Spotlight on Atta Directors: Ingram Casey

This Monday we offer you to get to know our Southern African Director Ingram Casey and learn more about his work and life in South Africa.

What is your role within Atta?

As Southern African Director my role is to continue the great work started by Sandy Wood (Pulse Africa) in growing Atta in Southern Africa an area that now represents 1/3rd of the overall membership. I am on hand to help current members make the most of their membership and look for new opportunities for member networking and benefits relevant to members based in Southern Africa.

Use 3 words to describe yourself?

Peter Pan Wannabe!

What is your job?

Founder of To Escape To a tailormade African Specialist and Escape+Explore a collection of Africa’s greatest Adventures.

How did you end up in Africa?

I spent 2 years as an African product manager for a large UK tour operator on the outskirts of London. I decided that there was more to Africa than the chain hotels and lodges I was working with and was itching for an adventure and to do my own thing so I resigned to do a 3 month trip through Africa to find a collection of unique experiences and smaller owner run places to stay. That was in April 2003 my last stop was Cape Town and I am still here married to a Zulu speaking South African with 3 biltong chewing children.

How did you end up doing what you do?       

I did a Geography degree and my careers advisor gave me the choices of teaching or accountancy so I decided to go travelling to think about it. I’ve been in travel ever since.

Where is your favourite place in Africa?

Cape Point Reserve remote trails to run, two oceans to surf in, cray fish to catch, ship wrecks and milk wood forests to explore with baboons and ostrich often wandering the remote beaches - all within 40 minutes of the city and 20 minutes from home. Every time I go I leave saying I must do this more often. (close second Likoma Island, Malawi).

What is the strangest /scariest thing you have ever done?

Making a balloon giraffe for Dianna Ross when working as the Harrods toy department balloon wizard aged 18.

What advise would you give your 20 year old self?

Judge your success on how you feel not what you have (my cute 3 year old daughter with Down Syndrome taught me that at 40).

Do you have any major regrets?

I had a deluded all be it short period thinking I was a ‘serious’ businessman and traded a number of adventures including a kayak around Zanzibar and not joining Georgie (my wife) on her 1st trip to Botswana because I thought I needed to be in the office. Now I have young children as a more legitimate excuse to cut short adventures I often think ‘what was I thinking’.

What or who guides your decision making?

My Dad and late Mum original 60’s hipsters set the bar high when it comes to getting the most out of life I try to follow their example with varying levels of success.

What are you doing right now?

In the final planning stages to do 1st Stand Up Paddle safari in the Okavango Delta in less than a months time.

Where are you happiest?

Hiking the fynbos trails of the cape with my kids or sitting in peace at ‘back line’ surfing without them depending on what the days been like. (The latter being my particular preference at the moment).

Who would be at your last supper?

A Christmas dinner with family past and present with Madiba, Winston Churchill and Daley Thomson invited as special guests. An early source of travel inspiration Mr Ben would be invited to sit next to my Dad to trade travel stories allowing the rest of us to get a word in edgeways.

You can contact Ingram on  ingramc@toescapeto.com