Love is . . . a life on the open road

I've been to many places around the world so thought I'd share things I love about travelling...

France, especially Lanquedoc Rousillon
Eurostar, premier seats though
Virgin Atlantic’s choice of movies
BA’s Business class movie screens
Premium Outlets for shopping madness
Grimsby fish and chips
Massage on a Thai beach
Lobster and prawns at the Park Hyatt Goa Resort
Silk trousers from Bangkok
Noodles from a Hong Kong vendor
Animals on safari in Kenya
Rio Carnival for being the best in the world
Tobago for being so chilled out
Friendly faces at Jakes in Jamaica
Pink sand in the Bahamas
People-watching in Las Vegas
Disney World, Orlando, can't get enough of Mickey
Ireland because my dad was born there
Edinburgh on New Year's Eve
Venice because you have to love it
Wine-tasting in Stellenbosch, only white!
Swimming in the forever warm Caribbean Sea
Biking over the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco
Gazing at the awesome Taj Mahal
Helping build a nursery in a Cape Town township
Screaming on Universal's The Hulk
Seeing the Pope at the Vatican
Drinking champagne at the bottom of the Grand Canyon
Christmas in New York
Coffee from Jamaica's Blue Mountains
Crabbing in Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk
Necker Island, who wouldn't?
Pashminas from India
America and even Americans
Walking in the Lake District
Driving across the US, even with a two-year-old
Handbags from Buenos Aires
Eurocamp for great family holidays
No-hassle souks in Damascus
Bon Sol hotel in Majorca
My Antler Duolite case and my Apple iPad2, love them
...and all the people in all the world who I have had the pleasure of meeting

Wild Kat so at home with the Big Cats

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Lioness on prowl

SHE plays man-eating wild Kat so EastEnders star Jessie Wallace felt perfectly at home on a South African game reserve. The star spent three months in the country while filming ITV1’s Sunday night drama Wild At Heart and returned with holiday tips on everything from safaris to shopping…and where you can take a bite out of a crocodile!

Jessie says: “We had a wicked time filming with all the wildlife. My daughter Tallulah came out there with me. She’s only three but she loved it! She’s a big fan of the the film Madagascar featuring animated animals so was made up to be surrounded by real-life ones.”

Jessie was playing Essex girl Amy Kriel whose husband Elliott buys Mara, the upmarket safari park next door to Leopard’s Den — the centre of the series and home to vet Danny Trevanion (Stephen Tompkinson). Stiletto-heeled Amy misses the bright lights of home — unlike Jessie who was very happy sleeping under the stars at Glen Afric, the game reserve where Wild At Heart is set.

She says: “Glen Afric is about 30 miles outside Johannesburg in the Magaliesburg Mountains. You can stay there in the lodge or in tents, and there are all kinds of safaris you can go on. “You’ll see animals in their natural habitat, including the Big Five — lion, cheetah, hippo, elephant and buffalo — and leopards and baboons. It’s brilliant!”

Glen Afric, with terrain that switches from savannahs to hills and mountains offering spectacular panoramas, is home to 32 species of African wildlife and an incredible 340 bird species.

Cape Town is absolutely beautiful. Go to Boulders Beach – it’s full of penguins.

As Jessie experienced, there’s a variety of safaris — both in four-wheel drives or on foot where you can get close to orphaned, hand-raised elephants. The actress got even closer to the jumbos of the jungle by visiting the Elephant Sanctuary at Hartbeespoort Dam, about an hour’s drive north of Johannesburg.

Jessie says: “It was probably the most beautiful place I’ve ever stayed at. We spent the night in a cabin, and in the morning we brushed down the elephants. In the evening we went up into the mountains to watch the sunset — it was really lovely.”

But, says Jessie, South Africa has a lot more than safaris. There’s something to appeal to all tourists and many Brits are now taking the 11-hour flight just for a long weekend. The secret is that SA is just two hours ahead of the UK so no jet-lag!

“Depending on what type of holiday you fancy, there are all kinds of places to visit,” she says. “We went to Cape Town, which has loads of great hotels to choose from. Lots of people head to Sun City. It’s like a mini Las Vegas, with amazing hotels, casinos, pools and golf courses.”

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