I’ve always been fascinated with Africa. Originally from Salford in the north of England I first visited this continent in 1981 where I drove all the way to Johannesburg (and most of the way back) by Land Rover. That incredible journey took me almost two years, I had plenty of adventures, made many friends and learned a great deal along the way. Like all travellers to Africa I was captivated by the people, the animals and grandeur of the landscapes but at the same time I was challenged by what I saw around me: apartheid, political instability, environmental degradation. For a naive Northern lad like me these were powerful experiences, life-changing stuff.
After Africa I set up a tour company in Turkey and then later with Gail, established Straycat one of Australia’s first and most loved backpacker bus tours. Keen to stay on the ‘alternative’ side of tourism, I then moved to remote Central Australia to work with Aboriginal people, assisting them to set up their own tourism activities. I’m still doing this fascinating work as a part of a team made up of knowledgeable elders and dedicated professionals, but after 14 years, increasingly I’m feeling the urge to go back and live in Africa.