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BAck At Base

Meet the fantastic staff at Dragoman HQ in Suffolk! If you're interested in joining our friendly and dynamic team, please check the job vacancy page for any current opportunities!

 

Catharina van Rijn

Tailor-Made Specialist

Catharina joined the Dragoman family in 2016 after an extensive career as an adventure tour leader and a wealth of travel experience across the world. She heads the Tailor-Made department for Dragoman and Imaginative Traveller, planning and organising personalised travel experiences including our private truck charters.

A bit about Catharina

With both her parents in the Navy, an uncle cycling all over the world, and the rest of her family living abroad or sailing and surfing in every imaginable place on this planet; travelling is in Catharina's blood!

Catharina has lived in Spain, Argentina and Italy and she worked for almost a decade as a Tour Leader all over South America and Europe. Catharina loves climbing mountains, cycling in the Tuscan hills and trying all the local specialties in the places she visits.

- What's your favourite destination? 

Impossible to name just one favourite destination! But one for sure is climbing Mount Kilimanjaro with my dad. The combination of walking every day through completely different landscapes, the physical challenge and our incredible team literally singing us to the top is one of the best experiences of my life!

- What has been the most surprising destination that you've been to?

I ran a trip in Romania recently and I wasn't overly excited about going there. The country and its people surprised me completely! It feels like in parts of Romania time has stood still since the Middle Ages, with most people still dressed in traditional clothes going by horse carts to the local market. We visited some tiny gypsy villages with fortified churches and incredibly welcoming people sharing their home brewed Palinka with us.

- What has been your favourite or most memorable occasion whilst travelling?

Our truck getting stuck in the mud in the Maasai Mara! I was on a trip in Kenya and Tanzania and even though it was dry season, it poured down for a few days. When we were trying to leave the Maasai Mara, our truck got stuck in the mud. Two Maasai tribes tried to come to the rescue with tractors, but they were unsuccessful. Even the rangers showed up and tried to pull us out with their jeep, but the truck was simply not moving! After a couple of hours, which we spent laughing and jumping with the local Maasai tribes, a tractor from three villages down finally managed to get the truck out. The truck was towed to the next village, to solid ground and we all had to walk there with the Maasai accompanying us. For most of us this was the highlight of the trip; hanging out with the locals!

- Where is the next destination on your list? 

Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan are at the top of my list, followed closely by Kalimantan and Sulawesi.

- What is your one piece of advice to future overlanders? 

The most unexpected situations can become the most memorable ones!