Dries was born and spent his childhood in the Western Cape before enrolling at Pieter Veldsman’s Chef School and then moving on to spending some time in Switzerland. He returned to South Africa, and enrolled at Cape Town Hotel School where he completed his three year studies with a 6 month practical at Ellerman House (Relais Chateaux Property), Bantry Bay, South Africa. This was followed by some years at various five star properties as General Manager before his entrepreneurial spirit led him to start a tour company, based in the Cape Winelands. Its success resulted in further investment in the hospitality industry including mobile retail outlets and successfully owning four restaurants within the greater Cape Winelands area for over 14 years. Other hospitality interests included a skincare salon, accommodation, travel and property.
The call of the bush however was too strong. Dries successfully ran different five star tented camps in the Limpopo, South Africa area before joining the Isibindi family with its strong yet humble culture and supporting values.