Meet the Team 

MARCUS NEAL, Senior Customer Services Manager

Which Lions tour/s have you worked or attended: 2017 New Zealand.

Your favourite moment of a previous Lions tour: The Lions Den, the Sea of Red.

Where in South Africa have you visited and when: Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town in February 2020. Port Elizabeth in 1992.

What were your highlights of South Africa: Constitutional Hill and the amazing food (quality, quantity and price). Favourite restaurants were “Cape to Cuba” in Calk Bay and “Surfshack” in the Clifton area.

My favourite South African food: Frikkadel is a traditional Afrikaner dish comprising usually baked, but sometimes deep-fried, meatballs prepared with onion, bread, eggs, vinegar and spices.

My favourite personal experience/moment in South Africa: Visiting Constitution Hill.

My “wish I had known before I travelled”: Tipping is expected and the norm is to write the value on the receipt before handing over your card or payment. However, some restaurants add the tip automatically whilst still including the additional TIP line for you to write in – therefore very easy to tip twice.

My “wish I had packed in my suitcase”: Binoculars to view the wildlife including whales, dolphins and seals found along the coastline of Cape Town.

My best South African purchase: Metal bottle-topped head of a Greater kudu (woodland antelope found throughout eastern and southern Africa). Wall art – started at ZAR 1800 bartered down to ZAR 1000 – purchased in the market in Boulders Car Park

What would you advise against: Not following the advice given and venturing out into areas advised as unsafe.

Glen Ferguson, Event Services Manager

Which Lions tour/s have you worked or attended: Australia 2013 and New Zealand 2017.

Your favourite moment of a previous Lions tour: The final deciding test in 2017.

Where in South Africa have you visited and when: Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town in February 2020

What were your highlights of South Africa: V&A Waterfront.

Favourite South African food: Bunny chow.

My favourite personal experience/moment in South Africa: Ending the day with a sundowner at Camps Bay.

My “wish I had known before I travelled”: Tips are expected in most places so have small denominations of cash.

My “wish I had packed in my suitcase”: Binoculars, they will be very useful when spotting wildlife throughout South Africa.

My best South African purchase: A bottle of South African red wine.

What would you advise against: Taking large sums of cash, there are plenty of ATMs and nearly all shops, bars and restaurants accept card payment.

Charlotte Perkins, Customer Service & Tour Coordinator

Which Lions tour/s have you worked or attended: New Zealand 2017.

My favourite moment of a previous Lions tour: The ‘Sea of Red’ at the Lions Den on matchday – what an atmosphere!

Where in South Africa have you visited and when: I was lucky enough to visit South Africa in 2018 for England’s Summer Tour. With a group of circa 40 clients we travelled across South Africa for nearly four weeks and visited Cape Town, Johannesburg, Bloemfontein and Kruger.

What were your highlights of South Africa: I loved Cape Town – it’s such a beautiful place with so much to see, and the views from the top of Table Mountain were incredible.

My favourite South African food: A South African Braai in the sunshine.

My favourite personal experience/moment in South Africa was the game drives at Kruger National Park. These were an absolute dream come true and a tick against my bucket list.

My “wish I had known before I travelled: Tipping is largely expected so, if you are out and about, having some cash at hand is essential.

My “wish I had packed in my suitcase”: If you are a light sleeper and visiting one of the game reserves – take earplugs! The animals can be noisy at night which is amazing to experience but the morning game drives do require a very early start!

Best South African purchase: Cape Town ‘The Pink Lady’ gin

What would you advise against: Not following local advice on safety. Most hotels issue a really useful checklist with tips on how best to stay safe and secure that is definitely worth following to ensure you have the best trip possible.

Kane Hazard, Event Services Coordinator

Which Lions tour/s have you worked or attended: New Zealand 2017

Your favourite moment of a previous Lions tour: The official Lions welcome by hundreds of Maori in the Bay of Islands, second Test Lions Den and Test Match,

Where in South Africa have you visited and when: Johannesburg, Kruger, Cape Town & Bloemfontein in June 2018 for England’s Summer Tour.

What were your highlights of South Africa: Table Mountain, Kruger National Park and Game Drives, Ellis Park atmosphere.

My favourite South African food: Any of the steak!

My favourite personal experience/moment in South Africa: National Anthems at Ellis Park, views from the top of Table Mountain, seeing a Leopard right by the side of our truck in Kruger National Park!

My “wish I had known before I travelled”: How cheap food and drink is – be prepared to indulge!

My “wish I had packed in my suitcase”: Lip balm – the altitude can make your lips dry!

Best South African purchase: Biltong

What would you advise against: Ignoring local advice, it isn’t to scare you, the people genuinely care for your wellbeing and want you to enjoy their beautiful country to the fullest extent.

Lucy Willmott, Customer Service & Tour Coordinator

Where in South Africa have you visited and when: I’ve visited Cape Town as part of a visit to Southern Africa in 2012.

What were your highlights of South Africa: The wildlife would have to be the top highlight, closely followed by the food and wine.

My favourite South African food is a typical South African Braai – with this you literally can’t go wrong, however I’m looking forward to trying some more of the traditional South African dishes.

My favourite personal experience/moment in South Africa: Climbing Table Mountain was a great experience. The views are incredible.

My wish I had known before I travelled”: You do have to be aware of keeping your personal belongings safe and be on your guard when out in public.

My “wish I had packed in my suitcase”: More insect repellent.

My Best South African purchase: Many of the towns and cities have amazing markets where you can get hand painted pottery and hand carved wooden animals, these make great souvenirs!

What would you advise against: Going out on your own.

What do you most look forward to: I’m really excited to be a part of the Sea of Red. I’ve heard a Lions Tour is an experience like no other!

Tasmin Carthy, Customer Service Administrator

Having never been to South Africa or worked on a Lions tour, I most look forward to experiencing all South Africa has to offer. Its culture, history, food and of course the rugby. I can’t wait to meet the clients and experience my first Lions tour.

I hope to experience great food, amazing landmarks and architecture. I also hope to experience a safari adventure and see the Big Five. I hope to visit all the amazing cities South Africa have to offer such as Cape Town, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth.

I am most looking forward to trying biltong which is a dried, cured, and spiced meat. I’m also looking forward to trying boerewors which is a type of sausage made from beef mince. I have heard a lot about these dishes and would like to give them a try.

My Favourite animal of the Big Five is most definitely the elephant closely followed by the leopard. I think the elephant is a remarkable mammal and I cannot wait to see one with my own eyes in their natural habitat.

Samuel Brown, Event Services Administrator

My favourite moment of a previous Lions tour was George North lifting Isreal Folau in the 2013 tour of Australia.

I previously went on a rugby tour 2015 to South Africa for three weeks and visited visiting Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Paarl and Stellenbosch.

Besides the rugby, the main highlight of South Africa was the exposure to different cultures and behaviours. It was a key reason for going on to study Sociology with Anthropology at University.

My favourite South African food is the steak – I remember the quality to be great and it was cheaper than I was expecting!

My “wish I had packed in my suitcase”: Clothes / shoes to give to the children in the township I visited as they are in need

My best South African purchase: The only purchase I made was a traditional woodwork set of serving spoons for my parents.

What would you advise against: Going against advice on which areas to visit, due to the safety aspect.