Meet the Southern Africa Travel Team
SEAN KRITZINGER (DIRECTOR)
Sean’s passion for the travel industry was ignited in 1990/1991 when, after completing a four-year Business Science degree in Cape Town, he worked and travelled in the UK and Europe. On returning to South Africa, Sean spent two years in the business development arena for Felix Unite, the pioneer of adventure travel and river adventures. In ’95, after a few years in the corporate market, he embarked on a three-month kayaking and mountain biking adventure with a few friends through Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. In ’98, he rejoined Felix Unite Tours as a shareholder and MD of their inbound adventure tour operator, and grew this business before selling it to a listed group on the JSE in 2000. Sean then founded the Giltedge Group in 2001, together with Murray Gardiner, and they now have a staff of 55 energetic travel specialists. Sean has a special interest in the Incentives, conference and large group market, the adventure travel industry and new business development. He is also on the board of Sure Travel, the holding company for the corporate and leisure travel outbound business.
Why choose South Africa as your next holiday destination?For its space! It’s also a ‘rainbow’ nation with many different cultures, very hospitable people, wonderful wines, and wildlife that’s difficult to match anywhere else in terms of variety across the country and some of the best quality accommodation in the world. South Africa is Africa, but with a great combination of First and Third World. You can’t beat it for value for money, novel experiences and natural beauty. Our success in hosting the World Cup in 2010 bears testimony. Now come – and see for yourself!. 4x4 or chauffeur-drive? I’m a 4x4 man, the outdoors is important and although I’m in luxury travel I still love to sleep under the stars. Big 5: where would you go? Kruger National Park or Sabie Sands. Skiing or shopping? Skiing, the space, the speed and the fresh-air does it for me! Best rooftop bar or restaurant? Drinks at the top of the Cape Royale in Cape Town in summer! Best room with a view? The Royal Livingstone. It’s my favourite view of the Zambezi River and Victoria Falls – the smoke that thunders. My favourite food is…Seafood: freshly caught mussels and crayfish on the beach in Swakopmund and cooked and eaten on the beach an hour later. Followed up by a kabeljou for lunch with lemon, garlic and an ice-cold Sauvignon Blanc! Secret weekend hideaway? Prince Albert in the Karoo, the olives are great, the lamb the world’s best and the skies the clearest.
Countries visited: USA, Mexico, Belize, Guatamala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, UK, France, Spain, Portugal, Austria, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Croatia, Namibia, Zambia, Angola, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi, Kenya, Egypt, Dubai, China, India, Singapore, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mauritius, Seychelles, Argentina, Brazil.
MURRAY GARDINER (DIRECTOR)
Murray’s passion for the travel industry started when his family purchased a desolate piece of farm land in the Eastern Cape and transformed it into an award-winning private game reserve – Shamwari. After working for an internet company in London, he moved into the publishing world and helped launch the first edition of Giltedge Magazine in 1998. In 1999, Murray returned to South Africa and focused the magazine on Southern Africa and the Island Ocean islands. He then joined Sean Kritzinger in 2001 as a founding partner of the Giltedge Group, and together they have developed a business that covers most aspects of the tourism industry. The Southern Africa Travel Magazine remains an integral part of the business. . Murray is now based in our Austin office and responsible for our International marketing in the USA.
Why choose Southern Africa for a holiday? South Africa offers diverse cultures and landscapes, stunning weather, amazing wildlife, friendly people, fantastic accommodation ... need I say more? It’s also the ideal platform to discover our intriguing neighbouring countries for a completely different travel experience, as well as the Indian Ocean islands for their endless, unspoilt white beaches and pure relaxation. Beach or bush? Bush, especially in the malaria-free Eastern Cape for a safari with the family. So many private game reserves offer wonderful family experiences. Golf or scuba diving? Definitely golf! Nothing like walking down one of the pristine South African golf course fairways on a balmy Sunday afternoon! My best business hotel is…Saxon in Johannesburg. It is probably one of the best hotels in the world and you might bump into a celebrity or two. Best room with a view? Penthouse at Pepper Club … 360-degree views of Cape Town. Wine estates I recommend: Ernie Els Winery, Graham Beck or Waterford Estate. Best holiday cookery course? At African Relish…a wonderful culinary experience in the small town of Prince Albert in the Karoo.
Countries visited: South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, Mauritius, Seychelles, Swaziland, Tunisia, Uruguay, Argentina, USA, Portugal, England, Wales, Scotland, France, Ireland, Switzerland, Australia, Singapore, Indonesia (Bintan Island), United Arab Emirates, Canada, India, Mexico.
SANDRA DEVOTI (INBOUND MANAGER)
Sandra joined the Giltedge Group seven years ago. She previously worked as a Senior Consultant and Incentive Manager for 12 years at a Johannesburg-based company. Sandra is currently the General Manager of our Inbound Division and works closely with her great team to ensure that the company continues to evolve, set new standards within the industry and to strive for service excellence.
