Her humble beginnings started with Ansett Australia in the mid 1970’s, before moving into various retail travel agency roles, including managing a 7 person office for 3 years.
In 1993 Taleen changed direction, joining African Wildlife Safaris. She first visited Africa on an overland in 1981, travelling from Tanzania through Kenya and Sudan into Egypt, cruising the length of Lake Nasser to Aswan and finally, Cairo. After this trip, she was hooked – falling in love with the continent and needed to see more. In the late 1980’s two renowned movies aired that prompted Taleen to once again return to the continent: Out of Africa and Gorillas in the Mist. She returned in 1989 for the first of three gorilla encounters, whilst also visiting Zimbabwe, where she felt at home and loved the Zimbabwean people. That trip would have a profound impact on Taleen’s life. When she returned to Australia and saw an advert for an African consultant with AWS – she jumped at it.
When AWS developed Natural Focus in 2001, Taleen was keen to expand her product expertise and has since become a guru in Latin America; fascinated by the histories, both indigenous (Quechua, Maya, Aztec and more) and colonial (Spanish), along with the natural wonders of The Amazon, The Pantanal, Patagonia and the Bolivian altiplano.
Taleen is one of our most senior Destination Specialists, she counts hiking Peru’s Inca Trail and Chile’s W Trek in the breathtaking Torres Del Paine National Park as two major highlights. Visiting the Mountain Gorillas (on three occasions!) and seeing 2 male lions on foot chasing zebras in Zambia’s South Luangwa NP are some of her cherished memories.