World travellers and photographers Robert Michael Poole and Marcy Yu share breathtaking, romantic photos captured during their journey to the Serengeti, Seychelles and Mauritius.
by Scott Masters Pierce
Photographer Robert Michael Poole and his partner, Marcy Yu, enjoying sunset at their private infinity pool at Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti.
Photography courtesy Robert Michael Poole
Travelling as a couple can tell you a lot about your relationship. How do you make decisions? How do you respond to unexpected opportunities? Most important, will your journey strengthen your bond?
For photographer Robert Michael Poole and his partner, Marcy Yu, the answer is yes. After they met in Panama in January 2016, Marcy persuaded Robert to travel to the San Blas Islands. Afterwards, he persuaded her to quit her nine-to-five job and travel around the world. They’ve been to Costa Rica, Belize, France and Monaco together.
Most recently, they discovered three distinct romantic escapes in the Serengeti, Seychelles and Mauritius. “Africa is a very special place, a once-in-a-lifetime trip,” Robert says. “That’s saying something from two people who travel constantly.”
They made their plans carefully, but didn’t set them in stone. “We anticipated we would have to be very flexible,” Marcy says. Their patience paid off with safari adventures and picture-perfect beaches – and time to discover more about each other while exploring.
Upon arriving at Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti, Robert and Marcy were immediately struck by the landscape. “It hasn’t changed for thousands of years,” he says, “and there you are, at this permanent, modern Lodge that’s wonderfully authentic. It’s perfect for adventure – and romance.”
“We learned that a group of zebra is called a ‘dazzle,'” says Marcy, dazzled by the animals’ unique patterns. “They add quite a bit of colour to the great migration.” Photo courtesy of Robert Michael Poole
“We spent time here looking out for wandering elephants,” Robert says. As Marcy enjoyed a cool bath at the Spa in the Serengeti heat, she was struck by something else: The sound of silence. Photo courtesy of Robert Michael Poole
In the middle of the day, most animals seek shelter from the sun. “I enjoyed seeing Marcy take the front seat for a mid-afternoon break between safaris,” Robert recalls. Photo courtesy of Robert Michael Poole
For dinner outdoors, Four Seasons staff hung candlelit lanterns in the trees. “It felt very private,” Robert says. “But we also felt that we were out in this vast wilderness.” Photo courtesy of Robert Michael Poole
“Witnessing this was to realize we had truly made it to the Serengeti,” Marcy says. “The plains reach all the way to the horizon, and the animals live by the movement of the sun.” Photo courtesy of Robert Michael Poole
Robert and Marcy enjoyed a Hot Air Balloon Safari at sunrise. They needed a little luck: “The balloons only set sail if the winds are cooperating,” he says. “When the timing was right, the crew sprang into action.” Photo courtesy of Robert Michael Poole
One of the Lodge’s restaurants, Boma Grill, takes its name – and a ritual – from the traditional circular homes of the Maasai. “On certain nights, tribe members are invited to perform the traditional welcoming ceremony one receives at a rural boma,” Robert says. “There’s lots of singing – and impressive jumping!” Watch the Maasai’s adumu dance here. Photo courtesy of Robert Michael Poole
The Discovery Centre at the Lodge is run by a Maasai tribesman. “He was happy to let us know about the culture that continues to this day,” Marcy says. Photo courtesy of Robert Michael Poole
“Sitting here felt like we were guests dining in the home of the wildlife,” Robert says. Photo courtesy of Robert Michael Poole
On the Ultimate Safari Adventure, the couple spotted all of the Big Five – elephants, lions, leopards, rhinoceroses and buffalo – in their natural habitat. The Lodge’s drivers made it possible, Robert says: “They were extremely helpful and friendly.” Photo courtesy of Robert Michael Poole
It takes a skilled driver to find the Serengeti’s wonders. “Some days, you think you’ll see nothing,” Robert says. “Then, all of the sudden, there are 2,000 zebras walking out of a forest.” Photo courtesy of Robert Michael Poole
Although you’re still in Africa when you arrive in Seychelles, it seems a world away from the Serengeti. “Everything about it is different,” Robert says.
