Joanne Dickson - Chief Executive Officer
I first visited Africa aged 11. The holiday was a month long, covered Pretoria, the Kruger National Park, Swaziland and Cape Town and felt like an epic journey coming from small-town England. Born in Nottinghamshire, life took a meaningful turn when two years later my parents and I emigrated to South Africa.
After five years living and studying in the Orange Free State and KwaZulu Natal, I headed to Johannesburg – City of Gold – to discover my fortune. When it wasn’t immediately discoverable, I decided to head to Europe where I subsequently spent 18 months travelling, working and discovering the wonders of the world ... a love affair with travel had begun.
Today – nearly 25 years later – my love for travel continues.
Where I've travelled
Before joining Go2Africa I was fortunate to travel extensively throughout the world visiting the United States, Barbados, Australia and many countries throughout Europe.
The last 10 years has been spent discovering the wonders of Africa. I continue to travel extensively and frequently throughout South, Southern and East Africa as well as the Indian Ocean islands.
My favourite travel moments
You cannot travel regularly throughout Africa and have one favourite moment! When you are travelling in Africa, you’re constantly interacting with people and wildlife; all of these experiences leave their mark and form part of your memory bank.
Witnessing the incredible relationship the keepers and their orphaned baby elephant at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Elephant Orphanage in Nairobi is an incredible experience; getting a 30cm-long tongue lick from one of Nairobi’s Giraffe Centre’s rescued Rothchild's giraffes is fun to say the least; spending the morning foraging in the Okavango Delta with Jabu, Thembi and Morula – three of Douglas Grove’s Living with Elephants herd members – is humbling while trekking the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest to discover and spend an hour observing silverback, female and baby gorillas is priceless!
Words cannot describe how you feel when walking the plains of the Masai Mara with a Maasai warrior and his spear, witnessing the sheer delight of Africa’s children as they - frequently for the first time - see themselves on your digital camera screen or shaking the bones with a local ‘witchdoctor’.
I’ve equally had fun 4x4 hurtling through thunderous river crossings, attempting light aircraft take off on black cotton soil airstrips stickier than bubble gum, and parachute diving against the backdrop of Cape Town’s Table Mountain.
What I love about Africa
I love the people, the children, the culture, the wildlife, the scenery and its story. I have never met anyone who wasn’t enchanted by Africa.
Some African Travel advice
Travelling in Africa is an experience – take whatever it throws at you and enjoy it.