Page 19 - Cemair SkyNews Jun/Jul 2017
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“IN THE EARLY DAYS WE TRAVELLED AT A TIME WHEN   PROFILE / EMMA JORDAN
 THINGS WERE REALLY WILD, WHEN THERE WERE NO
 BOUNDARIES AND TIME WAS LONGER.”



                                  INTO THE WILD





                                  Lexie MacNaughton has the bush in HER

                                  bones, happily this intrepid explorer shares

                                  her love of Africa with those far and wide




                                  For Lexie MacNaughton there's nothing better   simplicity. For her the most important thing is
                                  than the wild, open African bush. The owner of   to just experience this wild continent, let it get
                                  Alexa Safaris, Lexie first started travelling the   into your bones.
                                  continent with legendary explorer Izak Barnard
                                  in the early 1970s.                      “In the early days we travelled at a time when
                                                                           things were really wild,” she adds. “When there
                                  “We were real pioneers,” she says. “I can   were no boundaries and time was longer.
                                  remember walking through the Central
                                  Kalahari and seeing Khoi San who had never   "People were happy to drive for days,
                                  encountered white people.”               immersing in the landscape, following the
                                                                           light and wild thunderstorms, to bear witness
                                  She worked with Barnard in the bush, setting   to the dry plains and of course the animals.
                                  up camp in remote areas and bush cooking   Today, time may be shorter, but camps are
                                  for large groups for close to ten years. She   exceptionally well organised, so there is
                                  learned from Izak the practicalities of safari life   every reason why visitors can enjoy these
                                  and also absorbed his passion for wildlife. She   extraordinary experiences."
                                  then worked in the Joburg office of Penduka
                                  Safaris, Barnard's company. When she moved   www.alexasafaris.com
                                  to Plettenberg Bay it was inevitable she would
                                  start her own safari company.

                                  “It's what I know,” she says. “And there's a real
                                  market for it – people have less time and they
                                  want to experience the best.”

                                  Lexie organises safaris throughout Southern
                                  Africa. Every area, she says has something
                                  different to offer – the islands along the
                                  Mozambique archipelago are phenomenal,
                                  inland around the Botswana Chobe region
                                  gives something else – the opportunity to get
                                  close with animals not only on land, but also
                                  to view them from the water, parts of Zambia
                                  are still wild and following the course of the
                                  Zambezi River is totally awesome. Namibia is
                                  what she calls 'the land God made in anger.'

                                  “If you can imagine this place with massive
                                  boulders, huge dunes and vast vistas – a land
                                  of space,” she explains.
                                  Many of her clients are international and they
                                  tap into her first hand knowledge. There isn't
                                  a safari experience she hasn't experienced
                                  – from top-end luxury to more laid-back



                                  Clockwise from top left: A typical African bushscape; Crossing the Moremi in the Okavango;
                                  Bush supper at Kapama Game Reserve.


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