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Audley Travel specialist Ben

Ben, Kenya & South Africa Specialist

Ben first visited South Africa back in 2001 to live and work in the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, and since then he has explored numerous corners of this remarkable country on multiple return trips to his all-time favorite destination.

Vast game reserves, stunning coastlines, beautiful vineyards and outstanding food all contribute to Ben's love of South Africa. He says, "Where else on earth could you view the Big Five at dawn, enjoy lunch overlooking whales on the coast, sit back for sundowners amongst the vines of a renowned winery and then tuck into a seven-course tasting menu in the shadow of one of the world's most famous mountains?"

Ben has significant experience of self-driving in South Africa, covering everything from the northern wilds of Madikwe on the Botswanan border to the striking Drakensberg mountain region and the legendary battlefields of Zululand. His passion for wildlife has also taken him to many of the country's best reserves in search of ever-more elusive sightings.

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Audley Travel Specialist Ben

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Wild dog, Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa

I recommend visiting - The Madikwe Game Reserve

A lesser-known safari option than some of its larger South African cousins, Madikwe is situated in the far north of the country and feels very off the beaten track.

The reserve is a real haven for wildlife - keep a look out for Makanyane (African wild dog) as well as plentiful rhino sightings and excellent opportunities for bird viewing.

More Quarters, one bedroom apartment

I recommend staying at - More Quarters

First Class

More Quarters is a unique selection of luxury apartments nestled amongst a couple of quiet streets in the heart of Cape Town just off Kloof Street.

The way the apartments are set up allows you to have a real 'locals' feel when you're staying there, stepping directly out onto the cobbled streets to explore the city independently whilst also offering an outstanding breakfast, great customer service and concierge facilities.

Staying here feels like you own an apartment in downtown Cape Town. It's my absolute favorite place.

I'll never forget when…

Whilst on safari in the Sabi Sands Wildtuin (Greater Kruger National Park), I was lucky enough to witness an incredible sight.

A leopard in a tree is not uncommon in this area, but on closer inspection we discovered a very large male sitting in a bare tree that was far too small to provide adequate cover for it. Directly underneath the tree it emerged that there were three lionesses unhurriedly eating the leopard's recent impala kill, with the leopard looking positively embarrassed above. Eventually the lionesses had their fill and wandered off to relax under a neighboring tree, leaving the leopard to carefully plan his escape route, and after several minutes of looking around he leapt with lightning speed down the tree and darted across the plains, pursued at pace by all three lionesses, before hot-footing up a new and improved tree in which to take proper shelter.

Predator interaction at its finest, this experience will stay with me for a long time.

Photos of Ben

  • Ben at Cape Point on the Cape Peninsula, South Africa Ben at Cape Point on the Cape Peninsula, South Africa
  • Ben at the battlefield of Isandlwana, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa Ben at the battlefield of Isandlwana, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
  • Ben at Kalama Wildlife Conservancy, Kenya Ben at Kalama Wildlife Conservancy, Kenya
  • Ben on safari, Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Kenya Ben on safari, Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Kenya
  • Ben in Samburu National Reserve, Kenya Ben in Samburu National Reserve, Kenya
  • Ben at Sabi Sands Wildtuin, Greater Kruger National Park, South Africa Ben at Sabi Sands Wildtuin, Greater Kruger National Park, South Africa

Photos taken by Ben

  • River Safari in Marataba Game Reserve River Safari in Marataba Game Reserve
  • Elephant in Madikwe Game Reserve Elephant in Madikwe Game Reserve
  • Leopard in Sabi Sand Wildtuin Leopard in Sabi Sand Wildtuin
  • Cheetah in Madikwe Game Reserve Cheetah in Madikwe Game Reserve
  • Male leopard  in Sabi Sand Wildtuin Male leopard in Sabi Sand Wildtuin
  • The Hemel-en-Aarde Wine Valley, Hermanus The Hemel-en-Aarde Wine Valley, Hermanus
  • Elephant in Madikwe Game Reserve Elephant in Madikwe Game Reserve
  • Table Mountain Cable Car Table Mountain Cable Car
  • Madikwe Game Reserve Madikwe Game Reserve
  • Madikwe Game Reserve Madikwe Game Reserve
  • Walker Bay, Hermanus Walker Bay, Hermanus
  • Isandlwana Battlefield Isandlwana Battlefield