Globetrotter: Daniel Betts

Daniel Betts, CEO of Liberia-based gold prospecting firm Hummingbird Resources, loves skimming over the rainforest and fishing in Russia.

Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

How often do you travel?

I'm always on the move. I recently returned from a three-week trip round Australia and Singapore, meeting potential investors. I go to Liberia every month, where the gold exploration team is based.

What do you do in Liberia?

We've been searching for gold there since 2005. Last year, we found nearly four million ounces. We're at the stage where it needs to be drilled out now, but it's expensive. Drilling 10,000 metres costs about $2m. So we take out investors or brokers to try and persuade them it's a good bet.

Where is the mine based?

It's in the middle of the jungle: we had to build roads and bridges just to reach it. The camp is hot, humid and remote - you can't just pop into town. It's a simple life. I bought a speedboat soon after we arrived and spent a lot of time water skiing around crocodile-infested lagoons.

Most memorable experience?

It used to be a day's drive from the main Liberian airport to the camp, but now we go by helicopter, flying over a canopy of virgin rainforest.

Favourite city?

Vancouver or Perth. I'm pretty active - I like playing tennis or squash and love fishing. I'm off to a military-controlled zone in Russia soon for a week's fishing in the absolute wilderness.

Where do you stay?

One of our shareholders lends us an amazing house in Cape Town for a conference I attend every year in February. In Liberia, we've built a house on the camp now, but on my first visit I stayed in a guest house which was also a brothel.

Worst aspects of Liberia?

When I went to Monrovia, there were bullet holes all over, and buildings with no roofs. And the food isn't great. The local dish is rice and crushed fish bones - horrendous. I stick to Dairylea slices and Coke.

Worst travel experience?

On one of my first trips with my business partner, we broke down in the middle of the jungle. We walked into a village and waited while the villagers decided what to do with us - were they going to put us in a pot and eat us? But they made us welcome and offered a bed on their mouse-infested floor in a mud hut. I always find these experiences entertaining. I've never had a disastrous trip.

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime