Since 1983, Safari Consultants have always been leading specialists in tailor-made safari holidays. We use a very wide range of accommodation options and safari providers, from adventurous tented camps to luxurious safari lodges, and our ability to do this is based entirely on our extremely in-depth knowledge of the regions in which we specialise, and of the safari industry in general.
In addition to dedicated tailor-made ‘wildlife safaris’, we also specialise in more general self-drive holidays through South Africa and Namibia, as well as beach holidays to wonderful places such Mauritius, Mozambique, Zanzibar and The Seychelles. It is easily possible to combine a wildlife safari with other interests. We genuinely tailor-make each holiday, starting with a ‘blank canvas’ and finding out what your requirements are and what is going to suit you.
As we offer such a wide range of holiday options across fourteen very different countries, our customers vary enormously in age, interests and requirements. Single travellers, couples, families, groups of friends, honeymooners and photographers all travel with us, from not just the UK, where we are based, but from across Europe, North America and further afield. Each of our customers are unique and individual, and to read what they say about us, please visit our testimonials page.
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Why Safari Consultants?
Having been in business since 1983, we continually strive to offer four key elements for all our customers:
- The best advice possible. Really good advice is the cornerstone requirement for any ‘specialist’ safari holiday, and will turn your experience of Africa from a ‘good’ holiday to an ‘exceptional’ holiday. We only specialise in Africa (and the Indian Ocean Islands) and our team of safari specialists are continually travelling to check up on places, visit new destinations and learn about the practicalities of travelling around the African continent.
- A friendly, personal and caring service. Planning and booking a specialist safari holiday should be a fun and energising experience. We have always been a small company offering a very personal service. All of our customers are extremely important to us and treated as such, and we meet many of them in person, either when planning their holidays (where practical), at travel shows or at social functions we arrange. We are passionate about Africa and genuinely care about the success of every holiday we arrange.
- A totally professional service at all times. We endeavour to provide prompt responses to all enquiries and questions, clear and correct information at all times, flexibility throughout and attention to detail with your preferences and requirements. When you travel with us, you always have our full support and back up, as our management team are on hand 24/7 in case of any difficulties or emergencies.
- Good value for money. All our customers require good value for money and fair pricing every time they travel. On a more subtle note, our specialist knowledge is crucial in ensuring you really make the most of your holiday budget.
As members of The Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO) all our customers receive feedback questionnaires at the end of their holiday, and also have the opportunity to rate their experiences direct with AITO. The results are collated each year (separately for small and large companies) and a ‘Tour Operator of the Year’ award is presented to the most successful company in each category. We won the award in 2006, and have been within the top 5 small operators every year since.
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Meet the Team
Bill Adams, Director
Bill founded Safari Consultants in 1983 having moved to London from his native South Africa. Growing up in Johannesburg, schooling in the Eastern Cape, and spending two years doing national service in South West Africa (now Namibia) had allowed him to experience much of what that region has to offer, gaining a natural understanding of the African bush. Bill spent the ‘eighties’ and early nineties exploring East Africa in depth, whilst continuing to visit new and developing regions of southern Africa. At various stages in the ‘early years’ he was instrumental in helping to develop the African tourism industry, whether supporting the opening of remote parks (Ruaha) or promoting individual safari initiatives (bush homestead stays and portered safari walks). His knowledge on all things Africa is deep, and being involved with the continent for so long has allowed him to explore some really remote and interesting regions – there are few places in East and Southern Africa where he has not been. Bill has travelled frequently to Africa with his wife and children and has a keen interest in birds.
Robert Slater, Director
Rob grew up on a farm in Suffolk and has always had a passion for the great outdoors. On leaving school, his first big adventures took him to the Nepal Himalaya, South Africa and Zimbabwe, and he has never looked back. A few years later came a two month back-packing trip around Kenya and northern Tanzania. Outside of Africa, he has returned to the Nepal Himalaya many times since, watched tigers in India and trekked through the rainforests of Peru, Venezuela and Borneo in search of wildlife. Rob joined Bill in 1995, and to add to his previous experiences, has been travelling to Africa three to four times a year ever since. His knowledge and experience cover all corners of ‘safari’ Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands, from the primate-rich forests of Uganda to the harsh wilderness of Namibia’s Skeleton Coast. He has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya, rafted and canoed the Zambezi River and has led friends and family on self-drive trips through Botswana, Tanzania and South Africa. He is our resident scuba-diving specialist and has dived in Mauritius, Seychelles, South Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya and Malawi. Rob has a real passion for Africa – don’t expect a short reply on anything – and is a perfectionist when it comes to organising anything. Married with two young boys, his interests closer to home (when time permits!) include country walks, country pubs, golf and rugby.
