You’d be hard-pressed to find someone with a deeper knowledge of Africa than Cherri Briggs. The travel specialist spends half the year traveling throughout the continent (to less-trodden places like Cameroon and Gabon and the tried-and-true in Zambia, Namibia, and Botswana) to scout new hotels and itineraries. This legwork allows her to bypass destination-management companies and book every hotel, lodge, transfer, guide, and driver personally, which often reduces the overall cost. Just as popular with the honeymoon set as she is with multigenerational families, Briggs and her exceptional senior staff members, both of whom have more than 15 years’ experience, book an average of 150 trips per year. Many of her clients have previously traveled to Africa and are keen on focusing on a particular interest like photography and animal conservation. And if you’re passionate about volunteering, Briggs can put together responsible outings to schools, wildlife centers, and orphanages.