At Fitzroy Travel, we create one of a kind adventures to Africa for clients looking to elevate their experiences beyond the ordinary. Be it a privately guided expedition to Africa’s more remote corners, or a refreshing take on a family wildlife safari, each journey is crafted personally and totally unique.
Tell us about your journey into entrepreneurship?
Twenty years ago I worked on a conservation project studying wildlife populations in the then rather beleaguered, Kafue National Park in Zambia. This turned out to be the start of a lifelong connection spread across tourism and conservation, the two of which I believe to intrinsically linked. Following an extended period of time managing lodges and guiding privately in Patagonia and Peru, I made my way back to the UK and realised that home is indeed where the heart is after all. Fitzroy was born after working at the sales end of some of Britain’s most reputable tour operators and feeling that things could be done differently.
How does Fitzroy balance the often contradictory term of sustainable tourism?
One idea sits at the very heart of what we do - the long term sustainability of tourism. Put quite simply Africa’s ecosystems are under threat, they need to generate for the local economy in order to survive, in order to nurture the people that live in and around them.
We fully support a model of low volume, high value tourism which is the only way forward in order to generate the required revenue whilst leaving the lightest possible footprint.
How has the NatWest Accelerator programme helped to accelerate your business?
The NatWest Accelerator programme has proven invaluable in terms of focusing the mind on the task at hand, and starting to think a little bigger than I may well have done myself, certainly speeding the process up in terms of considering what Fitzroy can be.
What makes Fitzroy different?
Many companies claim to offer a fully tailored service, when it is often anything but, more often than not it is a trip they have sold many times, just with the names changed.
I will do everything possible to fully understand the motivations of any client looking to travel to Africa and it makes the world of difference to look over a map together to fully explore the options. It brings us all out from behind our screens which is an increasing rarity in today’s digital world. First-hand knowledge is the best way to cut through the information overload.
What are you most excited about right now?
We have been working on an exclusive “Trans-Okavango” safari in Botswana. The idea is very much to simplify the safari experience, to take a step back from luxury for luxury’s sake and create a trip that serves as a reminder of what brought us here in the first place. By mobilising a simple camp and your own professional team, we will make our way from the panhandle in the north of the wider Okavango Delta eco system by canoe, boat and on foot whilst following the seasonal floods south east to the legendary Moremi Game Reserve. In doing so we can connect our guests to one of the world’s most unique eco systems in a way that few others can. It is in sharing experiences like this where we can find the greatest luxury of all.