Rob first set foot on African soil ten years ago, when he lived in South Africa, working as a teacher in a township school in the remote Waterberg region. He then reluctantly returned to the UK to read Law at Durham University, and worked in Sierra Leone for six months before returning home to England for a stint in the civil service in London. His itchy feet did not stop there and he found himself constantly being drawn back to Africa. Rob has travelled extensively throughout Africa, from Ghana and Mali to Mozambique and Swaziland, and has made multiple trips to southern Africa in particular, a region which he is extremely passionate about.
My Most Memorable Experience
Rounding a bend in the dirt road on a sultry evening in the Sabi Sabi private reserve, and coming across a lioness with two young lion cubs. We turned the engine off, and we were the only ones watching the spectacle of the cubs feeding, playing and generally irritating their mother for nearly two hours. That’s the thing about the private game reserves – it can be just you, the wildlife and the bush. No loud radios, no other vehicles, no traffic queues whenever you spot one of the Big Five… just you and the wilderness. Don’t miss it!
My Favourite Destination
Mozambique is a secret… but for how long? Those who know about Mozambique tend to always be planning their next visit and, for everyone else … well don’t tell them. The country boasts 2000 miles of tropical coastline with some of the most incredible marine life on the planet. Over 1500 miles north of the capital, Maputo, lies Ilha de Mozambique.
This stunning little island, only 2 miles long, is well worth the effort to get there! Ilha de Mozambique is the old capital of Portuguese East Africa and, whilst some of the buildings are crumbling gracefully, much of the island has been well preserved since it was granted World Heritage status in 1992. The island feels as though it is stuck in a time warp and there is a palpable sense of faded glory and elegance in the brightly coloured buildings, dusty streets and friendly tavernas. It is the kind of place where you feel that you can really kick back and absorb the simplicity and culture of a completely unique destination. There are a handful of excellent little guesthouses on the island, and the incredibly clear azure waters and enormous coral reefs that characterise Mozambique’s marine world are easily accessible from the island. This is a destination for the genuinely adventurous and intrepid traveller – and for those wanting to go somewhere completely different. But shhh, don’t tell anyone.
My Favourite Accommodation
This is a truly memorable place to stay on the Garden Route – a quirky and exclusive lodge that is owned by a collector of African art, situated on a small hill overlooking the Bitou river estuary as it meanders its way out into the Indian Ocean at Plettenberg Bay. The restaurant is superb, with breathtaking views across the lush surroundings and delectable cuisine. There are so many attractions nearby that you will constantly be tempted to venture out, but sipping a sundowner from your terrace at Emily Moon, whilst fish eagles swoop over the river, is a fine way to end a day on South Africa’s beautiful Garden Route.