Rob Parkinson is a 5th generation South African, born and educated in Johannesburg, and is commonly known as The Tourist’s Friend. He lives with his partner Pauline, a little white dog called “Alfie”, and 3 cats named “Dopey Daffy and Dilly” on the West Coast of South Africa, 150 kilometres north of Cape Town.
Throughout his working career he has travelled widely in Southern Africa, enjoying numerous holidays in popular South African Game Reserves and off-the-beaten-track locations discovered during his travels.
Rob’s hobbies include:
- bird and game watching;
- South African history;
- amateur radio – his call sign is ZS1 RAP and
After leaving the Textile Industry in 1987 Rob ventured into Tourism and Hospitality. He began by owning and managing a successful guest house called Fred’s Farm and Country House for 10 years. This is where he became interested in conducting, as well as customising, tours throughout South Africa for his guests.
When the guest house was sold in 2000 Rob focused wholly on the Tourism side of the business, building on his earlier success and his love of the work. He estimates he has travelled in excess of 3.5 million kilometres with his clients since then.
The Tourist’s Friend currently offers various tourist related services throughout South Africa by means of a network of highly experienced, professional, English-speaking Tourist Guides; with specialisation in:
- Tours to Game Reserves such as Kruger National Park and the Pilanesberg
- Bird watching tours
- South African Cultural tours
- General overview tours
Airport transfers are organized from Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban Airports, as well as Hotels and Guest houses, to destinations all over South Africa.