Meet the Boss: Will Bolsover, World Big Cat Safaris

world-big-cat-safaris MD will bolsoverWorld Big Cat Safaris reviews

Our editors at 101 Holidays conduct regular interviews with the people behind the UK’s finest travel companies. This week we meet our newest member, Will Bolsover, owner and managing director of World Primate Safaris and World Big Cat Safaris.

After a university gap year spent teaching and travelling in Eastern Africa, Will switched courses from European Studies to African and Asian Studies with French. He then worked in Africa, in development, teaching and as a safari guide, before setting up as a tour operator. He now lives in Brighton with his wife Ciara, their son Oscar and dog Sprokit.

* Where did you go on holiday last summer, and why? Any plans for next summer?

We decided to have a bit of a change from permanent African travel and hired a car for a 2 week trip island hopping around Croatia. Fantastic food and culture and not related to work, which was a pleasant change for both my wife and myself. This year we have an extended family holiday on the Greek Island of Spetses and then I am climbing Mt Kilimanjaro (again) with my father to celebrate his 60th birthday.

* What is your favourite bolthole in the UK, and why?

Definitely the north coast of Cornwall. We have a small house on the cliff-top overlooking the sea. Great walks, fresh air, swimming and is there any better nourishment than a pastie and a pint?

* If you could spend a long weekend in any city abroad, which would you pick, and why?

I tend to stay away from cities, so tricky question. If I was pushed then I would have to say that I was quite taken by Dubrovnik. Fantastic old town with views out to sea, a weird and wonderful jazz café where you can meet the locals, great restaurants and fresh seafood dining. Even I didn’t get bored spending a few days wandering the winding streets, browsing the galleries and eating out every night.

Whenever I travel I try to stay as close to the sea as possible. I appreciate the feeling of space and the variety that it offers you and this is exemplified when walking the walls of the old town of Dubrovnik as you look out across the ocean. Dubrovnik has a sense of history to it that keeps you on your toes; only recently has Croatia come to the fore as a holiday destination and with such a turbulent past history I am amazed at what it has to offer.

* Please tell us three items that are always found in your luggage.

Whenever I travel I take my Nikon camera (and a variety of lenses) my laptop for work, and my iPhone on which I keep music to keep me going when inevitably being stuck at an airport.

* What one thing would most improve people’s overall holiday experience?

More time, and for this reason a tour operator. People underestimate the value that a good quality tour operator can offer when tailoring individual itineraries. These guys should have walked the walks and slept in the beds; this makes a huge difference for clients that have no past experience of a destination, saves them money and – more importantly – time, which in my opinion is of the essence when travelling these days. People have limited holiday leave and therefore they want to make the most of it. This is where we come in.

* What has been your worst holiday experience?

As a child I got stuck on the mud flats in France when exploring and the tide was coming in….stupid and a good lesson to learn early on.

* Tell us your favourite hotel: in the UK; in mainland Europe; in the rest of the world.

My favourite hotel in the UK is Claridges (not that I stay there). I love the Englishness of it and the tradition. Europe I am not really qualified to say as I have never stayed in hotels in Europe…only camped. Zarafa Camp in Botswana is one of my favourites … opulent luxury with only four tents, private plunge pools, indoor and outdoor showers and views overlooking a private concession where some of the best game of Botswana abounds.

* What is the most exciting project your company is working on right now?

You mean aside from joining 101 Holidays?… We are currently working on a variety of projects which will result in bringing more destinations to our portfolio for both our brands World Big Cat Safaris and World Primate Safaris. Some of these destinations have been out of the spotlight for a number of years due to political issues.

I love exploring new destinations, seeing what they have to offer and helping (in our own unique way) to encourage money back into a previously struggling economy. We are also looking at introducing an entirely new brand that will specialise in safaris to see bears in the wild in Alaska and Canada.

* Thank you, Will.

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