As joint owner and director, Chris Goldring manages the UK office - Mahlatini's HQ. His route to running a luxury African tour operator was not the most conventional; sparked by a friendship forged with Greg whilst travelling through South Africa.
A degree in management and a masters in IT have proved useful foundations for growing an online business with a global client base.
Chris' love of systems and expertise in Artificial Intelligence has been crucial to the development of Mahlatini's watertight processes and delivery of a seamless customer service.
Naturally, after pursuing an initial career path in banking, financial protection is another of his paramount concerns. Chris has forged a strong partnership with the Travel Trust Association which means clients' money is protected in a trust fund until they return home.
A few years ago, when my kids were very young, I took my family and in-laws on a multi-centre trip across South Africa. I worried it was a little ambitious, but our family-moon now rivals my honeymoon as my ultimate travel experience. My kids were treated like royalty, particularly at the One & Only, Cape Town and Grootbos, Garden Route. A highlight was an early morning
whale watching trip in Hermanus with my son... topped only by observing my kids during their first safari game drive. The Lion King movie was unfolding for real in front of their eyes and the looks of wonder on their faces was priceless.
My dream is to hike in the Virguna Mountains, Rwanda - the scenery looks spectacular and chance encounters with the endangered gorilla mountains would be an unforgettable experience.
To fuel my golf addiction, I keep returning to Fancourt along South Africa's beautiful Garden Route. With 3 quite different championship courses, it is great fun but also challenging. I'm always welcomed back like an old friend... it's my home away from home.
It has always been the King of the Jungle... there is no substitute to watching their lions in their natural environment. I still feel a primal fear and excitement every time I'm fortunate enough to watch these majestic beasts playing with their family, eating or sunning themselves.
Amazing client feedback has always been the most motivating and rewarding aspect of the job. We take every client's trip personally and our business model is centred on delivering ultimate customer service levels. To see
our client satisfaction levels remain consistently at over 98%, even during periods of exponential company growth, is testimony to a great team.
Too many to single out one - but I get a real thrill every time we have a new member join the growing team. Mahlatini is like a family and most of the original staff members are still with us. I'm really excited to see the Cape Town team grow and bring a fresh perspective to the Mahlatini culture.
"Chris Goldring is a real pro and has a real passion for the travel industry, particularly his eye for unusual, off-the-beaten track and luxury safari holidays. His specialist knowledge and dedication to this travel genre was aptly rewarded when Mahlatini won the overall award for Best Wildlife and Safari Travel Holidays at the British Travel Awards 2018. Working with Chris and the team is a pleasure - always professional, approachable and committed."
"In an industry as fast-moving and dynamic as the travel industry it takes a lot of hard work and commitment to build a business that consistently delivers robust results. Chris leads his business with great professionalism, dedication and passion. During the ten years he has been with the Travel Trust Association he has shown an unwavering commitment to providing the very best in customer service and to ensuring that his clients funds are 100% safe through our financial protection model. We consider ourselves very fortunate to have him as a Member."
"I have worked with Chris for more than five years as part of the partnership between Mahlatini and Save the Rhino International. It's been fantastic to collaborate with Chris and see his commitment to the partnership and passion for helping protect rhinos so that they can thrive in the wild across Africa and Asia. We look forward to continuing collaborating with Chris and the Mahlatini team in the years ahead."