Tara was born in Zimbabwe and grew up on a farm which, from a young age, developed within her a sense of adventure and an intense love of the bush.
After graduating with a degree in Zoology and Journalism in South Africa, she headed home to take up a role as camp manager in Mana Pools in Zimbabwe. It wasn't long before the draw of Zambia took her north and she spent two years managing camps in the South Luangwa.
Since joining Audley she has completed an extensive trip around Tanzania, and was blown away by this incredible country. Her trip saw her hunting with Hadzabe tribesmen, searching for whale sharks in Mafia, boating past hippos in the Selous and following the migration in the Serengeti.
Zanzibar and the Seychelles were also on her list of destinations and after thinking that nothing could match the African mainland, she was proven wrong by these amazing Indian Ocean Islands.
My Most Memorable Experience
On my recent trip to Tanzania I was incredibly lucky to be able to go out hunting with the Hadzabe tribesmen of the Lake Eyasi region. This tribe is the last remaining hunter-gatherer tribe in East Africa.
We woke up very early and after collecting a local guide who could speak the Hadzabe click language we headed off into the bush. I was starting to wonder if we would ever find them when the glow from an early morning fire under a baobab tree caught our eye. The Hadzabe were just waking up and coming out from under bushes and behind rocks where they sleep on animal skins. After a brief morning gathering around the fire it was time to head out for the hunt, so armed with bows and arrows they led us, at quite a pace, through the bush. Their enthusiasm as they searched trees and bushes for animals was contagious and I soon found myself completely immersed in the experience. Luckily for the wildlife that day they only shot a few unfortunate little birds and found some delicious bush honey that we all were given a taste of.
The experience was over far too soon and I loved every minute of my time with them and after a brief lesson in making fires and shooting, both of which I failed dismally, it was time to say goodbye. I will never forget spending time with these incredible people.
My Favourite Destination
Denis Island in the Seychelles is one of the most incredible places that I have ever visited. Picture white sandy beaches, crystal clear turquoise seas, and rustling palm trees, with no crowds. However, what I thought made this island so wonderful is the fact that they have created an oasis not just for visitors, but also for the birdlife on the island.
After removing all rats, cats and dogs and not allowing boats to arrive on the island, they have created a safe haven for a number of endemic Seychelles birds, such as the Seychelles warbler and the Seychelles black paradise fly-catcher. I loved seeing the fluffy little baby fairy terns clinging to branches and the beautiful tropic birds flying out from their nests as I arrived at my room.
Denis is a wonderful island in the Seychelles and aside from the incredible conservation efforts and birdlife, the hotel is beautiful and the staff wonderful. I cannot wait to go back!
My Favourite Accommodation
My favourite camp is Lamai Serengeti, located in the north of the Serengeti National Park. The camp has been expertly built into a beautiful kopje, which gives the camp an incredible vantage point looking over the Serengeti Plains towards the Mara River, and in the distance the Masai Mara in Kenya.
The rooms are just amazing and I could have stayed there forever; it was difficult just getting me to the restaurant! The front of the room is almost completely open and only closed off by a fly sheet from floor to ceiling which means that you can lie in your bed and watch the sun rise over the plains!
The real beauty of Lamai is that when the migration is in the area it is perfectly located to watch the wildebeest moving across the plains from the high vantage point of the camp. Moreover, as it is so close to the Mara River you may be lucky enough to catch the famous river crossing during a game drive. In addition, when the migration is in the south of the Serengeti the area gets very quiet which means you can enjoy the Serengeti without the crowds and feel as though you have the entire place to yourself. Magic!