The South Africa-born, California-based real estate agent recently gave up all luxury and personal privacy for a life-changing experience.
Du Toit was physically attached to another person for 10 days in Discovery Network’s new survival show Tethered, which takes reality television to the extreme.
Du Toit says: “I thought they’d give me someone of the opposite sex. I thought I’d be stranded with a gorgeous woman for 10 days. How awesome would that be? Instead I got this: an adventurous guy who lives by the moment and doesn’t plan ahead.”
Tethered by four-foot cable to environmental activist Rob Greenfield, a complete stranger at the beginning of the experience, Du Toit was dropped in the middle of Alligator Bayou in the Louisiana swamplands, where the two had to learn to work together to survive.
They had to endure the bayou’s extreme heat and humidity, survive swarms of mosquitoes and cut through neck-deep, gator-infested swamps.
The pair couldn’t be more different. Du Toit lives the high life, with an expensive car, a trophy wife and a life to die for. Greenfield is an unmaterialistic sort and soon realises he’s been tied to a city slicker with absolutely no survival experience, who dislikes bugs, is repelled by swampy water and is frightened by anything that goes bump in the night.
“It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life,” Du Toit says.
“I’ve created a beautiful environment for myself in California, and leaving that behind there was a lot of uncertainty. I missed my cafe latte first thing in the morning. I missed the beautiful weather we have, with no bugs. I missed my family. I’m a typical South African. My entire life I’ve travelled all over the world. I love hiking, I love sailing and I love extreme sports.”
What Du Toit didn’t realise was how extreme things would get. By the end of their first day, he and Greenfield had resorted to drinking their own urine, as Du Toit was already showing signs of dehydration.
He explains: “When you’re hungry and thirsty, you’ll do anything. I’m lucky Rob hung in there for as long as he did because I was eaten alive by leeches. I thought to myself ‘no, no, I’m going to eat you’. So I pulled them off of my body and ate them.”
Despite still loving his luxury, Du Toit says he definitely has a new appreciation for it now.
“I sell high-end homes and live in Monarch Beach. I’d lost touch with just being me; being at peace. I was ambitious, money-hungry and I’d lost touch with God. I focused more on the material. I have all these tremendous blessings, but I loved them for the wrong reasons. I could have handled it differently,” he concludes.