Michele Seamark, Sales Consultant
Michele was born and grew up in Harare, Zimbabwe. After school she completed an intense secretarial course before things started to go rapidly ‘down hill’ for the country. Aged 18, she made the decision to leave and arrived in Suffolk in November 2001 to start a new life. Michele joined Safari Consultants as a personal assistant in 2002. Having been with Safari Consultants for two years and gained an intimate understanding of the business, she needed a different challenge and joined the sales team. She has never looked back, and has now travelled over 20 times to Africa, including returning to Zimbabwe to see family. Seychelles, Namibia, South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Mauritius and Rwanda have all been covered, often several times, with her favourite regions being the South Luangwa in Zambia, and the Selous and Ruaha in southern Tanzania. Gorilla tracking in Uganda also remains a personal highlight (although she has seen them in Rwanda). With her southern Africa ‘roots’ Michele is passionate about her job and is meticulous in her organisation, always willing to go that ‘extra mile’.
Mary Grimwood, Sales Consultant
Mary grew up in Surrey with (very!) Scottish ancestry (neé Mackenzie). Having studied modern languages at university she leapt head first into the travel industry and built up a wealth of experience with visits to around 35 different countries worldwide. Her career has included leading tour groups in Europe, working for a worldwide tour operator and more recently working for and managing an independent travel agency in London. Mary joined Safari Consultants in 2006 having spent a season working in a bush camp in Kenya’s Masai Mara, where she really cemented her love of Africa. In ‘safari’ Africa, she has now visited Namibia, South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania, Madagascar, Uganda and Rwanda. Throughout her extensive travels, she has many favourite spots, such as the Namibia’s Namib Desert and Mozambique’s Bazaruto Archipelago, but due to her time living and working there, Kenya and its people hold a very special place in her heart. Mary enjoys dealing with people and really getting to know her clients, a key part of tailoring the perfect holiday. She claims her spare time is spent trying to understand the laws of rugby to be able to support her referee husband.
Jane Walker, Sales Consultant
Jane has been travelling with her husband to Africa for over 20 years, visiting 12 different countries on 40 separate trips. Her main career was with British Telecommunications, but in 2005 she gave that up to concentrate full time on two of her great loves – Africa and horse-riding. As Africa offers some incredible horse-riding safaris, she is now our horse-riding specialist and has ridden with 12 horseback safari operators throughout East and Southern Africa. Of all her riding experiences, cantering alongside plains game and giraffe in the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro and through the shallow waters of the Okavango Delta in flood rank amongst her best. However, Jane is passionate about all aspects of the African wilderness and the outdoors in general. She is a keen birder and an experienced walker, having climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, and trekked in the Drakensberg, Simien Mountains and the Nepal Himalaya. Out of the saddle, canoeing on the Zambezi River in Zimbabwe and exploring Zambia’s Luangwa Valley on foot remain two of her personal highlights. Her favourite sound in the bush is “a leopard calling at night, ideally from directly under my bed”, which has happened!
Josie Lewry, Administration and Flights
Josie grew up in Kent, moving to Suffolk when she was 13 years old. On leaving school she took her first overseas longhaul trip to Australia, which gave her a real taste for travel. She subsequently travelled to South Africa to see family and also took a return trip to Australia, this time also including a visit to New Zealand. Her career in travel began when she joined Virgin Atlantic and spent 3 years working in their customer sales team, often travelling to America. In January 2005 Josie joined Safari Consultants to help with flight bookings and administration, and she is now very much in charge of our flight bookings and partners Michaela on the administration side. Josie has travelled to Kenya’s Masai Mara and more recently went to see the mountain gorillas in Rwanda.
Michaela Liron-Spratt, Administration
Michaela was born in Jersey where she lived until she was 26, when she moved to Chelmsford in Essex and then later to the north Essex countryside. Previous employment has included working for a distribution company, security firm and more recently she spent 11 years with PriceWaterhouseCoopers accountants. Michaela joined the administration team at Safari Consultants in February 2006. Her hobbies include walking/running with her dog Bruce, and riding her motorbike with her husband and friends. Michaela has travelled to Kenya’s Masai Mara, which she loved, and to Rwanda to see the mountain gorillas.
Frances Gwyther, Administration and Marketing
Frances grew up in Essex but has recently returned from four years in Scotland after graduating from the University of Edinburgh in Italian and English. With a father from Zimbabwe, and family based in Cape Town, she has spent a number of summers (ours – their winter!) in South Africa, as well as independently spending a few months on a voluntary work programme in a game reserve near the Kruger National Park. Along with working in our administration department since she joined us in mid-2013, Frances is leading our social media initiatives and email marketing side of the business.
Roland Evans, Administration and Flights
Originally from Southend-on-Sea, Roland moved to Suffolk in 2010 where he now lives with his wife and their son. He has over 15 years of experience in the travel industry having worked for companies in both the retail and business sectors and joined Safari Consultants in mid-2013. He enjoys travelling to unusual destinations, especially on cruises. Roland has joined our administration department with a particular focus on helping out in our flights department. He is also fast becoming our resident IT specialist.
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