Lucinda joined the Aardvark team in 2010, fresh from several years working at a remote bush camp in Zambia’s South Luangwa Valley – a position she found after her passion for Africa was sparked by a charity climb up Kilimanjaro and a Kenyan safari – organised, coincidentally, by Aardvark. Unable to drag herself away, the initial five month position eventually spanned four years and stints working for two of the best safari companies in Zambia. It only came to an end when a 15kg sausage fruit fell on her wrist, resulting in an injury that required surgery back in the UK.
As well as visiting some of the more remote areas of Zambia, her travels around the continent include Mozambique, Malawi, Zanzibar, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia.
Prior to Africa and Aardvark, Lucinda completed a degree in History of Art, spending a year at a Rome university where, in her spare time she worked as a city guide leading six to seven hour tours of the Vatican City, walks of the historical city centre, and tours of the Colosseum and Roman Forum. Returning to Rome after graduating, she spent a further 18 months leading and developing tours around this ancient city and the surrounding areas. Other employment in her wonderfully peripatetic career includes working on a magazine and a spell as an estate agent.
Away from the office Lucinda is a keen photographer and grew up riding and eventing. She loves the opportunities that Africa provides to indulge in both these passions. Having run safari camps she has a good insight into Africa and the people who come to visit, and what makes an average camp truly great.
Favourite African experience
There are so many but these would be a start: Watching nearly a thousand pelican flying through the pink streaked sunset sky in Liuwa Plains, Zambia; riding with white rhino and walking with black rhino in South Africa; spending time with the endangered mountain gorillas; reaching the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro; and lying in bed at night listening to the hippos in the river and the local lions roaring in camp.
Impossible to answer – I am as happy watching elephants at a waterhole or a leopard up a tree with its kill as I am marvelling at a flock of carmine bee-eaters. Apart from snakes, I will admire any African wildlife for hours on end.
Favourite three camps
Mchenja in the South Luangwa will always have a special place in my heart as the first camp I ran. It has a stunning position, a wonderful team of staff and fabulous wildlife all around, and quite often inside, camp.
Singita Ebony in the Kruger – who wouldn’t want to watch elephant and buffalo, amongst others, from the comfort of their private plunge pool?
Tswalu – a completely unique area with stunning landscapes and great wildlife viewing, with some rarer species like the elusive Aardvark.
Can I have just one more? Virunga Lodge in Rwanda has some of the most extraordinary views I’ve ever seen and is the perfect base from which to track the mountain gorillas.
African countries visited
Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
Tropical islands visited
Maldives, Seychelles, Zanzibar.
On arranging holidays
I am lucky enough to have a job which is essentially about making people happy. We strive to ensure that, through our knowledge, we can plan and put together superb holidays. What makes a perfect safari will depend completely on the person I am are arranging it for – a simple dome tent works for some while a room with a private plunge pool would be better for others. There are some key essential ingredients; excellent guiding, great wildlife and few other people in the same area, but really it’s all about getting to know what you want. I particularly enjoy hearing about the trips I’ve arranged when my clients return, it’s a great buzz when we manage to exceed expectations.