About | About Darren
In essence, when you return from a trip that Travel Sommelier has orchestrated for you, there is a look that I want to see in your eyes, or a tone in your voice ... and if it is not there, I will be severely disappointed.
After a rewarding 18 year career masquerading as a corporate bond salesman on Wall Street, I resigned in 2010 to incorporate Travel Sommelier, the fulfilment of a longheld ambition. TravelSommelier is a luxury safari and bespoke wine tourism entity that instills a tailor made ethos to personal travel, something that many travel consultants pay lip service to, but do not always deliver.
I have been a passionate traveller from an early age and in addition to traveling to all seven continents have had the privilege of navigating in excess of sixty countries. I’ve experienced countries from the bottom up & from the top down - traveling as a student with limited means through to traveling on a very healthy budget. I am acutely aware that simply paying top dollar does not ensure you achieve all of your goals on a particular trip, just as I am very sensitive to structuring itineraries that ensure visitors go off the beaten track, eat at local restaurants, take the left fork in the road, but never lose sight of the fact that there are trip highlights to experience.
The inspiration for Travel Sommelier emanated largely from these firsthand experiences but also from a realization that, after assisting either work colleagues, clients or friends and neighbors with safari trips to my native Southern Africa, I have a talent for structuring distinctive trips. To witness upon their return just how deeply a family can bond on a trip of this nature or how a couple can talk about having experienced the trip of a lifetime is a great reward. It was these responses that bought into sharp focus the point that determining a traveler’s very particular needs and providing incisive advice & insights were invaluable services.
Finally, it bears underlining a key philosophy behind Travel Sommelier. I am not comfortable recommending a trip or a product unless I have an intimate knowledge of the product and destination. This means, in most cases, having visited properties and undertaken trips to appreciate local logistics. In essence, once I have seen, touched and smelt a product at grass roots level, I am in a better position to match itineraries with a traveler’s goals & expectations.