Travel Tips

The role of a Luxury Travel Specialist

Written by Lindsay Krause

The ease of planning your dream vacation alongside a luxury travel specialist remains unsurpassed in this day and age. Although planning your African holiday may seem as easy as booking your accommodation online, picking a flight and packing your bags, there are many advantages of having someone at your beck and call before, during and after your trip to Africa.

Catering to the most discerning travelers, the team at Ker & Downey® Africa takes pride in creating one-of-a-kind, luxury itineraries which promise a seamless travel experience. The logistics behind a luxury safari in Africa can be complicated and our expert team of LuxVenture® Designers are clued up to answer any questions you may have and provide peace of mind while you travel. We’ve traveled extensively throughout the African continent and have the knowledge and contacts to ensure that your trip runs smoothly and is nothing short of life changing. 

We spoke to Jenieen van den Heever, Head of Sales and Operations at Ker & Downey® Africa to better understand the logistics behind crafting bespoke itineraries that resonates with the client’s every need and why the modern day luxury traveler should collaborate with a Luxury Travel Specialist more than ever before, when traveling to Africa. Here is what she had to say. 

Introducing Ker & Downey® Africa’s LuxVenture® Designers

As a leading luxury travel company, we do not believe in a one-size-fits-all approach. Our LuxVenture® Designers collaborate with each client to ensure that their trip is customized to suit their interests and travel requirements. 

Once a client has submitted an enquiry on our website, one of our LuxVenture® Designers will be in touch to schedule a 30-60 minute consultation call within 24-48 hours. During this initial engagement, our dedicated LuxVenture® Designers will gauge what their needs and interests are, where they have traveled to in the past, and what kind of experiences they would like to tick off their African bucket list. 

We take pride in sharing our expertise in Africa and setting client’s up in unique luxury lodges throughout the continent, as well as organizing once-in-a-lifetime experiences for their trip.
Private villa at Singita Sasakwa

The next step in the process entails our team to analyze the products in our portfolio to best match the client’s interests to an experience. We take pride in sharing our expertise in Africa and setting client’s up in unique luxury lodges throughout the continent, as well as organizing once-in-a-lifetime experiences for their trip.

Helicopter flight over Sossusvlei, Namibia
What really sets apart a holiday curated by a Luxury Travel Specialist, as opposed to doing it yourself are the unexpected surprises along the way.

What really sets apart a holiday curated by a Luxury Travel Specialist, as opposed to doing it yourself are the unexpected surprises along the way. From room upgrades and pay-stay deals to special value adds and exclusive private activities, our LuxVenture Designers are there to complete the final touches to an unforgettable experience in Africa.

Our on-the-ground concierge team

Once we receive the client’s go ahead, the team will start to make every single booking for the trip. We are a full service provider and can book your international flights, local transfers, luxury accommodation, meal reservations, tours, activities, concierge services – you name it.

Maasai Warrior, Kenya
We are a full service provider and can book your international flights, local transfers, luxury accommodation, meal reservations, tours, activities, concierge services – you name it.

Our luxury concierge team, known as Customer Experience Coordinators, provide the next level of service to each trip. This includes personalizing each activity such as arranging private dining options, making bookings at the most exclusive restaurants and setting up world-class spa experiences. 

Our Customer Experience Coordinators are available 24/7 throughout each client’s stay and are available to assist with whatever the client needs. This is why we consider ourselves as an Ultra-Luxury service provider.

Doors to the Royal Palace of Fez, Morocco

Experts in luxury African travel

In addition to curating truly unique trips for our clients, the team dedicates their time to uncovering exciting products and experiences in Africa’s unique destinations, ensuring we are always up to date with the latest development in Africa travel and offer unrivalled experiences. 

The team dedicates their time to uncovering exciting products and experiences in Africa’s unique destinations, ensuring we are always up to date with the latest development in Africa travel and offer unrivalled experiences.
Hot air balloon safari over the Serengeti

 Ker & Downey® Africa invests considerable effort and time in finding world-class Travel Specialists whose work experience is unmatched in the industry. We also seek exciting new-frontier destinations to offer our clients such as Morocco, Egypt and Israel which requires us to  conduct regular site visits and familiarization trips to ensure our product portfolio continues to meet our high standards and expectations. 

LuxVenture® Designer Sasha Rawstorne on safari
Ker & Downey® Africa invests considerable effort and time in finding world-class Travel Specialists whose work experience is unmatched in the industry.

So, why do we do what we do? Each and every member of the team has a love for Africa, a passion for travel, a deep connection with Africa’s wildlife and consider sharing this with their clients, as their calling in life. 

Mokoro safari on the Okavango Delta, Botswana

FAQ’s

How do we earn money?

Our product team spends valuable time negotiating the best rates possible from our service providers. We then offer this exclusive discounted rates to our clients and receive commission from our suppliers. Clients get the benefit of receiving agent specific deals and value adds, as well as access to our local expert insights, expertise and concierge services. In essence, it does not cost you more to book through a travel company as opposed to booking directly.

Clients get the benefit of receiving agent specific deals and value adds, as well as access to our local expert insights, expertise and concierge services.

Why do we include a cancellation fee?

There is a lot of time invested in planning and curating each trip and our LuxVenture® Designers earn commission on each trip that they design. If a client cancels outside of our cancellation terms, we retain some funds for work already done. This is anything from 30% of the booking value. 

Client cancellations do not only affect our Travel Specialists, but also have a larger impact on the other teams involved in the logistics of creating our unique itineraries, but it also has a larger impact on teams working in the background that craft amazing work to keep our clients inspired. 

Want to find out more about why you should plan your safari with a Travel Specialist? We are here to answer all of your questions. Schedule a complimentary consultation call with one of our LuxVenture® Designers today to start brainstorming ideas for your 2021 luxury safari. 

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