Nicki Malherbe WrayTravel Expert

Nicki is a proud Capetonian; she was born and bred in South Africa's Mother City. She is equally proud of leading the travel expert team in Mahlatini's Cape Town office and is excited to oversee the team's growth.

Nicki is highly experienced and respected in the luxury African tourism sector, having fulfilled a number of senior roles during her extensive career, spanning almost 25 years.

A stint of work experience during her school days at The Vineyard Hotel sparked her career ambitions and her decision to study hotel management. Post-graduation, Nicki's first job was in Sales & Marketing for Bushman's Kloof, followed by eight years managing safari lodges and luxury hotels, before switching to tour operations.

Nicki still thanks her lucky stars that her career indulges her love of exploration travel, food and wine experiences and interacting with people from all corners of the globe.

African Destination Specialisms

  • South Africa
  • Namibia
  • Botswana
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe
  • Malawi
  • Kenya
  • Madagascar
  • Mauritius
  • Rwanda
  • Uganda
  • Tanzania

Most Memorable Travel Experience

I have had so many incredible experiences from my life in the bush... highlights include the first time I saw wild dogs in the Madikwe; touching a pangolin in the Waterberg; being part of a buffalo capture and release; walking with a naturalist in Kenya; the lemurs in Madagascar; the mokoros and birdlife in Botswana; a New Year's Eve celebrated in the dunes of Namibia; the spray of the mighty Vic Falls...! Possibly the most memorable experience was being surrounded by a huge herd of elephant, whilst sitting on the steps of Gorah Elephant Camp, and having a young male elephant smell me with his trunk. He was literally a centimetre from my face... we looked into each other's eyes, both of us a little wary, but there was an overwhelming trust in that moment.

Travel Wish-List

Whilst I've explored these destinations extensively in individual trips, I would love to do a multi-centre Southern African 'loop' combining South Africa, Zambia and Botswana.

Favourite Property

How do you choose one? Each of these has a special place in my heart for different reasons... Ellerman House; The Saxon; Singita Boulders; Bushmans Kloof; Grootbos.

Favourite safari animal

Elephant - a gentle giant that has so much personality and love for its family.

The Best Bits

Receiving positive feedback and thanks from clients returning from their travels... I pour my heart and soul into planning each and every client itinerary. That appreciation makes the efforts all worthwhile.

Best #MahlatiniMoment

Visiting the UK office to meet my northern hemisphere colleagues- it's so exciting to be part of a growing team and I'm looking forward to using my experience to realise ambitious company development plans.

Client feedback

Christopher Ely

"Can't say enough about how well Nicki planned our holiday safari. I was a bit vague with what were looking for but in the end, Nicki was able to come up with a great experience for us. Thank you."

USA

Ivan Graydon

"Nicki was great to deal with. Very patient in the early part of the planning process as we moved dates around. We went with Nicki's recommendations regarding the itinerary and were not disappointed. The communication was excellent and at all stages I felt we were dealing with a top tier company with the highest level of customer service at mind. Monique was also a pleasure to deal with while Nicki was out of the office. From talking to some of the hotel hosts we met they mentioned that Mahlatini held then to very high standards so I would be confident that any recommendations from Mahlatini were worth following."

Ireland

Michael Plimsoll

"Nicki booked our whole itinerary, making great recommendations based on the requests we made. We could not have asked for more, being kept up to date and informed all the time. I would not hesitate to recommend Mahlatini Luxury Travel to friends and family, knowing they would receive just as good a service and level of insight into South Africa. Laura and I look forward to our next trip with them!"

USA