Vanessa DeanProduct Manager

Born in Zimbabwe, Vanessa's love for wildlife and the great outdoors began at a young age, with regular visits as a child to Hwange, Lake Kariba, and Victoria Falls. When she and her family moved to the Kwa Zulu Natal coast in South Africa, Vanessa also developed a deep love for the ocean and marine life.

Vanessa knew from the start that she wanted to be involved in the Travel industry, and upon finishing school she studied Tourism for 3 years. She initially entered the corporate travel sector and stayed for several years in South Africa. Vanessa then moved to the UK where she has enjoyed a career spanning over 25 years in several senior roles ranging from sales, operations, and product.

African Countries Visited

  • Zimbabwe
  • Zambia
  • South Africa
  • Namibia
  • Mozambique
  • Madagascar
  • Kenya
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda
  • Rwanda
  • Mauritius
  • Seychelles
  • Maldives
  • Botswana

Most Memorable Travel Experience

I have so many wonderful experiences from my travels to this amazing continent. The most memorable have to be spending time with a family of mountain gorillas in Uganda, a truly humbling experience; having a front row seat to the Great Migration in Kenya, without a doubt the greatest show on earth; floating silently over the Maasai Mara in a hot air balloon, and a 5-night Okavango Expedition in Botswana which included a night fly camping on a remote island in the Okavango Delta... magical!

Travel Wish-List

A walking safari in the South Luangwa with some R&R at Kaya Mawa, and snorkelling the crystalline waters of Lake Malawi.

Favourite Property

Jack's Camp in the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, it is one of Africa's most iconic camps and is reminiscent of safaris from a bygone era. There are so many activities on offer including quad biking across the pans, horse riding, bushman walks, game drives and visits with the meerkats. Afternoon tea in the Persian tea tent is a stately affair and not to be missed!

Favourite Safari Animal

It is like being asked to pick your favourite child, however if pressed I would have to say elephant. These gentle giants are extremely intelligent and have such deep family bonds, and they also experience grief and compassion, just like humans.

Best #MahlatiniMoment

It is such an exciting time to be joining Mahlatini in their milestone year as they celebrate their 20th anniversary, and I am very fortunate to spend some time in the fabulous Cape Town office.