What is it that you do exactly?
I am the Managing Director of Africa Bespoke. This means that I am involved in the day to day operations of the business. This includes sourcing new business,dealing with some enquiries, managing and updating the website, blog and socialmedia aspects, marketing, plus going site inspections and educational of our preferred properties. Never a dull moment.
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
Planning travel for our clients: plotting the trip, pitching it perfectly, matching it to the person’s likes and needs, plus putting it together so that the result is seamless travels. I also really enjoy dreaming up exciting new journeys by combining interesting destinations and activities. Africa has so many unique aspects to explore.
What would you say are the 3 best places you’ve ever stayed?
Rovos Rail - I recently took this legendary luxury train from Victoria Falls to Pretoria. What a treat! It really is a superb experience, with every detail thought of, incredible service, fine cuisine and the most scintillating wine list one can imagine. Hard to beat just whiling away the hours in the Observation Car reading a novel, talking or playing backgammon to the rhythmic clickety clack of the train.
Jinja, Uganda - Lived in a tent overlooking the White Nile River for 3 months whilst working for a river rafting outfit. We live a simple life on the equatorial forest-lined river banks with the mighty Nile flowing past below, red earth in between my toes. Good beer fantastic people, great memories.
Sabi Sabi Selati Lodge - The Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve is hard to beat. Legendary for its Big Five sightings, it delivered my Big Five dream: a world class leopard sighting. We were guided by a ranger who charming raconteur with and unsurpassed knowledge of the fauna and flora.
What’s been your most memorable dining experience to date?
Tough question as I love my food and restaurants, plus we are lucky to have so many good ones to choose from in the Cape. I would have to say wild boar hunting stew and roast pheasant in Italy, near Rome. Cooked by my Italian cousins and eaten in a medieval village atop a hill. Hard to describe the authentic vibe and tastes.
Have you rubbed shoulders with the rich and famous, either through your work or your travels?
A few years ago in Brazil we were in a small surfing beach village near Salvador, called Itacare. There were very few travellers around, so every day we shared the beach with a small band of English speaking travellers, which included a couple of good looking girls. English speaking girls were a rare find in Brazil, so the singles amongst us got a lot of flak for not chatting them up. No brainer, right? Nothing happened of course, until a couple of days later when the penny finally dropped and we suddenly realized it was none other than Charlize Theron, Stuart Townsend, Kate Bosworth and Orlando Bloom! Our single mates were then forgiven for not attempting their best chat up lines on these Hollywood A listers.
What currently ranks highest on your travel wish list?
Nepal – for some incredible trekking and whitewater kayaking.
Thank you for taking part in our interview, Luke. Your responses make for an enjoyable read.