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FRESH FACES: Bench Africa’s Bonnie-Sue O'Garey

After originally travelling the continent to connect with her Malawian heritage, Bench Africa’s new NSW/ACT State Manager BONNIE-SUE O'GAREY has seen a lot in Africa. But there’s one experience that stands out more than any other...


Where is the last place you travelled? 

Funnily enough, Africa! I’ve just returned from a trip through South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.


Where are you going next? 

For the first time in a long time, I actually don’t have any holidays booked. Although next on my bucket list is probably a Gorilla trek or maybe a quick getaway to the Pacific to relax. Realistically, my bank account will decide my next trip!


Besides your passport, what’s one thing you always take with you on your travels? 

An open mind. 


Why did you take up the role at Bench Africa? 

Why wouldn’t you take up a role that enables you to talk about what you love, everyday? The idea of being out on the road, supporting agents with anything they may need in the "Africa world" with a fantastic product and team here at Bench sounded like a dream to me, so here we are. 


Tell us something people might not know about the company? 

I personally was surprised to learn about the sheer amount of product that Bench has; I thought it was mostly high end or luxury, but it really covers all price ranges and all different styles of travel. It makes learning it all a little harder, but I’ve been surrounding myself with all the amazing experts who work for Bench and that’s made it much easier. 


What’s one travel experience that really stands out? 

The whole Okavango Delta experience in Botswana. It’s honestly incredible! Going out from one of the island camps on a traditional dug out Mokoro (canoe) spotting hippo, crocodile, elephants and so much more along the way to sitting around by a campfire enjoying the raw beauty of the African night sky to then experiencing the wild of the Okavango Delta from above by light aircraft - it’s just out of this world!


What’s your top tip for travelling in Africa? 

Don’t live through your lens! Enjoy and take in the experience before reaching into your pocket to grab your phone or camera, whatever the experience may be. You’ll see some truly incredible things in Africa and you’ll just want to capture it all on camera to give all your family and friends back home some serious holiday FOMO, however it’s important to take it all in first, experience it for yourself and then go in for the photo. You’d hate to miss an incredibly elusive leopard gawking right into your eyes because it’s decided to look away before you could take the million dollar snap.


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Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 3 July 2019

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