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.


“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!”


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.”  


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.

 Images courtesy of Time + Tide Africa, experts in Zambia, preferred partners of Personal Collection.  


Next time in Africa,
The Personal Collection Team    



PERSONAL COLLECTION BY THOMPSONS AFRICA, ethos is always include your family when traveling to South Africa, why not what a stunning experience for your children to learn about wildlife, birds and nature.  And that’s why we love More Luxury Lodges.

We have learned that one of the most special ways to experience a safari is with the family, and there are few things we love more than watching a family bonding, making memories and having an incredible time together while with us on safari.

As parents, we understand that children seldom fit into schedule, and that each of their personalities and needs are unique. The Hi’Nkweni (pronounced Hing Kweni) Family Villa at Tinga Lodge lends itself to, in both atmosphere and architecture, the family traveller (specifically with younger children) and to smaller groups of friends travelling together. This exclusive and self-contained Villa also comes with its own safari vehicle and Field Guide, giving guests the flexibility to craft their own experience.

Safety is always front-and-centre for juniors, with no dangerous raised walkways, as well as uninterrupted (but subtle) fencing around the Villa.


  • Accommodates a maximum of 6 people in two bedrooms (4 adults and 2 children)
  • Children 6 years and older
  • Children 6 – 15 will pay 50% of adult rates
  • Daily on site management.
  • Minimum charge for three (3) adults in standard period
  • Minimum charge for four (4) adults in peak period
  • Private land-rover
  • Private pool

Perfect private family holiday in nature, taken care of by experts and amazing staff. Include this stunning property when you want to travel to South Africa, contact us and we will add this into your itinerary!


“Lion Sands has been our home for four generations and is therefore deeply ingrained in our DNA. With this in mind, we began our journey of redesigning the Ivory Lodge experience. We took our cue from the passion and appreciation we have for the environment, and how we have been fortunate enough to savour it in the comfort of our own private lodge, 1933. In the new Ivory Lodge, we want our guests to feel that this is their own private safari home.” [Robert More]

PERSONAL COLLECTION BY THOMPSONS AFRICA, always promotes children in the bush, its first hand experience and very educational, as well as exciting.

Lion Sands Ivory Lodge’s Fish Eagle Villa is the ultimate private safari experience for families and smaller groups of friends, and comes with its own Chef (meals are prepared within the Villa’s kitchen), as well as dedicated Field Guide and private safari vehicle. The Fish Eagle Villa also has its own wellness area (with double treatment room) and private exercise facility – as well as lap pool and jetty overlooking the Sabie River.

The Fish Eagle Villa is able to accommodate up to 6 people sharing (including 4 adults and 2 young children sleeping on single beds in their parents’ room), each of the two Suites having an en-suite open plan bathroom, as well as outdoor shower area.

The Fish Eagle Villa can be booked in conjunction with an adjacent Ivory Lodge Villa, with up to 8 guests comprising the party enjoying the Fish Eagle Villa’s facilities.

Although privacy and exclusivity are assured, visitors are welcome to use the facilities within Ivory Lodge for their enjoyment including the lounge, dining and relaxation space; the Gallery (exclusive art pieces from celebrated South African artists); and the spectacular wooden deck overlooking the Sabie River.


The Double-Suite Fish Eagle Villa is comprised of two private Single Suites, connected by an entrance hall, lounge and study.

The Fish Eagle Villa also has:

  • Its own Chef (meals are prepared within the Villa’s kitchen)
  • An expansive deck and covered patio, with lap pool
  • A private fire deck
  • A star jetty for private enjoyment of the natural environment and vivid Milky Way above
  • A private wellness area (with double treatment rooms) and exercise facility
  • Children 10 years and older are welcome
  • Accommodates a maximum of 6 people (4 adults & 2 children sleeping on a single bed within one of the master Suites)
  • Full range of dietary preferences catered for
  • Free Wi-Fi



THE MORE FAMILY never let us down.  They are attentive, have amazing lodges that we salute and celebrate.  They never let us down and Personal Collection by Thompsons Africa support them at all times.

River Lodge is the origin of the Lion Sands safari – the elemental safari. Here guests can expect a sophisticated interpretation of the traditional safari lodge, with an emphasis on clean lines, optimised natural light and contemporary décor.

Living spaces include a Safari Lounge and Bar; Barista’s Station with artisanal coffees; Gallery (showcasing the works of renowned local artists); and OneLife MORE boutique.

The dining experience includes the traditional Boma ‘with a twist’; the signature Riverbed dinners and deck dining, in the shade of the trees and overlooking the Sabie River. Breakfast is a home-styled experience.


Lodge facilities include:

  • a main swimming pool area;
  • a ‘Memory Lab’, where guests are able to print their photographs on canvas;
  • a Firepit for sociable nocturnal gatherings beneath the stars.

River Lodge’s accommodation comprises

  • 8 Luxury Rooms,
  • 6 Superior Luxury Rooms and 4 River Suites (each with its own plunge pool).
  • One of the River Suites has 2 bedrooms.