Caitlin was born and raised in Gisborne, New Zealand. At age 18, Caitlin relocated to Victoria, Australia and studied for her Tourism and TEFL qualifications, whilst working in the hospitality industry to raise funds for a three month adventure to Southern Africa. At 19, she jumped on a plane to Africa and never looked back. She spent a month touring around South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe, before settling back in South Africa to complete an internship, working at a private game reserve. Her trip was amazing and she thoroughly enjoyed learning about, working with and seeing wild animals roam free everyday. Her passion for animal conservation and travel florished during her big OE. Upon returning to Africa, she founded The Travelling Cheetah.
Age: 20 years
Favourite animal: Cheetah
Countries visited to date: 8
When Caitlin was in Africa she met a very beautiful young Cheetah. When the young Cheetah was a cub, her mother was killed by Lions. She and her brother were too young to look after themselves, thus the reserve managers had to capture the young siblings and secure their safety by putting them in a huge boma. Sadly, the young Cheetah’s brother died due to the stress of the whole situation, but the young Cheetah remained brave and strong, surviving against all odds. Caitlin fell in love with the Cheetah when they met, affectionately and secretly naming her Acacia. She was named Acacia after the African species of tree, being strong, resilient, sharp but incredibly beautiful. When Caitlin adopted Acacia she gave her this name to resemble the strength and drive of her namesake and animal counterpart. A month after Acacia was adopted, the young Cheetah was officially named Kwezi, and was released back in to the wild and is continuing to thrive.
Age: 9 Months
Hobby: Travelling and taking selfies
Countries visited to date: 2
Tswalu was born in Australia, and was adopted by Caitlin from Werribee Open Range Zoo, Melbourne in April 2015.
Tswalu was also given his name as an affectionate reminder of a Cheetah Caitlin met in Africa. Tswalu the Cheetah was only seen by Caitlin twice, however she adored the young man. The first time Caitlin met Tswalu he was rolling playfully in the grass. The second time she met Tswalu was at the end of her very last day on the reserve, and she spent quality time with him watching him feast upon a Kudu. The word ‘Tswalu’ means ‘a new beginning,’ which is quite fitting as Tswalu was adopted during the initial stages of development of The Travelling Cheetah project.
Age: 4 months
Hobby: Talking and dancing
Countries visited to date: 1