ABOUT AFRICA COLLECTION

About Africa Collection

With over 200 years of experience on offer at Africa Collection we are confident that we can deal with the vast majority of enquiries for each of the amazing destinations that we feature, and we are equally confident that we will do so in a professional and expert manner, so what are you waiting for?

Our Expertise

We have visited every destination that we sell, over a period of up to 20+ years.

We have been dealing with South Africa as a tourist destination since prior to the majority-rule government of 1995, when only a handful of tour operators in the UK were selling the country. We have seen the product develop, and visitor numbers increase from the hundreds, to hundreds of thousands. Throughout this process we have been building relationships and refining our offering, to a point where we don't believe our knowledge, contacts and expertise can be bettered. If we don't know it, then maybe it's not worth knowing!

Similarly we have been dealing in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana, Namibia, Mauritius and the Seychelles for 20+ years.

We have been part of the growth of these countries as tourist destinations, and again we have developed relationships and expertise that enable us to offer a peerless service and knowledge. In East Africa (Kenya & Tanzania) and Central East Africa (Malawi, Rwanda, Uganda) we work with some of the most experienced operations on the ground in each country, bringing with them a wealth of experience.

Our People

Cliché time - there is no substitute for experience. And we have it in spades. The Africa Collection team is one of the most experienced in our field, we know Africa and the Indian Ocean as well as anyone, and better than most. We are all very lucky to have travelled to Africa many times over many years, with a number of the team hailing from Africa originally. Via regular training, visits and a willingness to keep learning we are able to keep up to date with the latest developments, ideas, people and trends. We are also committed to offering a traditional level of excellent customer service and flexibility. Test us, and we are confident we will come through!

Our Passion

But maybe the most important thing is that we enjoy what we do, and the product we sell. We love Africa and the Indian Ocean; we still marvel at the scenery; we are awed by the power and rawness of nature, with every safari and wildlife experience as unique as the first; we enjoy and revel in the people we get the opportunity to meet; we find the cuisine as tasty today as it has ever been. And we are proud to be able to share this knowledge, our commitment to service, and our experience, with you, our customers. Allow us to take you on a journey, Let Us Guide You . . .

Meet The Team

Our knowledgeable and experienced staff are on hand to offer you any assistance you require. We are a small company that specialises in travel to sub-equatorial Southern Africa & the Indian Ocean - we know what we are talking about! Between our team of 14 we have over 200 years of experience in the travel & tourism industry. And that's not to mention our partners in Africa!

Chris Fortescue

Originally from South Africa, Chris has been in the travel industry since 1990 and has travelled to most parts of Southern, East Africa and Indian Ocean Islands.

After completing school in Johannesburg, Chris spent a period with the South African armed forces before venturing out to travel the World, then realizing his passion for travel. He returned to his beloved South Africa to study Travel & Tourism before returning to the UK to start his career in the travel sector and in promoting travel to Africa and Indian Ocean Islands.

Loves his sport including rugby, the odd drink, braai (BBQ), his wife and family (not in that order obviously). Chris is a founder of Africa Collection and enjoys being part of a dedicated team and the dynamic nature of the travel industry as a director of the company.

MY AFRICA

"Some of my favourite places are the remote parts of Namibia, Botswana and Zambia, not to mention North Island in the Seychelles where I hope to return to someday".

James Westrip

James has worked in the travel industry in the UK in many sectors & capacities since 1987, and has been involved with tourism to Africa since 1993. James considers himself a 'travel junkie' and unless he has a holiday booked or being planned he feels as though he is going 'cold turkey'. He now travels with his family, encouraging his children to be citizens of the world. James is a founder member of the Africa Collection team (from July 2000) & is a director of the company.

MY AFRICA & INDIAN OCEAN

"I consider myself very lucky to have travelled as much as I have in Africa & the Indian Ocean, and there are a few places that stand out for me. Likoma Island on Lake Malawi is right up there and is truly a unique travel experience, with Kaya Mawa Lodge the only place to stay - and what a place!

Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean is a paradoxical combination of Creole and French culture, being an Overseas Department of France some 6000 miles away from Europe, and mountain scenery to die for. And of course Cape Town and Plettenberg Bay in South Africa both take my breath away each time I visit".

Lee-Anne Westrip

Lee-Anne has been with Africa Collection since 2001 and looks after the finance and accounts, and is the social media guru to boot. She was born in South Africa and started her travel experience while there and 20 years later is still within the industry. Lee-Anne is an active member of the Africa tourism sector and when not in the office is playing 'Mum's taxi' for her 2 children.

