   Seeing the lowland Gorillas was a huge highlight but the main impact on me was when we took a moment to sit on the forest floor and absorb the sensation that I was sitting in the lungs of our planet –the biodiversity so incredible.  Norway sounds like an incredible place to explore by water, by foot and by car.

6. What’s the next trip you have planned?  

I will be returning to Botswana in late November. Yeah!

7. Aside from traveling, what are your hobbies?

I love being outdoors whether it spending time in the mountains either skiing or hiking with my dog or just playing around in my gardens.   I teach Pilates a few hours a week.  I love to read.

8. What’s your go-to sundowner drink?  

A nice cold local beer

Welcome to the Mango Team, Suzanne!