Honeymooners will love ….a private bush bath - complete with rose petals and bubbles - on the wooden deck of your beach chalet at Marlin Lodge. I always tell my clients to…bring a WARM jacket for game drives! Cruises or trains? Have never been on a cruise…have a bit of a phobia about them! Went on Rovos Rail and loved every minute of it…sitting outside in the viewing car with a glass of bubbly can be a great way to pass an afternoon. St Petersburg or Helsinki? St Petersburg…in summer! Beach or bush? Most definitely beach – nothing like a little R&R with sea, sand and sun! Boma dinner or fine dining? Boma dinner – yes, it can get chilly in Winter, but dining under the stars around a huge bonfire with a warm blanket holds big appeal for a city girl! Turkish delight or chocolate? Chocolate please! Golf or scuba diving? Preferably neither!
Countries visited: Italy, France, Switzerland, Germany, Greece, Egypt, Kenya, Bazaruto Archipelego, Namibia, Botswana
MONIQUE DEAN (SENIOR SALES CONSULTANT)
Monique joined Southern Africa Travel seven years ago and loves being part of a team that has grown from strength to strength over the years. She has worked with inbound Italian, Turkish and German groups as well as the inbound American leisure market. With her vast experience an all sectors of the tourism industry including the inbound incentive market, hotels and hospitality, airlines and game reserves, Monique has found her niche in inbound individual travel and thoroughly enjoys putting that extra special luxury trip together for that unforgettable holiday!
Bush or Beach? Definitely bush, nothing quite beats sipping on a G&T in the African bush at sunset! Cruises or Trains? Trains! I love the social side of this very relaxed form of travel. My tip for flying... When travelling on smaller planes the flight can be bumpy so be sure to pack some water to sip, it's a great help to settle queasiness. Best Safari Destination?The Sabi Sand Reserve in South Africa. it's the best place to see the elusive leopard. Golf or Fishing? Nothing beats Tiger Fishing on the mighty Zambezi River - it's a must for any adventurer.
Countries visited: South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Kenya, Zambia, Mauritius, England, Ireland, Belgium, Holland, Germany, France, Austria.
RHYNHARDT NAURATTEL (SENIOR TRAVEL CONSULTANT)
Rhynhardt joined Giltedge Travel when we merged with his previous company, Titch Tours. He has worked in the Inbound tourism industry for over 14 years and therefore has extensive knowledge. Rhynhardt is very well travelled and takes great pride in delivering excellent service to his clients. Over the years he has specialized in the operation of tour groups, adventure travel and golf tours. His attention to detail ensures that he also has a base of loyal agents working with individual travellers.
NICKY KIRCHNER (SENIOR TRAVEL CONSULTANT)
Nicky has been in the industry for 17 years dealing with both inbound and outbound, from over-seeing and handling incentive groups to dealing with individual clients and families. She has a passion for traveling, exploring new cultures, meeting new people and experiencing wonderful destinations.
She takes pride in giving a quality service and in making your ideal holiday become a memorable lifetime reality. There is nothing more rewarding than receiving client satisfaction.
ROBYN-LEA MEYER (SENIOR TRAVEL CONSULTANT)
Robyn-Lea returned to South Africa after completing her studies overseas and joined the tourism industry. After initially specialising in golf tours, she moved to the inbound luxury FIT market where she has worked for the past four years. Robyn-Lea prides herself on ensuring every clients expectation is exceeded and that they leave our beautiful continent with many happy memories!
MELISSA OBERHOLZER (SENIOR TRAVEL CONSULTANT)
Melissa has worked in the tourist industry for the last 10 years and is passionate about Africa! Having worked in operations, specialized group tours and incentives, she found her niche in luxury FIT's. For Melissa, nothing is more satisfying than sharing in the excitement of a client who has experienced the trip of a lifetime in our remarkable continent!
TRACY WADSWORTH (SENIOR TRAVEL CONSULTANT)
After finishing school Tracy studied Fashion Design and Travel & Tourism, before entering into the hospitality industry and spending six years working in hotels in South Africa, Scotland and Dubai. Tracy then realised that her future lay in African tourism, and once she returned to Cape Town she started working as a Senior Consultant at a golf tour operator.
Eight years later and she still enjoys putting together dream holidays for her clients, ensuring that they enjoy every moment they spend exploring beautiful Southern Africa. Tracy's particular interest and love lies in safaris - she believes that there is no experience quite as rewarding, relaxing and rejuvenating as time spent in nature with Africa's incredible wildlife around you.
FAYE STEENKAMP (SENIOR TRAVEL CONSULTANT)
Faye recently joined our team as one of our Senior Tour Consultants. Over the past 13 years, she has developed a passion for travel and has gained a wealth of product knowledge.Her experience ranges from Group Travel, to Family Travel and compiling tailor-made itineraries for clients to meet their specific needs. Her goal - to ensure that her clients have an unforgettable holiday and that they return home with a yearning to return to Southern Africa to explore the region even further !
LEANNE TINKLER (SENIOR FLIGHT CONSULTANT)
Leanne joined Southern Africa Travel and the Giltedge group nearly four years ago in the flight department and brought with her a wealth of knowledge. She has experience in the outbound tourism industry and also spent nearly more than three years in the United Kingdom as part of the Groups and Incentives Team planning successful trips for a French Banking Group.