MY AFRICA

"In the last couple of years I have been fortunate enough to vist the Masai Mara in Kenya, where a guided walk to a nearby village to meet the Maasai people in their homes was most certainly a highlight of the trip.

But top of my list of favourite places in the world would have to be Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve in the Cedarberg Mountain Range, Western Cape, South Africa. The magnificent scenery, outdoor activities, indulgent accommodation, incredible organic food and award winning wines (not to mention the luxurious spa) make this, for me, an unbeatable combination".

Laura Turley

Laura joined Africa Collection in January 2008. Initially fulfilling an admin role Laura quickly decided that she wanted to get more involved in the reservations side of the business and has now been part of the reservations team since 2009. When not working Laura enjoys active outdoor pursuits such as skiing & snowboarding, travelling generally & the company of friends and family (who know her as 'Big Mamma'). She is hoping to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in the not too distant future!

MY AFRICA

"One of my favourite travel experiences was during my stay at Leleshwa Safari Camp on the edge of the Maasai Mara in Kenya. We were taken on a guided walk through the Siana Conservancy by a local guide and Askari.

They pointed out tracks and signs left by animals as well as explaining the use of various plants for food and traditional medicines. At the end of the walk we arrived at an authentic Maasai village where the herdsmen were attending to their goats and cattle, and children were running around playing and soon became fascinated with us and our cameras! We spent time learning about their ancient traditional way of life and were welcomed into one of the families homes.

This experience is one I will never forget".

Storm Napier

Hailing from Zimbabwe, Storm has always loved travel, especially Africa! She has been in the hospitality industry since 2002 in various roles from guiding to lodge management and sales, marketing and representation.

After spending 8 wonderful years in representation, sales and marketing in the UK market her passion got the best of her and in 2012 she moved to South Africa. Missing the UK travel trade, Storm has joined Africa Collection and is responsible for agency sales and keeping us up to date with exciting new developments on the ground in Africa.

MY AFRICA

"How does one have a favourite place or even experience in Africa? There is so much diversity, beauty and opportunity in too many places to mention them all.

However, some of my personal highlights would have to be Zimbabwe's Mana Pools, Namibia's rugged and soulful vistas, Botswana's peaceful and wild Okavango Delta, Uganda's gorillas, hot air ballooning over the Serengeti, the white beaches and luxury of the Seychelles, South Africa's diversity and Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve will always be special."

Wendy Baker-Gourley

Wendy has worked in the finance and administration department at Africa Collection since March 2010.  Brought up in Singapore in her early years, she followed in her parent footsteps and worked within the airline industry, previously working for a US carrier for 19 years.

She has been fortunate to explore the four corners of the globe, and has recently visited KwaZulu Natal in South Africa which was one of her most unforgettable experiences and one she would recommend to others.

MY AFRICA

"My most memorable experience was pony trekking through the Drakensberg Mountains in KwaZulu Natal in South Africa, with breathtaking view of wild terrain and watching wild buck and baboon.

Favourite place stayed was Nambiti Plains Game Lodge, set in a private game reserve near Ladysmith in South Africa".

Liesl Huisman

Liesl joined the Finance and Administration team at Africa Collection in February 2018. She was born and raised in Durban, South Africa, where she qualified and taught as a Primary School teacher before moving with her husband first to the Netherlands and then to England. She has spent the majority of her working life in education, both on the administrative side and the teaching side.

MY AFRICA

"I have wonderful memories of Cape Town as it was where I was proposed to. The magnificence of the area due to its vibrant city, beautiful beaches and magnificent mountains make it unforgettable."

"The Drakensberg Mountains also hold a special place in my heart. I have enjoyed many hours walking the peaceful foothills and swimming in the waterfalls, rock pools and mountain streams. Unlike Wendy, I did not enjoy the pony trekking quite as much – my husband was thrown off his rather lively pony on our honeymoon but thankfully lived to tell the tale!"

Emma Matthews

Emma joined Africa collection in 2018 after working in a high street travel operators as an Africa Specialist. Although her world-wide bucket list is ever expanding, she is excited to be focusing on the destination she has always loved. Emma is always up for a new adventures, exploring a different destination and is willing to try any daring challenges!

MY AFRICA & INDIAN OCEAN

“From the unique landscape of Ngorongoro Crater to the stunning coastline of South Africa, this continent truly offers everything. I have been able to experience some amazing things from my visits to Africa, from reaching the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro to meeting gorillas in the depths of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. I will never forget the thrill of white water kayaking the Nile and bungee jumping off Bloukrans Bridge. Next on my list is Devil’s Pool at Victoria Falls!"

