Samantha shares her most awe-inspiring experience, a celebrity encounter, and top animal experience
I’m Samantha Owen-Stoddart and I run Sostravel. This is a travel blog where I share my travel experiences and tips with the main aim of inspiring others to explore the world. I am a believer in the saying if we were made to be in one place, we would have roots instead of feet!
What has been your top animal experience?
For me it has to be Cheetahs Rock (www.cheetahsrock.org) in Zanzibar, it is ran by Jenny, who has been rescuing and helping mistreated animals for over 30 years, she firstly had premises in Spain, but they out grew them and had to look for a much larger location, which they found in Zanzibar. The wild animals are either rescues or have been gifted to them by legal conservation centres. No animal has been captured in the wild. All animal handling methods are 100% violence free, based on trust, respect and reward. It receives no financial support from the government or any NGO’s, they depend entirely on the fees paid by the guests attending the tours or donations. This is why not only do you get a once in a lifetime experience here, you are also supporting Cheetah’s Rock in the conservation of wildlife and providing the rescued wild animals with the most natural habitat possible.
Jenny has trained them all, some from babies depending on when they first came to her, she believes that you can train any animal through love and trust, which she shows you during the tour. It is amazing to watch and see! There is no drugging, defanging or mistreatment here at Cheetah’s Rock, as the first words she says to you after welcoming people is you are in the animals environment now, if they don’t want to do something they won’t be made too. It is not a performance type place, it is a chance to see these beautiful animals, such as Zebra, Lion, Monkeys, Bushbabies, Cheetah and a Bengal Tiger plus many more in a happy environment filled with love and care. Respect this when you visit and you will have an amazing time.
What was your most awe-inspiring experience?
I have recently returned from India, where I did a tour of the Golden Triangle, Delhi-Agra-Jaipur-Delhi. The highlight and the most awe inspiring experience was witnessing at 5.40 am the Taj Mahal at sunrise. The early morning wake up call and being the first in the queue at this historical wonder of the world was all made worth it on entering through the main archway! Yes, I did get the obligatory pictures but the few seconds of taking in the Taj Mahal will be with me forever…
Have you had any celebrity encounters on the road?
During one of my trips to Marrakech earlier this year and having made a reservation at one of the Red City’s newest restaurants, Quattro. I met the lovely Emma Willis (@emmawillisofficial) at the Four Seasons Resort. She was in Marrakech doing a shoot for Next and was very approachable and down to earth.
Thank you, Samantha! Be sure to check out Samantha’s blog and social media channels!