Their deep yearning to share their passion for Africa, and all her wilderness, prompted Ballito couple Brett and Domi Roux to start their bespoke safari business, offering guests life-changing, bucket-list experiences throughout Africa.
“There are not enough years in a lifetime to discover Africa completely. It’s filled with people who have an indomitable spirit, most of whom share a deep connection with the land. Africa does something that no other place can, it talks to you at a soul level, it becomes you, and it never lets you go.”
Having started his travels at a young age, Brett is completely passionate about the continent he says he feels deeply privileged to call home. “Africa awakens part of your mind and sparks your imagination. Its creatures provide us with the greatest show on earth and teach us about ourselves as a species. Africa is home, it’s the mother to human kind.”
Conservation, tracking and photography are some of Brett’s greatest loves and, after 25 years of fine-tuning his bush and photographic skills, Brett’s dream to share his connection with nature with the rest of the world is coming true.
He and his wife Dominique (former owners and founders of the Tree Café and Yoga studio) recently started their bespoke safari design business, Our African Footprints.
It was through their shared loved for Africa, Brett says, that he and Domi first truly connected when they met in 2014. Brett smiles affectionately as he shares the story of the first time he took Domi to the bush soon after they started dating.
“We headed off on an afternoon game drive from Homestead Lodge at &Beyond Phinda. Incredibly, within two or three minutes of leaving we were watching a big male leopard walk down the road. Moments later a grey duiker was startled and jumped across the road and the leopard managed to grab the little antelope and make the kill. It was very evident from that moment Domi was a ‘lucky charm’ and it was imperative that I kept her,” he laughs. Soon after this Domi and Brett travelled to Mnemba island where they swam in clear waters with dolphins, diving and exploring the magical waters off Africa’s East coast.
“Domi also shares a deep love for nature, animals, adventuring and exploring. We both find tranquillity and healing through spending time in nature, chasing sunsets, being near the ocean and mostly spending time in the bush. The bush resets our soul and heals, renews and awakens our senses in every way. It is our happiest place.”
The ‘modern-day bush couple’, got engaged and married in the magical Phinda Sand Forest and their son, Roan was born in 2017. He often tags along on the couple’s bush adventures.
“Roan’s name was inspired by the Roan antelope – a rare, mystical and beautiful creature and one of Africa largest antelope. He was destined to be a bush child and already looks like our very own version of Mowgli. It is a pure delight to see his connection with nature. He can name all the common animals and mimic their calls – all before the age of two,” says Domi.
The couple is determined to help share South Africa and KZN with an international audience. “We believe in South Africa and KwaZulu-Natal and want to showcase this incredible province, country and continent with the rest of the world.”
Our African Footprints is a ‘safari design business’, which means they are able to curate bespoke safari holidays for their guests. “Our trips include bush, rainforest jungles, beaches and the city. We are independent, meaning we can look at all of our partner properties and see what fits the brief most perfectly for our guests. We pay special attention to individual needs and requests and part of our goal is to surprise and delight our guests.”
There is a trend in modern society for people wanting to find true heart connections. Brett and Domi believe that travel is moving towards being more about the combination of small, intimate moments and grand exciting ones, instead of just checking things off a ‘Big 5’ list.
Brett and Domi’s top three favourite destinations:
&Beyond Phinda: For its seven different natural ecosystems, its wonderful cheetah and elephant sightings and its purely magical and ancient sand forest. And it’s where we got married so Phinda is our second home.
Mana Pools: It’s one of the wildest places on earth and Africa’s last walking sanctuary. The beautiful Mana blue light that captures your imagination and the spectacular elephants stand on their hind legs and reach for the sweet leaves. Whether you are running with hunting wild dogs or cruising the mighty Zambezi, Mana is a wonderland.
&Beyond’s Mnemba Island: Mnemba is a paradise like no other. Its idyllic, white sand beaches and perfectly clear warm waters make this destination simply incredible. It is voted one of the most romantic islands on earth and is a diving and ocean safari mecca. It’s a privilege to swim with dolphins, to see turtles lay their eggs on the soft sand beaches and connect with nature on this private island. The accommodation is rustic, windowless and absolutely perfect in every way.
Details: www.ourafricanfootprints.com, @ourafricanfootprints on Instagram and Facebook
Text: MONIQUE DE VILLIERS-DELPORT | Photographs: BRETT ROUX