He and Marcy were delighted to explore this new world, including Four Seasons Resort Seychelles. Robert, a seasoned traveller by this time, says, “It’s easily one of the most spectacular resorts I’ve ever stayed in.”
*Note: Travel from the Serengeti to Seychelles includes a bush plane flight from the Serengeti to Nairobi, where guests stay overnight before departing on a short flight to the island. Consider the Safari Unplugged offer to experience the best of both worlds.
Although Anse Source d’Argent is the best-known beach on Seychelles, Robert recommends Grand Anse, a 30-minute drive from the Resort. “It was our favourite,” he says, and it has an unusual appearance. “The water – which was clearer than any pool – lapped on metallic-looking rocks.” Photo courtesy of Robert Michael Poole
“From our room, we could see other bungalows, yet our room was still completely private – and romantic,” Marcy says. “And this photo was thrilling to take!” Photo courtesy of Marcy Yu
The couple left the Resort only once during their stay – “It was almost too romantic to leave,” Robert says – but they did spend some time in Victoria, Seychelles’ capital city. Its clock tower was brought to the city in 1903: “It stands elegantly amidst the tropical surroundings,” Marcy says. Photo courtesy of Marcy Yu
Travellers in Victoria really can’t overlook Arul Mihu Navasakthi Vinayagar Temple, named for the Hindu god of safety and prosperity. Photo courtesy of Robert Michael Poole
It felt like summer every day Marcy and Robert stayed in the Seychelles – perfect, considering every room has its own infinity pool overlooking Ansa la Liberte. “Having paradise outside your window when you wake up is one thing,” Robert says, “but a dip in the pool, too? Truly out of this world.” Photo courtesy of Robert Michael Poole
“When we walked down from the villa to Petit Anse Beach, we knew we were about to enter a spot fit for a fairy tale,” Marcy says. “We wanted to hang around for as long as we could.” Photo courtesy of Robert Michael Poole
After romantic stays in the Serengeti and Seychelles, Robert and Marcy weren’t sure what to expect at Four Seasons Resort Mauritius. What they discovered, however, was just right. “We both found the experience there to be quite calming,” says Robert. “Although travelling is the ultimate relationship test, we found exactly what we were looking for.”
“We loved the tranquil gardens and relaxed atmosphere of the villas,” Marcy says, “ideal for lazy Sundays, Mondays and all days.” The Resort’s villas are filled with natural light and look out on gardens, mountains or the ocean. Photo courtesy of Robert Michael Poole
“We had a blast capturing images around the Resort,” Robert says. “The palm trees perfectly frame paradise.” Photo courtesy of Robert Michael Poole
Marcy got her daily vitamins from freshly picked coconuts on the beach. Photo courtesy of Robert Michael Poole
“There’s something especially soothing about a massage above the water,” says Marcy. “Here I am – stepping out in style, I might add – after much-needed time at the Spa.” Photo courtesy of Robert Michael Poole
“We made a lot of new friends at the Resort,” Marcy says. One of her favourites? A tortoise believed to be more than 100 years old. Take a look at other wildlife you can meet at Four Seasons hotels and resorts, from hatchlings in Punta Mita to parrots in Hawaii. Photo courtesy of Robert Michael Poole
Robert and Marcy describe the Resort as a golf player’s dream. While planning your own visit, discover amenities that go beyond the greens. Photo courtesy of Robert Michael Poole
“We loved this private beach at Four Seasons Resort Mauritius at Anahita,” Marcy says. “The backdrop – mountains in the centre of the island – was perfect for our getaway.” Photo courtesy of Robert Michael Poole
“Our room felt like our home away from home,” Marcy says. “After a day of adventure, I loved the light and airy space of the villas. They’re both cosy and romantic.” Photo courtesy of Robert Michael Poole
“We had to make time to get out on the water,” Robert says. And at the Watersports Centre at the Resort, “it was difficult to decide which toy to play with first!” Photo courtesy of Robert Michael Poole