Kati StapletonOperations Executive

Kati is a Canadian national, raised just outside of Toronto, but has recently secured UK citizenship. As an only child to adventurous parents, she was very fortunate to have travelled extensively in her formative years, mainly through Europe and Asia.

Her early travel experiences have inspired many of her adult life choices - choosing to study History and Classics at university, her involvement in conservation and of course, her pursuit of a career in travel. Kati loves learning about ancient worlds and indigenous cultures and then exploring those lands for herself to see what remains.

Her fascination with Africa is focused on its untouched nature, its vast wildernesses and the tribal cultures which have withstood the pressures of the modern world. After working as a teacher in South Korea for a number of years, Kati's first role in the UK was with the National Trust, before joining the Mahlatini team almost two years ago as Operations Executive.

Most Memorable Travel Experience

I was lucky enough to be selected for a Habitat for Humanity volunteering project in El Salvador. It was a house-building project for a local family in need. The work was physical and tough going at times, but the rewards made it so worthwhile. We got to spend a lot of time with the family, who treated us as an integral part of the local community. I got to really absorb the culture, enjoy the local foods and explore the region with my personal tour guides!

Favourite Mahlatini Destination

Kenya was always top of my African list as I've been sponsoring Hawksbill Sea Turtles on Kenya's Lamu Archipelago for several years. On my recent trip to Kenya, I didn't get a chance to visit my marine friends, but I was blown away by my experience - the vastness of the Masai Mara was breath-taking and quite humbling. I was also very moved by my interactions with the local Masai people and to experience first-hand how their tribal traditions are still very much alive.

Favourite Lodge

I would absolutely love to go to the Xaranna Okavango Delta Camp in Botswana; it looks absolutely stunning!

Favourite safari animal

The sea turtle. The group I adopted are hatched on the Kongowale beach and return there every year. Their grumpy little faces and their critically endangered status just makes me want to protect them more!

The Best Bits

I'm an attention-to-detail freak so I genuinely love finalising the minute details of our clients' trips. Their travel itineraries are generally quite complex and I need to be 100% confident that everything is in place so they can enjoy their special trip without worry!

Best #MahlatiniMoment

With the support of the Directors at Mahlatini, I was delighted to be accepted for dual citizenship recently. We've got a great team and I love working here...I look forward to progressing my career in travel and to experience more of our amazing destinations.