The Oriental and African Travel company

Dive and Safari experts

Who We Are

We are a small company with a specific focus on Safaris in Tanzania and Zambia, Diving in small family owned dive centres around the earth and cultural experiences. Everything we do is a tailor made safari just for you. The name says it all. We assist you in making your plans for your journey to Africa and the Orient.

We are an independently owned, family run Africa Safari and Dive Tour operator. We have a passion for Africa and the Orient. Before starting the African and Oriental Travel company we spent 18 years living in Tanzania putting together tailor made African Safaris and stunning Tanzanian dive holidays. We know exactly how the travel world works, and we know where you have to spend money, and where huge savings can be made.

In addition to our organising tailor made safaris, we have our own Landrover based in Tanzania. At least twice a year, we fly down to Dar es Salaam and Zambia. We drive around Tanzania Kenya and Zambia inspecting our suppliers. Good people appear and good suppliers go bad. We need to find out long before you do.

We only work with the very best safari and diver operators in their field. And like all good guides, are on your side; to get you the best value and the most memorable experience. We are not some large corporate entity where staff change every year, we are family owned and operated and do the work ourselves.

Our team consists of a core team of full time professionals, and a series of specialised consultants who know everything about their field.

Our Ethos

  • We send you to the right place that you want to go to. No matter what your budget,we find that place.
  • Only dealing with safe operations that we have physically inspected.
  • We will be completely honest and open with you.
  • We want to sharing our years of experience and knowledge with you.
  • We have the humility to say :”let me find out, as I am not sure”.
  • We will always defer to someone who has more knowledge than us, even if this means encouraging you to book outside our company with someone who is more expert in that area.

On guided expeditions, we treat you our guests as would an old-fashioned safari guide.

  • We are on your side.  * We exist to make it happen for you, as best as we possibly can. * If someone lets you down, they are letting us done.: We step in, and we make it right.

Why Book With us?

  • We have a passion for Africa and the Orient.​
  • We are​ an​ owner managed​ British company, based in Britain.
  • You have 100% financial protection (We are ABTOT Bonded)​
  • We have two decades of professional diving experience.
  • We have thousands of sea days, at the helm from zodiac’s to 150ft Schooners.
  • We have ​1​9​ years of successful resort operation in the most beautiful part of Africa

our expertise is second to none.

We only sell what we have visited and what we know. We focus on our destinations. We are utterly honest​ when managing your diving-safari expectations.​

We save you time and money

“Will it cost me more to book with you” is a question we often hear. The answer is unequivocally no.

* You are buying our expertise and experience. We find the right safari for you in the right park and the best lodge for your needs and your budget.

* In every booking we have probably saved every client 10-25% by saving them from bad choices.

* The lodges give us a small commission so that you never pay more than their normal price.

* In some cases, there are some tiny dive resorts that we love, that have inconsistent pricing. we have to add a small charge that you will clearly see on your invoice. We are very open about this.

You are buying  decades of expertise that is backed up by insurance and bonding.

The Team

Francisca-

Francisca is a Marine anthropologist who spent a year living on the edge of a dried up lake in Namibia studying what fishermen did with themselves when the rains did not come. Her university sent her to Zanzibar to study slightly more active fishermen. After working at the Netherlands South Africa Institute for some years, she moved to Africa and ran a lodge on a small Indian Ocean island. Here she developed a safari consultancy out of nothing and is responsible for organising Kilimanjaro Climbs, Walking Safaris, and so much more. She is an accomplished diver with 900 dives in her logbook, but she enjoys the amateur side of diving and looking at fish rather than training. Francisca is fluent in English Dutch and German. You are more than welcome to write to her in any of those languages.  Francisca is a keen photographer and loves birds, she delights in sending people on safaris that involve the small things as well as the large cats.

Raf-

Raf Set up India’s first private dive centre in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. India was somewhat closed to the world in the mid 1990’s and so after three years of pioneering he dropped this and drove a landrover across Africa. On his way he found Pemba Island and set up another pioneering dive company and beach lodge. Becoming British Consular correspondent on the Island, (an unpaid “voluntary” role) he found himself at the sharp end of helping tourists who had some misfortune befall them. In some extreme cases (usually motorbike falls) he organised air evacuations and dealt with insurance companies and embassies. This experience has stood him in good stead when advising people of where to go and which company to use. (“Always buy good insurance and always go with a reputable operator”). Alongside this he developed his passion for diving and training. Ending up as a NAUI Instructor Trainer (equivalent to PADI course director) and a PADI Dive Instructor. Raf has 2800 dives to his name and has trained many instructors. Raf is our safety officer who assesses dive operations around the globe and leads our  escorted dive trips.

Chris-

Chris is our China and Trans Siberian expert. While we concentrate on the East of China which borders Central Asia, Chris is a true expert on all of China and the trans Siberian train. With 14 years experience of living in Peking (Beijing) Chris brings with him and intimate knowledge of all aspects of China. He’s off on a plane or  train twice a year to check on suppliers and hoteliers. Chris is one of our consultants, he runs his own show, but does Turkistan for us. If you want a complete China Itinerary including Shanghai Peking Hong Kong, then contact us and we’ll send you direct to him.

Shaukat-

Shaukat is based in Tashkent and is our co-ordinator for all of our central Asian itineraies. After conscription into the Soviet Army, and two years glorious service on the outskirts of Moscow, Shaukat knows about most things in life. He got a job in tourism before the breakup of the soviet union, when he set up on his own as a service provider. As a well travelled Uzbek, there is very little that Shaukat does not know about Central Asia. He inspects all of our hotels for us, and knows most of the central asian train timetable off by heart. Uzbekistan is a centuries old nation, with so much to offer; and Shaukat knows it all. He or his team will be at Tashkent Airport at 4am to welcome you with a smile as you get off your flight. When you get to Tashkent, ask him to take you to El Aziz restaurant.

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