As a resident of Witney and with her mother living in South Africa the role of South Africa Specialist at Audley could have been tailor-made for Charlotte. Having visited the country at least ten times before starting with us, she certainly knows the country better than most and has covered it extensively, visiting nearly every region. Her favourite area is the west coast, north of Cape Town around Saldanha Bay - a region relatively untouched by tourism and commercial development (and coincidentally where her mum lives)! Having just returned from a comprehensive six-and-a-half week trip to South Africa. Charlotte's knowledge of the destinations and sights is exhaustive and she knows all our favourite guesthouses, B&B's and lodges equally well. Outside of work Charlotte enjoys trekking and creative writing.
My Most Memorable Experience
"In Kwa Zulu Natal I spent the day at the the Anglo-Zulu battlefields of Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift. I was in a group from my accommodation being given a tour by a professional lecturer on both battles as they happened - Isandlwana in the morning and Rorke''s Drift in the afternoon.
I will never forget the vision that we were given in our minds of what took place that day with the regimented British soldiers and the raw Zulu warriors. Walking around the battle fields whilst learning the history of that day is better than reading any books or watching any films - it is the ultimate way of understanding what went on that day with the professionals to guide you - you can almost hear the Zulu war cries and see the battle as it is explained to you.
As I was stood late afternoon at Rorke's Drift, with the sun starting to set in the distance and the battle already commenced, the local Zulu women and children started to sing in the church next to where we were stood and it was one of the most memorable moments of my life."
My Favourite Destination
"My favourite place to visit in South Africa is the West Coast near Langebaan, north of Cape Town. This area is less touched by tourism than others and still has a very traditional fishing village style to many of the bays.
I love visiting Peternoster for lunch where you can sit in a rustic restaurant on the beach and eat fresh crayfish from the sea in front of you. If you travel inland from here and further north you will discover stunning wild flowers which cover the land as far as the eye can see."
My Favourite Accommodation
"My favourite place to stay in South Africa is in Kwa Zulu Natal at the late David Rattrays property Fugitives Drift. This family owned and run guest house is set in the heart of the area known as The Battlefields in what once was Zululand.
As you drive through to Fugitives Drift you pass many Zulu villages with the traditional thatched roofed huts and children pumping water from the village water supply as poverty is still rife in this area. And yet there is a real sense of home here. I certainly felt at ease and the Zulu people are amongst the friendliest in Africa. Fugitives Drift is located as its name suggests on the route where the survivors of the Battle of Isandlwana travelled to warn those at Rorkes Drift of the impending attack of the Zulu army, and is also where Melvill and Coghill died trying to save the Queen's Colours.
The Lodge has a comfortable lounge to relax in adjoining the dining room which is full of battle memorabilia and artefacts there is probably more at this lodge than the museums at Rorkes Drift and Isandlwana. Guests gather around the fire in the evenings for pre-dinner drinks and discuss their day whether they have partaken in the prestigious battlefield tours or been horse riding through the countryside spotting game along the way, or simply have just relaxed by the large swimming pool which has a vista of miles across the surrounding countryside."