Dream Job: How Rose Taylor “Sells” Safari at Indagare

“I would like to help reframe the perception of a safari,” Rose Taylor (Allen), Indagare’s senior director of African Safari travel product, says. “I have seen first-hand the impact that safari has on people who thought it would be a once-in-a-lifetime trip and now will go back time and again.”

Now based in Brooklyn, Taylor spent five formative years living in London with her family from the age of 10 to 15. Her family traveled all over Europe and beyond, and took their first safari to South Africa when she was 12. “It remains our favorite family trip ever,” she says, “even after all these years. It all got under my skin at a young age—to be in the bush, see animals in the wild and experience it all while getting to know your local guide. After that trip, I was always always drawn to Sub-Saharan Africa and found myself returning however I could, year after year.”

As her career progressed at Indagare, so did her frequency of travel to the continent. She has scouted lodges, logistics and experiences, including for safaris in South Africa, Namibia, Tanzania, Botswana and more, as well as gorilla trekking in Uganda.

Today, Rose is crafting a strategy to share #IndagareSafari with more of our community because we believe safari has the power to change the lives of travelers, local communities and safari ecosystems and we believe that through our intimate understanding of safari and our deep relationships with our safari partners, we can make safari even better for our travelers.

That doesn’t mean we’re satisfied! In her day-to-day, Rose is working with our safari partners to strengthen those relationships, educate our team through trainings and scouting trips and produce safari coverage to share the latest news and insights with our readers.

Below is our Q&A with Rose on why she loves African safari and the people behind the place; plus, why she is inspired to show that safari is not once-in-a-lifetime.

Contact us for assistance planning a customized safari. Our team can match you with the destinations, accommodations and activities that are right for you and provide tips for planning a safe, seamless and rewarding experience.

Let’s start with a big but fun question. What do you love about an African safari?

“The feeling I get in the bush is total calm. It’s a reset where I am completely in touch with myself but also the people I’m traveling with. I connect on a deeper level with whomever I’m with—whether it be the lodge manager and guide or my husband or family. There is something that pulls me back over and over again because of how I feel when on safari.

Of course, I also love animals and seeing them in the wild, doing what they were meant to do and living how they were meant to live. That is pure magic. And then there’s the cultural element of safari. I love getting to know my guide and their story, the lodge staff and what they’re passionate about and any local community members that I might be lucky enough to meet and spend time with. The combination of the people, the animals and the sense of calm—it’s just so powerful.”

Related: Indagare Matchmaker: Best Safaris in Africa

What do you enjoy most about your day-to-day job?

“Being part of the process with our members—whether they’re investing in their first family safari or looking to go on their fourth—is so exciting and invigorating.

I get so much energy from those initial calls—comparing different safari destinations, discussing different safari lodge options and talking about expectations and what safari is really like. This conversation is absolutely a critical piece of the matchmaking, and that is at the core of what Indagare does when we plan safaris.

It is incredible to spend my days promoting an experience that has such a positive impact on people, and we make sure that our members’ safaris also have a positive impact on the places they go—both in benefit of the local communities and the wilderness. We are all so lucky to have these opportunities and experiences and it is really a dream job.”

You talk a lot about how safari isn’t a one-time experience. Why?

Rose (front left) and her family on safari in 2002 at Singita Ebony in South Africa. Courtesy Rose Allen / Indagare
Rose and her family in Botswana in 2003. Note that Indagare no longer recommends up-close wildlife encounters without vetting their operations. Courtesy Rose Allen / Indagare
At Little Makalolo in Zimbabwe. Courtesy Rose Allen / Indagare

“Well, most people go into it thinking it is once-in-a-lifetime—it’s far away for most, it is definitely one of the more expensive trips (although when compared to Jackson Hole over the holidays or Italy in the summertime, the prices can be pretty similar) and it feels like an experience that is so far from our everyday lives, especially for those of us that live in cities or even suburban areas where there isn’t much wildlife to observe at all.

But for a recent project, I surveyed so many people who have been on safari before and 100 percent of them said that they want to, and will, go back. It really draws you in in such a way that has people sure they will return again.

To be clear, Sub-Saharan Africa is a massive part of a continent and there is a huge variety of experiences. Let’s say the first-time safari is to South Africa with city, winelands, safari—now they’re ready for the next step, which might be Botswana for the Okavango Delta and seeing things from water level versus the vehicle or East Africa for its completely different landscapes and variety of special cultural experiences. And then Namibia is what we call a wilderness destination where yes, you can go on safari, but it’s perfect for a 3rd or 4th time trip to Sub-Saharan Africa.

What I mean to say is you can have incredibly different safari experiences within different countries and regions, so returning again could mean going back to the same lodge where you fell in love with the staff but most of the time, it means discovering a different safari experience.

Let’s say someone is dying to see wild dogs, or rhinos, or birds—we’ll matchmake them to the perfect camp and the best time of year to try and guarantee you’ll see what you wanted to see.”

Is there a lesser-known place that you’re passionate about teaching people about?

“Well, not lesser-known, but I love Botswana for truly wild game viewing. I love animals and I can’t help myself but I always want to be in the vehicle, always out game viewing. Within Botswana, the Linyanti region is a bit lesser-known than the Delta and they’re super easy to combine. With its permanent water, open floodplains and forest, it has a diverse habitat and a completely different environment from the Delta, with a year-round combination of land- and water-based activities such as boating, barge brunches and fishing. It has the largest elephant population in Africa and wild dogs—but also incredible predators, albeit seasonally.”

You often say safari is much more than game-viewing or seeing animals. What do you mean when you say that?

With children from Maloto's Early Childhood Education program. Courtesy Rose Allen / Indagare
At DubaTau, in the Linyanti region of Botswana. Courtesy Rose Allen / Indagare
Flying over the Okvavango Delta (left) and with a Maasai warrior in Tanzania. Courtesy Rose Allen / Indagare

“Exactly—and it’s been said so often before, but it is the people who make the place. For a lot of our clients, the hook is safari and the game-viewing but it’s the communities, the people and interactions with the local cultures that they come away remembering. For one family it may be their safari guide and the bond they developed over the course of their stay and for others, the connection they had with the lodge staff, a community project leader or a Maasai warrior who taught them how to make a fire from scratch.

The best safari lodges embed themselves in local communities through an ecosystem where they’re not only providing employment but also opportunities to educate local children about conservation or to enterprise and I believe that for conservation to be successful, it has to be a holistic model. 

When I’m not working on making safari magic, I serve on the board Maloto, an organization in northern Malawi that also has a holistic approach to its programs that aim to feed, educate and empower women and children in a community called Mzuzu. While it’s not embedded in a luxury travel model, there are parallels between them both. It is a cause that I am incredibly passionate about and have been involved with for over seven years.I have visited the programs five times, including on an Indagare Journey that I led, and the experiences that I have had with my Malawian friends will stick with me forever. When I am there, I am fully immersed in the local culture and that has had such an impact on me.”

Contact us for assistance planning a customized safari. Our team can match you with the destinations, accommodations and activities that are right for you and provide tips for planning a safe, seamless and rewarding experience.

– Annie Fitzsimmons on June 26, 2023




There is something that pulls me back over and over again because of how I feel when on safari.
~ Rose Allen

Become an Indagare Member Today!

Join sign in

Save as PDF