Friday, May 29, 2015

Africa Unlocked in a nutshell.

We didn't really choose a logo. instead the logo chose us. Anyone who has been with us on safari will understand our love for one of Africa's most exciting predators.
What started as a reprint of business cards, morphed into a logo redesign and ended up in a full on rebranding and revamp of our website. Have a look at it here:
Some of the smaller issues are still ironed out so please let us know of your comments.

Knowing that this will be our career and in it for the long run me, (Albie) and my wife Freda decided to test the waters with our own company. Africa Unlocked was started in 2009 as a safari company with its main aim of providing quality, guided safaris to Africa’s safari circuit.

As with most businesses it was a steep, often rocky, fun, but always exciting path. We would not have been here if it wasn’t for the many people we worked with; Companies that supported us on a freelance base, game lodges and safari camps we have forged firm relationships with, individuals who supported us, the many trusting guests who came on safari and subsequently became friends as well as travel agents worldwide who have and are still supporting us. We acknowledge this and am looking forward maintaining this relationship.

Our aim will always be quality sightings.
One of the objectives we set out with Africa Unlocked is to provide a quality nature guided experience with a big emphasis on wildlife and nature. Not only the clich├ęd stuff that litters the internet and promote quick fix visits to Africa but premium quality wildlife encounters.  I am very happy to say that this objective is now even more established in our ethos than ever before. Yes we provide fantastic wildlife photographic guiding and assistance but we always aim to unlock (no pun intended J) nature in its entirety.  We are still as keen on everything from majestic lions to delicate frogs and the entire suite of other fascinating creatures that live within a certain area.  I am convinced that this escalates an Africa Unlocked safari comparable to the best in the business. 

Whether a tented camp or luxury lodge it will always be premium quality. 
Venues are all handpicked for the quality and consistency they deliver. Now, more than before we understand the value of visiting each site personally and on a regular base in order to form an honest and current opinion. Only then will we use it as a destination for our guests. 

At this stage we do not employ any guide on permanent base but draw from a pool of select freelance guides. These guys are all professionals, often have their own companies and come at a premium. They are not employed in another industry and have made wildlife their lifestyle, business and income. To do that, they have invested a lot of time and money into qualifying themselves while their experience often spans more than a decade. We will be profiling them on the blog from time to time.  
We understand the specific requirements for wildlife photographers such as a private vehicle and ample space. Not to mention great wildlife locations. 
Whether you are a keen beginner on a first safari or a well travelled pro, wildlife photography has and always will be a major part of our business. Over the years I have led numerous wildlife photographic trips in six African countries.  Photographers have a very different set of requirements ranging from additional space in the vehicle, more time at sightings and even the driving and positioning of a vehicle. Let alone all the other technical and artistic aspects involved in getting a great image.

On safari in the Blyde River Canyon well away from the crowds. 
Initially much of our safari's were outside South Africa. With the exception of specialized wildlife photography this was mainly due to the limited need for a private guide in a country that has arguably has some of the best guides in Africa. But we have developed some great products such as the hidden corners of the Blyde river Canyon. This area is then easily combined with the wildlife rich Kruger, Timbavati, Klaserie and Sabie Sand reserves.
We have invested in vehicles and increased our office capacity in order to effectively assist Travel Agents with the Ground handling of their clients and am very excited to develop this project even further.
Here's to many more good times on safari. 
I (Albie) will of course still be doing much private guiding throughout Africa in conjunction with Travel Agents and existing clients. I would however like to make it very clear from the onset that any client introduced to us by any agent or company will remain the client of that respective company indefinitely. We are not trying to take business away from anyone. In stead we are maintaining a professional relationship and continually striving for increased value in any of our safaris. 

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