Nikki is one of Mahlatinis newest members of staff. Nikki was born and bred in Belfast and studied Theology in London. Since her degree Nikki has worked in both recruitment and travel.
1. How long have you worked in travel and what attracted you to this career?
I have worked in travel for around 8 years now. I was first attracted to the career by the opportunities for travel.
2. What is your role at Mahlatini?
I am a travel consultant.
3. What is the most rewarding element of your job?
The most rewarding thing is getting feedback from people, many of whom have described their trips as their dream holiday. Peoples holidays are really important quality time with their loved ones and knowing we created long lasting memories is very satisfying.
4. What destinations in Africa and the Indian Ocean have you visited?
I have this past weekend returned from 2 weeks travelling South Africa and last year I was lucky enough to visit Mauritius.
5. Name some of most memorable things you have been lucky enough to experience with Mahlatini
Encountering a cheetah with her kill on a lucky game drive in the Thornybush Reserve.
Seeing 3 leopards in a day whilst staying in the Sabi Sands Game Reserve.
Watching a beautiful interaction between a 1 year old rhino calf with her mum.
Standing on my balcony one night at Kirkmans Camp (in the Sabi Sands Reserve) and seeing 2 bull elephants right in front of me!
A ‘walking with lions experience in Mauritius.
An unforgettable wine tasting at Lanzerac Wine Estate in Stellenbosch.
6. Where will your next African destination with Mahlatini be?
Having just returned from South Africa, my next trip is as yet unplanned but I am always hopeful of when I am next ‘called up for an educational trip. Its a hard job but someone has to do it!
7. Which country in Africa are you most looking forward to visiting?
That is difficult to say. From listening to the discussions of my colleagues who have travelled extensively around Africa, every country has something which appeals. Currently the idea of Zambia really attracts me. I have always wanted to see the Victoria Falls and following my recent first introduction to safari I am ready to take the next step and visit a ‘wilder wilderness area. Zambia seems to fit that bill.
8. Do you have a favourite country or region in Africa?
From my experience so far I would say that the Kruger region in South Africa is something special. The game viewing there is simply astounding and I will always treasure the memories of my first safari here.
9. Do you have a favourite hotel or camp in Africa?
I simply loved my stay at Dulini Lodge in the Sabi Sands Game Reserve (Greater Kruger). It was the camaraderie of the staff that really sealed it for me as well as the stunning rooms and superb game viewing.
10. Where else in the world have you been lucky enough to visit?
I have been very privileged to have travelled extensively through Europe and North America. I have also visited the Caribbean and various parts of Asia.
11. If you won the lottery tomorrow where would be the first place in the world that you would visit?
You cant ask that question to a person so totally passionate about travel! It is impossible to answer. I would simply buy a round the world ticket and spend as long as needs be travelling every place of interest.
12. What are your favourite things about being on a safari?
The sounds were something very special, obviously something I had never encountered before. I loved the feeling of being so far away from the city and of course all of the wildlife encounters. What really makes a safari so memorable is the encounters you have with the staff and other guests at the lodge/camp. Sharing campfire stories under the stars with a gin and tonic in hand – now THAT is a holiday!
13. What are your pros and cons of travel?
As I am sure most people would say I hate airports and delays but I will endure them for that feeling of excitement as you step off the plane into a new destination. What a thrill!