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Toby in Virunga National Park, Rwanda

Toby, Africa Safari Specialist

My love of adventure extended to African soil for the first time 20 years ago, when I was lucky enough to live and work in the Kruger National Park in South Africa. I married whilst living in South Africa but decided to return to live in the UK, it was on my return in 2003 that I began my career working in the travel industry.

I moved to Witney in Oxfordshire in 2011 with my wife and two children and began employment as a travel specialist for Audley. At first I worked closely with just South Africa but I have since extended my field and have made frequent and extensive trips through Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda.

For me there is nothing that compares to the sense of vitality I get from the wildlife, the people and the landscapes of Africa, I consider myself fortunate to be able to share my Africa experience with my clients and I am passionate about all of the countries that I work with.

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Audley Travel Specialist Toby

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Guided canoeing and bird watching

I recommend visiting - The Elephant Coast

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.

Sabi Sabi - Selati Lodge, The Sabi Sand Wildtuin

I recommend staying at - Sabi Sabi Selati Lodge

Deluxe

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.

I'll never forget when…

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.

Photos of Toby

  • Toby cutting maize in Rwanda Toby cutting maize in Rwanda
  • Toby on a penguin-viewing trip in Paternoster, South Africa Toby on a penguin-viewing trip in Paternoster, South Africa
  • Toby on a game drive in Ol Pejata, Kenya Toby on a game drive in Ol Pejata, Kenya
  • Toby on a hot air balloon flight over the Masai Mara, Kenya Toby on a hot air balloon flight over the Masai Mara, Kenya
  • Toby at Lion Sands, Sabi Sands Private Reserve, South Africa Toby at Lion Sands, Sabi Sands Private Reserve, South Africa
  • Toby in Hamilton's Tented Camp, Kruger National Park, South Africa Toby in Hamilton's Tented Camp, Kruger National Park, South Africa
  • Toby next to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe Toby next to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
  • Toby seeing the gorillas in Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda Toby seeing the gorillas in Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda
  • Toby with his guide in Uganda Toby with his guide in Uganda

Photos taken by Toby

  • Silverback Gorilla, Impenetrable Forest, Uganda Silverback Gorilla, Impenetrable Forest, Uganda
  • Gorilla tracking, Impenetrable Forest,  Uganda Gorilla tracking, Impenetrable Forest, Uganda
  • Gorilla Tracking, Impenetrable Forest, Uganda. Gorilla Tracking, Impenetrable Forest, Uganda.
  • Guided forest walks from Buhoma, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Guided forest walks from Buhoma, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
  • Game Drive from Madikwe Safari Lodge, Madikwe Game Reserve Game Drive from Madikwe Safari Lodge, Madikwe Game Reserve
  • Kayak trip to view the penguins at Paternoster Kayak trip to view the penguins at Paternoster
  • The Midlands, South Africa The Midlands, South Africa
  • Tsitsikamma National Park Tsitsikamma National Park
  • Leopard, The Sabi Sand Wildtuin Leopard, The Sabi Sand Wildtuin
  • Elephants bathing in  the Marakele National Park. Elephants bathing in the Marakele National Park.
  • Trumpeting from the bath. Trumpeting from the bath.
  • Wild Dog Kissing Wild Dog Kissing