After years of ‘what ifs’, Andrew Englisch and Nigel Camilleri decided to make the wilderness their livelihood. We find out what it’s like to jump off the cliff - literally.
Spend some time with this pair of adventure-loving filmmakers and two things are pretty obvious, straight away. One, they’re great mates. Two, they get very excited when you start talking about the great outdoors.
For over a decade, the duo have been exploring the globe in search of bigger and better adventures - most of the time with film gear in tow.
“The more you do it, the more you want to do it. You want to get back out there. You just get really energised and excited about the next thing, whatever that next thing is,” says father-of-two Andrew.
He calls it a “restlessness”. That feeling you get at the end of a long trip when you’re tired and jet lagged but can’t shake the desire to do it all over again.
Andrew’s an intrepid skier and mountaineer who’s been to the top of Tasmania’s Federation Peak, a near-vertical climb that’s had fewer people at the summit than Mount Everest.
For Nigel - also a father of two as well as the holder of a Hungarian visa - that call of the wild always hits hardest when he’s on a chairlift heading to the top of a ski run.
“I can’t hear anything, just the wind,” he reflects. “It’s the most peaceful place that I can be. I just want to do that. It’s a real agitation, almost.”
It’s the micro details of business life that get to Andrew. The traffic. The phone calls. The incessant emails. The constant flow of the everyday.
“You never stop, there’s always something to do,’’ he says.
“You’re not really seeing all the great stuff that is happening out there,” Nigel adds. “When you’re out in the bush, out in the wild, you can see how amazing the world can be.”
The pair have backgrounds in production and creative work, and found themselves working together on some big global brands. That’s when the idea began to take shape.
“We saw an opportunity focused on things that we both love, like tourism, travel, adventure and sport. That’s when we came up with Safari,” explains Andrew.
So in 2017, they decided to turn their years of adventuring and shared love of filmmaking into a business. Now that decision to make a living collecting images, videos, and stories from some of the world’s most picturesque locations is paying off in more ways than one.
“Yesterday we were jumping off 12-metre rocks into Behana Gorge in the middle of the beautiful Queensland rainforest,” Nigel admits. Not bad for a day at the office.
The Third Adventurer
For Andrew and Nigel, the ever-present desire to get off the beaten track can be satisfied a little more comfortably thanks to the Mercedes-Benz X-Class. Recently, they’ve been putting the ute to the test in Tasmania - navigating rain, sleet, and sharp inclines on and off the road.
“I’d never driven a ute before in my life, so I was a big convert,” Nigel says. “It definitely had the capability, the functionality, the refinement and the creature comforts.“
Taking it through river crossings, down steep descents and across wet sand left the pair feeling that the X-Class was more than up to any challenge.
“We had all the gear in the back, you could take it off road and anywhere you needed to. That tray takes so much stuff,“ Andrew adds.
That’s vital when the job might involve hauling expensive camera gear through tropical Queensland. Or when taking the kids out next weekend means loading up skis or kayaks. Whatever the reason, Nigel and Andrew are always ready for their next adventure.