Roxy Cox questions and answers
Roxy Cox is the newest recruit to the Aardvark Safaris’ sales team. She’s got many years of experience travelling in Africa, running safari camps, and planning numerous holidays. Here she answers some questions we put to her:
Aardvark Safaris: How did you end up in the safari business/what is your background?
Roxy Cox: My father was born in South Africa, my mother in Nigeria and I have been travelling to Africa since the tender age of six. Having always loved the outdoors, and having strong Africa connections, I ended up working for Offbeat Safaris in Kenya after university and this gave me the passion and desire to be in the role I am in now and send people on their trips of a lifetime.
Aardvark Safaris: What’s key to planning the perfect safari?
Roxy Cox: Listening first and then applying knowledge and experience.
Aardvark Safaris: What do you love most about your job?
Roxy Cox: Experiencing all sorts of different types of safari holiday with a completely open mind.
Aardvark Safaris: What’s the strangest safari request you’ve had?
Roxy Cox: Trekking in Uganda to see the chimps and gorillas… but not to be touched by a chimp!
Aardvark Safaris: What’s your most memorable safari moment?
Roxy Cox: Watching a baby giraffe being born when I was six years old. I tried to jump out of the vehicle to run to the vehicle ahead that had parked up ahead and appeared to have missed this moment, only to discover they had spotted some rhino. I now know why my father was so livid at the time, and I have been very good at staying in vehicles ever since!
Aardvark Safaris: What would be your dream holiday itinerary?
Roxy Cox: Dream holiday itinerary … an overnight flight and transferring straight across to safari is my dream way to start a trip. You can never be too tired to make it in time for the evening game drive and enjoy a G&T sundowner.
Baines Camp in the Okavango Delta collects you from the airstrip and already you are immersed in a game lover’s paradise. The beauty about a camp like this is that there are only five rooms, and your bed can be wheeled out on to the deck to spend your first night in Africa beneath the stars.
Following a few days in the Delta, a trip to one of the Unchartered Africa camps to enjoy the desolate location of the Makgadikgadi Pans makes an exciting contrast. Here you can enjoy walking with the bushmen, quad biking across the pans, chilling with the meerkats and various other exciting surprises these camps have to offer. A visit to the pans in the dry season makes an unbelievable change from the lush and blooming delta.
Following on from Botswana, an overnight stop in Johannesburg at somewhere like Athol Place should ensure a good night’s sleep and allow you to wash off the dust from safari.
A flight from Johannesburg to Lake Malawi following day allows you to finish your itinerary reflecting upon your experiences at somewhere like Kaya Mawa the only African resort to openly admit they do not have safes because your belongings are just safe in your open fronted rooms. The trust in this ethos is incredible, and everywhere you walk or cycle to, the Malawians are delighted to see you. This cheerfulness is infectious and after all the activities and walks to watch sunsets, cycling trips round the island, no matter how many days you spend there, you will always just wish you had that one more.
Aardvark Safaris: Where would you like to visit next?
Roxy Cox: Madagascar to meet the lemurs and then on to Constance Tsarabanjina. For somebody who isn’t very good at just doing ‘nothing’ on a beach, Tsarabanjina have plenty of activities from snorkelling to beach tennis volley (being a very keen tennis player an activity like this sounds most intriguing) and lovely hilltop walks, it sounds like the perfect place to end a trip.
Aardvark Safaris: What’s your favourite animal?
Roxy Cox: Without a doubt, the African elephant.
Aardvark Safaris: What’s your sundowner choice?
Roxy Cox: Gin & Tonic. It just doesn’t taste nearly as good anywhere else in the world.
Aardvark Safaris: Favourite country?
Roxy Cox: A very unfair question and one I simply can’t answer as I have favourite parts of each country, and for different reasons.
Aardvark Safaris: Favourite region?
Roxy Cox: Anywhere that allows you to sleep out under the stars (something I’ve enjoyed at Baines Camp and San Camp), and swim in a natural lake or a river.
Aardvark Safaris: Favourite safari activity?
Roxy Cox: Simply watching and observing with the naked eye, smelling the smells and listening to the sounds of the African bush.
Aardvark Safaris: Best ever wildlife sighting?
Roxy Cox: When a herd of elephants came to visit me on my deck at Nsefu Camp, Zambia. One by one they each gently strolled up to me and used their trunks to investigate me from head to toe. They would then give the nod to the next in line to come and do the same, and then nonchalantly wander off. Definitely the most awe-inspiring moment with these creatures.
If I am allowed two, then I have to include being with my husband in the middle of a herd of elephants taking their evening bath in the river in the Okavango Delta. It was just us, with G&T’s in hands, and the eles, and it was our honeymoon, so a very special encounter.
Aardvark Safaris: Most precious piece of safari kit?
Roxy Cox: My senses (eyes, ears and nose in particular)
Aardvark Safaris: What do you like most about being on safari?
Roxy Cox: Watching the sunset lighting the African sky is something truly mesmerising. Reflecting upon the day you have had, not knowing what tomorrow will bring is truly magical. I have a smile on my face remembering clambering up the boulders behind Serengeti Safari Camp to see the sun descend over the Serengeti with drinks and snacks.
I am always very pensive watching my last sunset on a trip, but always full of wonder as I know I will be back, but never quite sure which place will be next.
Aardvark Safaris: Anything else we should know about you?
Roxy Cox: Yes, I’ve seen an aardvark on a night drive from Offbeat Mara Camp in the Masai Mara. Obviously eventually joining Aardvark Safaris was destined!
We would be delighted to help you plan a holiday, or answer any questions if you’re at an earlier stage.
Our team of experts – now including Roxy – has travelled widely throughout Africa. They can offer expert advice on every type of safari from family and beach holidays to riding and primate safaris. If you would like to talk to someone who has been there and done it, please just send us an email or give us a call.