As a graduate in Construction Engineering, Claire's route into the travel industry was not a traditional one. Neither did her gap year following university play out as per the original script. One year travelling extended to three, and saw Claire living and working across Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Middle East and North America.
Her fascination with new countries, landscapes, people and cultures motivated a move into the long-haul travel industry. Her first role in travel planning was with a large tailormade tour operator, with a global destination portfolio.
At Mahlatini, Claire relishes the specialist product focus and acquiring the in depth-knowledge of each destination that the role demands. Her engineering skills are put to good use with the precision she invests in designing every unique client itinerary.
I think I would be in trouble if I didn't say that my most memorable was when my partner proposed in Australia. Completely unaware until the big moment, we were sailing in a private yacht alongside Sydney Harbour, and when we passed in front of the Opera House he pulled out my dream ring and asked me to marry him!
Highlights of Africa - this dream itinerary was designed by a colleague recently for one of her most loyal family clients. It encompasses a 22 day trip, taking in the highlights of Africa including: the majestic Victoria Falls, a classic Kruger safari, the Delta in Botswana, Soussusvlei in Namibia, a gourmet weekend in Cape Town, and finishing at the home of safari - the Masai Mara, Kenya. That is literally my dream trip!
This changes on a frequent basis but Singita Boulders in the Sabi Sands Reserve, Kruger is always in my Top 10.
I'm such an animal lover so would struggle to choose one so here's my big 5 - Rhino, ALL the big cats, Hippo, Hyena and the underrated, (but undeniably charismatic), Warthog.
I love that every day is a school day at Mahlatini - Africa is such a fascinating continent. Each country and region has such distinct landscapes, indigenous wildlife and a unique culture... I never tire of researching the details on each area and property and bringing these fascinating destinations to life for our clients.