MEET THE TEAM

Who We Are 

Janine Southwood – Head of Personal Collection

Janine Southwood, who has been in the industry for more than 20 years, heads up the Personal Collection team.  Janine and her team customise exclusive, creative travel itineraries, all imbued with distinctive traces of Southern Africa.

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“Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work”, said Aristotle and that’s something we stick to here at Personal Collection. We love what we do, we’re doing what we love.    

‘Born in Africa, I am blessed to part of a continent like no other.  For so many arriving into Africa for the first time, you almost immediately feel like your soul belongs here, and during the course of your journey, she will steal your heart as you fall in love with her.  Our history is intriguing … from the mysterious rock churches of Lalibela, the ancient pyramids of Egypt, to the reshuffling of the earth’s plates to create Ngorongoro Crater, Great Rift Valley, the Okavango Delta, to name just a few.  All of this creates a natural oasis for wildlife and their migrations across terrains.

And then, of course, there are the colours and sounds of our many cultures, each with their own traditions that will leave you on the edge of your seat, eager for more of their captivating stories.  Combine this with breathtakingly beautiful landscapes that haven’t changed at all over centuries, and you will start to understand my love of Africa and why it is most definitely worth visiting, not just once, but over and over again.

Africa won’t let you forget her gentle sounds of tranquillity and serenity and her undeniable beauty. Africans won’t let you forget how friendly and accommodating we are. And our wildlife – there is simply nothing more beautiful than the sight of wild animals on the great plains roaming free where they should be.”

Tessa Robertson – Africa Specialist

Tessa has over 14 years of experience in inbound travel.  She is passionate about her job and pays special focus to the attention to detail in a tour, ensuring all the bells and whistles are taken care of.

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  “I was fortunate to grow up with parents who had a passion for travel which helped me realise what I wanted to do with my life.  I studied hotel management and then worked in 5-star hotels in Durban, Cape Town and London. It was during my three years in the United Kingdom that I travelled so much of the world and on return to South Africa, I knew I had to see more of my home country, and wow, what an incredible country we have! I had to share this with the rest of the world and so here I am, working with a small dynamic team of ladies, sharing our love of Africa with those fortunate enough to experience it.

“Once you hear the mighty roar of a lion or watch the sun set over the grasslands,  Africa will capture your heart forever. Africa is waiting for you!”

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Shannon Powell – Africa Specialist

Senior Tour Consultant, with over 15 years of travel experience, staring in a small retail chain in the UK. Shannon has a hunger for the industry. “It’s not just a job for me, it’s my life.”  

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Her son grew up in the Mara so Shannon is personally familiar with all of the deluxe secrets into making the magic moments of your personal itinerary including wedding planning on the Mighty Zambezi River. She thrives on the little special personal touches to make the WOW in someone’s day. Her career started with her being born into her family’s safari lodge in Mana Pools, Zimbabwe. She then followed the family footsteps and worked and lived in 5-star properties all through Africa. Travel is now her speciality and she excels as a Travel Counsellor. Her vivaciousness and caring dedication to her clients are invaluable assets to our Personal Collection Brand.

Shannon has designed individual tours and arranged escorted tours to Southern Africa for many clients from all over the US to Europe, Israel, Australia/New Zealand and Africa. She is also passionate about “giving back” and works closely with local orphans in and around Southern Africa.

Our team is passionate about Africa and each Africa Specialist has a deep love for what we do, thus making your trip even more meaningful or memorable. Join us to create your African legacy, with your footprint on conservation (be it wildlife, community or habitat) and spread the word about how wonderful Africa and its people are.
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 Images courtesy of Time + Tide Africa, experts in Zambia, preferred partners of Personal Collection.  

 

Next time in Africa,
The Personal Collection Team    

 

WHY BOOK WITH US…

SOUTHERN AFRICA

Recapping from our introduction “Our safaris are authentic in every possible way, allowing you to experience the real Africa, with a clear focus on sustainable, responsible tourism, meaning that your Personal Collection journey can also make a positive, lasting difference to both people and planet.”

