Toby first visited South Africa in 2002 when he drove the 4,000km round trip from Johannesburg to Cape Town and back up to the Kruger Park via the Kalahari. This is were he met is wife and travels back often to visit their family.
This keen interest in travel has progressed into a career and he began working in the travel industry in 2003, creating itineraries for worldwide travel. Working in travel allowed Toby to further his passion for Africa has taken him back to South Africa every year since.
Working at Audley, Toby now uses his specialist knowledge to solely create South African itineraries. He says "There are many things I love about South Africa; its wildlife; its mountains, deserts, forests and coastline; its food and drink but I think the most compelling thing about the country is its people and their history." South Africans are some of the most upbeat, welcoming and humorous folk you'll encounter anywhere.
My Most Memorable Experience
Sitting in a safari vehicle with "Fred" the ranger (and a bottle of cold beer) I was in the heart of Sabi Sands watching three male lions feast on a fresh zebra kill whilst a clan of Hyenas gather around us.
We sat there for an hour watching the hyenas strategise over how they would steal the food, they made frequent unsuccessful bids.
My Favourite Destination
This is the most pristine getaway I have discovered. Just south of Kosi Bay on the Mozambique border it is separated from civilisation by a steep sand dune and Lake Sibayi (South Africa’s largest natural lake).
The coastline is preserved to protect the many loggerhead and leatherback turtles that lay their eggs on the beach here.
For me this is paradise.
My Favourite Accommodation
Sabi Sabi Selati Camp is my favourite lodge in South Africa. This is not a cheap option for the Kruger but, for me, it is perfect. Set in the Sabi Sand Private Reserve, an area that borders the Kruger National Park and is famous for its cat population, Selati Camp harks back to the romance of a bygone era.
The camp is small and each room is a detached cottage and furnished with colonial memorabilia. Dining is a social affair. The camp’s guests dine together around a large dining table, the food is of a high standard and the wine free-flowing. There is a comfortable lounge for any of those who want to continue socialising but, keeping one eye on the early start, most will return to their rooms. The camp is unfenced, everyone must be escorted back to their room. The rooms are large and airy with four poster beds that have mosquito nets to protect. I enjoyed a night cap sitting in my cottage garden listening to the sounds of lions roaring in the distance whilst gazing at the stars. An early night is advised as the morning game drive leaves early.
The area is fantastic for getting up close and personal with the big cats, leopard sightings are frequent. After the morning drive a hearty breakfast is served. Rather than spend the day relaxing (which is a temptation) I opted for a walk, with my ranger. A game walk is a great option and gives the opportunity for a different kind of experience to the drive. I loved this camp.