Bush or Beach? Beach – nothing better than sipping on a cocktail while soaking up the sun! Beach – nothing better than sipping on a cocktail while soaking up the sun! Cruises or Trains? Trains! Cruises are lovely but by travelling by train you get to see more of the countryside. Paradise Island or Hip City? Paradise Island. Need I say more? Paris, New York or London? Definitely Paris with all its beauty, romance and the sidewalk cafes during summer... I don't travel without... A good book or two.
Countries visited: Australia, Namibia, Zambia (Victoria Falls), Mauritius, Maldives, United Kingdom, France, Greece, Netherlands.
AMINA PETERSEN (ADMINISTRATIVE CONSULTANT)
Amina has been with Southern Africa Travel and the Giltedge Group for nearly three years, starting out as our receptionist and now working as an admin Inbound assistant. She deals with all the final packaging and creating documents, making sure that all bookings correspond with clients’ requests. Amina comes from a customer service background which is of key importance in to the travel industry.
Paris, New York or London? Definitely the fashion and romantic capital Paris have to say it like the French. Shanghai, Miami or Melbourne? Been to Miami and have to say I so love the weather and warm ocean…just didn’t have enough time to experience the shopping! Beach or bush? I definitely am a beach girl. Love SA summer nights with the gushing sound of the waves while having a light dinner with someone special while the white sand massages your feet. Big 5: where would you go? Shamwari Private Game Reserve. I don’t travel without…my cell phone. Have to stay in touch with the world…have way too many fans! Turkish delight or chocolate? Wow that’s difficult. How can you even ask? I cannot choose, sorry. Love both.
Countries visited: England(London, Brighton, Cambridge, Norfolk, Isle of Man), Miami (Florida, Tampa, Orlando, South Beach)
LEAH LE ROUX (ADMINISTRATIVE CONSULTANT)
Leah is a relatively new member of our team having completed a National Diploma in Tourism Management and spending some time within the hospitality and retail travel industries.In a very short space of time, her passion for travel, incredible attention to detail and dedication have made her an invaluable member of our Administrative Department.
ELAINE NICHOLLS (BOOKKEEPER)
After travelling for seven years Elaine returned to South Africa as it is home-sweet-home and still the most beautiful place she has ever seen. She quickly found a job in the travel industry and has now been in our accounts department for three years. She loves working closely with the diverse and hard working consultants that make up the Inbound team.
My idea of an island paradise is…Piña Colada on Pigeon Beach in Antigua in the Caribbean. Private guide or group tour? Neither: I prefer to do things myself! Most romantic safari? Gorah Elephant Camp in the Eastern Cape. This is where I spent part of my honeymoon. It was fantastic! I don’t travel without…my wet wipes. Best birding spot? Birds are not my favourite to watch and, besides, I don’t have the time with a 15-month-old boy! Best rooftop bar or restaurant? Deia in Mallorca – a very small town along the coast where there is a well known restaurant with the best paella and the most breathtaking view across the Med. Most delicious traditional dish I tasted was… tapas 4x4 or chauffeur-drive? 4x4 by far!! GPS or good old map? Personally I am not technically minded, so good old map!
Countries visited: Caribbean Islands and the British Virgin Islands. UK, Spain, France, Italy, Croatia, Greece, Turkey, Malta, Israel, Egypt and the Canary Islands.
LINDY MOLYNEUX (GROUP FINANCIAL MANAGER)
Lindy is an experienced Chartered Accountant who has worked both locally and internationally within a wide range of industries, bringing a diverse financial and analytical experience base to the Giltedge Group. Lindy has a passion for travel and has travelled to six continents to date, with the Antarctic still to explore!
Joburg or Cape Town? Cape Town – which city can complete with Cape Town’s white beaches, pristine golf courses, incredible mountains and heavenly wine estates? Paradise island or hip city? Paradise Island – I still love Mauritius – it is perfect for both a romantic getaway for couples and fun-filled holiday for families. Most romantic safari lodge? Leopard Hills in the Sabi Sand. We had our honeymoon there and it was an unbelievable experience. Most memorable childhood holiday? Being chased by an elephant, while driving in the Kruger Park Most delicious traditional dish I tasted was….in Bellagio, on Lake Como – I had the most incredible risotto imaginable! Binocs or book? A pile of novels is compulsory on any holiday of mine. We have been so privileged with our safari experiences – there has been no need for binocs as the animals have been so close!
Countries visited: Italy, Switzerland, Germany, France, Sweden, Australia, USA, Thailand, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, Portugal (Madeira), Indonesia (Bali), Mauritius, Zimbabwe, Zambia, England, Ireland, Mexico, Scotland, Spain, Czech Republic, Austria, The Netherlands, Belgium, Turkey, Morocco (Canary Islands).
VICKY ROWE (ONLINE MANAGER)
Vicky was born and lived in the UK until she travelled to South Africa on her honeymoon and decided that she wanted to stay in our beautiful country and explore all it has to offer. She recently joined us as our Online Manager and loves working with our websites, trying to bring out the geek in all of us. Her aim is to bring new clients to our hardworking consultants through the online community.