With this in mind, our teams dynamic flows with a wealth of destination knowledge, passion and experience, accumulated over many years of servicing inbound tourism, throughout Africa.

We can therefore easily navigate through our guests ‘Bucket List’ requirements to create and present ‘Authentic’ safaris that will leave a lasting impression.

Simply put, the Personal Collection ethos is to ‘sell what we know first-hand and sell from the heart’ – From visiting each destination, to checking out the comfort of the bed or experiencing everything first hand, the journey to each lodge, or indulging in the gastronomical cuisine to vetting our hosts service, these details are essential to make your experience a success.  And just to be sure, we have gone back again, to ensure that what we recommend is perfect for you.  We take great pride in pairing experiences that resonates with our guests’ interests, culminating in a ‘personally handcrafted’ lifetime journey through Africa.

We are passionate about Africa and each Africa Specialist has a deep love for what we do, thus making your trip even more distinctive meaningful and memorable.

We help create memories from special moments during your travels and bring you closer to nature in a responsible way, looking after you our client and our conservation.  Our zealous nature and passion is contagious and it’s because of this we are so successful in creating beautiful itineraries to match your exact needs.

We want only the best for Africa our place called home, sharing our devotion by using suppliers that feel the same way as we do.  These relationships are pivotal to the success of our ventures and to ensure that your holiday to Africa is one you will never forget and one you will share with everyone around your dinner tables for many years to come.

Join us to create your African legacy, with your footprint on conservation (be it wildlife, community or habitat) and spread the word about how wonderful Africa and its people are.

How do you know you can trust us with all of this planning?

Each year our experts are given the opportunity to visit various corners of Africa, to gain first-hand knowledge and a better understanding of what each destination has to offer – accommodation, transport, cuisine and experiences. The connections our Africa experts make are the keys to providing you with a memorable vacation. Our happy travellers over the years also give you something to go by.

But am I on my own when I travel?

Not at all. The very same person that planned your trip, booked your flights and arranged that special champagne breakfast, will be on call throughout your entire trip. Your African Specialist will be calling ahead before you arrive at every destination to ensure that each hotel, dietary request and excursions are reconfirmed – we will ensure that your trip is flawless.

You’ll also have a direct line to your Africa expert in case anything goes wrong.
Lost luggage?
Missed flight?
Punctured tyre?

We’ll be there for you no matter what.

in Africa, visit our website to find out more

NGORONGORO CRATER

On entering the main gates at the Ngorongoro Crater, it looks like any other park. Not long into your journey upwards, you are able to stop and view the crater from the outside looking in…

Here you begin to understand the magnitude of the crater “bowl”, you will witness first-hand the extensiveness and uniqueness that makes it one of the natural wonders of the world and has been declared a World Heritage Site.

It is the largest intact crater in the world, being 610 metres deep, 16km across and covering an area of 54sq km. On the crater floor, grasslands blend into swamps, lakes, rivers, woodland and mountains – all making for a perfect wildlife setting.  It is believed by some to have been the proverbial Garden of Eden – as its beauty is truly overwhelming.

The Ngorongoro Crater in Northern Tanzania, once a gigantic volcano, is the largest intact caldera in the world. Some maintain that before it erupted, it would have been higher than Mt Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa.

Today, long since having collapsed and eroded, it is an extensive highland area with the famous 600 m deep Ngorongoro Crater as its focal point. Nearly three million years old, the ancient caldera shelters one of the most beautiful wildlife havens on earth.

Indulge in the drama of East Africa’s most beautiful landscapes, from the romance of classical safari to the wonder of breath-taking landscapes and the barefoot luxury of a private island. At Lake Manyara you will share a cosy tree house in the heart of a scenic landscape, where lions lounge in the forks of trees and pink flamingo wade near the lakeshore.

Enjoy a taste of adventure combined with the ultimate luxury on the open plains of the Serengeti, where Persian carpets and fully sized beds are separated from the African night by only a thin sheet of canvas and the light of lanterns sparkles on silver and crystal as your private feast is served in the open air.

We are the experts on making this dream come true.