From Johannesburg, South Africa, Linda has a love of safaris and travel that started straight out of school, studying Travel & Tourism. At the age of 19, she joined a local tour operator working with lodges and boutique hotels in South Africa. Her role involved visiting lodges, and many parts of South Africa with them, in a way most South Africans never get to experience.
When she was not visiting lodges, Linda was to be found paragliding in the mountains. After more than a decade working with the South African inbound travel industry, she branched out into the conferencing and events industry. During this time, she worked with a number of hotels in the inner city of Johannesburg, an area that for many years had become derelict and classed as a ‘gang-land’ before its regeneration for the 2010 Football World Cup. After this event, the area began to open up into walking boulevards with sidewalk art, pavement coffee shops, rooftop venues, and hotels. This was a very exciting time to be working with hotels in the area, changing mindsets and reintroducing ‘the heart’ of old Johannesburg to the local industry.
After moving to the UK and joining the Africa safari industry here, Linda was introduced to East Africa and gorilla tracking – and a whole new love affair began! This really was love at first sight! Linda had been thoroughly spoiled by the wonderful lodges and experiences of South Africa, and these eastern areas brought in a whole new dimension to safaris.
Gorilla tracking became an instant passion, and Linda went on to track mountain gorillas in Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic’s Virunga National Park, and western lowland gorillas in the Republic of the Congo – not to mention climbing Mount Nyiragongo in the DRC, which boasts the world’s largest active lava lake!
In 2016, Linda visited the original home of the African safari, Kenya, in an extensive trip to Nairobi, Laikipia, Samburu, and the Maasai Mara. During her holiday, she explored the vast Laikipia highlands by foot, vehicle, and horse, and searched for the endangered ‘Samburu Five’. She learned about Samburu culture at Saruni Rhino before finally heading to the famous Maasai Mara and taking a hot air balloon ride to enjoy extraordinary views of the park during the soft dawn light – a classic safari experience.