"I’ve always been a beach person, I can’t stay away from the ocean for too long. I have been extremely lucky to visit Zanzibar twice and have fallen in love with the destination, twice! The white sand, clear turquoise waters and stunning sunsets means this place will forever hold a very special place in my heart."

Chania Hemsley-Smith

After hearing my parents talk about their time in Kenya when we were children and being named after a river in Kenya, i took a 6 month overland to Harare via West Africa, then backpacked to Kenya to find the Chania Falls. Having fallen in love with Africa it has lead to me working in the industry for over 20 years, but still finding new places and countries in Africa to visit.

MY AFRICA

Too many to choose from. My favourite would be Zaire (now known as DRC), being literally in the middle of Africa days away from civilisation - the vastness of the country, the lack of roads and the people! Trekking the gorillas in Rwanda & Uganda has to come at the top of the list too - sitting watching the families as they go about their daily lives from foraging to squabbling it is a fantastic insight into their lives. Nothing beats having a Gin & Tonic anywhere on safari, talking about the day you have had and the animals you will see and the memories you will make the next day.

Rebecca Aylett

Rebecca has worked in the travel industry since 1987 for both tour operators and travel agents alike as well as recently teaching A level Travel & Tourism in her local 6th form college to inspire the next generation of travel experts.

Rebecca has travelled to many countries over the years as well as living in Australia with her young family for 6 months and is always looking for the next place around the globe to tick off her bucket list.

When not working Rebecca loves getting out in all weathers with her dog and relaxing with her busy family.

MY AFRICA

To say that Africa has always been on my ‘dream destination’ list is a bit cliché but so very true.

I cannot think a country more diverse in its offerings of scenery, wildlife and culture. A true all rounder of a place with something for everyone.

Cape Town captivates me with all of its hidden treasures and places to discover as well as enjoying its beautiful spaces and dramatic architecture. I am a bit of a foodie so love nothing more than sitting on the waterfront with a plate of seafood and to sit back and soak up the atmosphere whilst people watching!

It is true that South Africa has so much more to it than Cape Town but I cant think of a better place to start your African adventure.

Kirsty Anscomb

Kirsty joined Africa collection in May 2016, following 7 years working for a large independent travel agency, and also has experience working for a large UK airline.

MY AFRICA

I backpacked around the world, but was unable in include Africa in the itinerary, however I was lucky enough to visit South Africa a few years later. Falling in love with the wine, food and of course the wildlife, before continuing onto Mauritius to dive and relax.

My most memorable game drive was when I witnessed lions roaring at dawn and seeing a rhino family at the local water hole. I am an experienced and keen suba diver, hoping to add Mozambique to the list of countries I have dived, and would love to experience the migration in Tanzania.

Molly Williams

I studied Leisure & Tourism at GCSE and Travel & Tourism at A Level. I am passionate for travel, and I would love to travel the world one day!

As a child, I have been fortunate enough to have travelled quite a bit of Europe and also Florida, but my dream has always been to do a safari! I am very lucky that I am able to say I have now experienced this, and what an experience it was! The game was amazing, especially watching the herd of elephants for a whole game drive, wandering around the waterhole! They even joined us for sundowners, which was the most incredible thing for me!

Katie Horton

Born and raised in South Africa, Katie has a deep rooted passion for South Africa as a destination, and for Africa as a whole. Katie moved to the UK in 2010 where she began working within the hospitality industry. During this time Katie also spent time out in South Africa working in Eastern Cape game lodges, and hotels along the Garden route. Katie has family connections to a well known hospitality group in South Africa, which really helps her when it comes to client’s special requests and going that extra mile.

MY AFRICA

I have been very fortunate to have grown up in a country such as South Africa that has everything to offer as holiday destination. From the Northern Game reserves to Cape Town, the Garden Route to the vast plains of the Karoo and the mountainous regions, there just isn’t a place in South Africa where you won’t find your “special place”. One of my favourite places is Plettenberg Bay on the Garden Route, where I have countless memories due to regular family holidays. There’s something about the sea air, mountains and relaxed vibe of 'Plett' that grabs you before you even have time to unpack your suitcase! I also love going on safari and observing the animals in their natural environment.

Annie Radford

Growing up I have always had a passion for travel and always knew it was what I wanted to base my career on. I studied Travel and Tourism at both school and at college which built upon my knowledge and interest of the industry. Having the opportunity to work for Africa Collection has been amazing for me, as I have lots of European travel experience, however it has been great discovering what an incredible continent Africa is and how much it has to offer. I can't wait to explore!