‘Just over two months since the programme launched for 2019, nearly 40% has been sold. Sales are just remarkable; right now we are trying to find more capacity,’ he says. Offering a dedicated Africa programme is close to Tollman’s heart. South Africa is home to the Tollman family and where Trafalgar Tours and The Travel Corporation story began. ‘This is where my family’s roots are firmly planted and this programme has been 72 years in the making,’ he says, explaining how privatisation of Cullinan Holdings, by Tollman company Travel Corporation, opened the way for Trafalgar Tours to offer the new trips.
Tollman promises ‘easy, no worries travel’, with Trafalgar taking care of all logistics, and some ‘very special’ connections. ‘We’re stepping up a notch Trafalgar reports ‘remarkable’ Africa sales on our Robben Island tours, for example. While former inmates have long been tour guides, our new programme will work exclusively with Christo Brand, the jailer who befriended Nelson Mandela. We will also offer a signature Trafalgar Tours’ ‘Be my Guest’ dinner experience with one of the oldest of the Stellanbosch families. With our family’s South African heritage, these are the type of connections we are able to make.’
Other Africa programme highlights will include an experience with Namibia’s seminomadic Ovahimba people, and visiting an orphanage in Kenya, which in turn will provide financial support for the orphanage. ‘Africa is a place that once you visit, it lives with you forever,’ says Tollman. ‘That experience is what we aim to deliver every trip.’ Tollman says he will be in Cape Town when the first tour group arrives in December. ‘I think that is going to be one the moving moments of my career.’
- By Kathy Ombler