Who We Are

About Us

THOMPSONS AFRICA... YOUR AFRICA TRAVEL EXPERTS

We know that coming to our region is a dream trip and that your customer has taken considerable time, money and effort to make this dream a reality for him, her, the family and friends who will travel together.
 
It is our sole purpose to make their dream an experience that they will never forget – a dream that lives on and on and is retold time and again to their friends and family – telling of their moments of absolute joy in a region full of beauty, wonder, outstanding service and excellent food.  A region where every service provider was friendly, proud, knowledgeable and presentable. That the local experiences taught them about happiness and joy.   We are proud about our relationships with every one of our suppliers and we acknowledge their importance in our lives, working tirelessly to understand their services and to encourage our relationship building.
 
This philosophy applies internally as well as externally - Thompsons Africa is a place where customers want to do business, where guests feel celebrated and where people love to work.
 
FOR YOUR ADDED COMFORT

We're a proud member of The Travel Corporation (TTC), a financially healthy and stable collection of travel brands.  Thanks to TTC's financial strength, you can feel confident that your monies and future travels with us are secure.  Read Brett Tollman's (Chief Executive of TTC) letter on The Travel Corporation website.
 
 
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WHO WE ARE

With almost half a century of experience under our belt, Thompsons Africa is your highly trained Southern African destination management expert. Our reservations team is knowledgeable, innovative, and committed to exceptional service delivery.  No customer is too big or too small and while we are big enough to buy well, we remain small enough to care.  Our dedicated teams of sales, procurement and reservations staff ensure that our customers’ needs are not only met but exceeded.

Thompsons Africa is part of Cullinan Holdings Ltd, whose main shareholder is The Travel Corporation, a family-owned entity with 45 offices worldwide and an envied reputation for delivering quality, service, and value. We also have trusted, long-standing customer and supplier relationships that extend back more than 40 years.

As part of the global The Travel Corporation family, we are known for our reliability and financial solidity. It’s an ethos reflected in the fact that in a sector known for high employee turnover, our average staff tenure is ten years — a further guarantee of experience and professionalism.

Thompsons Africa operates in the three main cities of Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg, as well as from 11 reception offices in the Southern African region: Kruger Park, Hluhluwe, Hazyview, Malalane, Port Elizabeth, Knysna, Victoria Falls/Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana, Namibia and Mauritius. All offices offer a team of permanent Tour Guides, Drivers and Guest Service Officers.

Our Guided Journeys offer something unique and memorable and after so many years of perfecting the product, these just cannot be beaten.  With set itineraries and departure dates, guests will be fully guided throughout their journey.
 
Our tour guiding professionals have honed their skills, with many holding university degrees in fields such as marketing, photography, tourism, and education. They are the collective face of Thompsons Africa and proud ambassadors for our beautiful country.  Our guides and reservations team guide and consult in all major languages.

The Guest Service Officers (GSOs) at four major airports meet-and-greet, assist with lost luggage, and undertake care visits when required. Our Customer Care Centre is available 24/7 to deal with any of your guests’ concerns and our GSOs are at hand, around the clock, to deal with any hitches or emergencies.

Our fleet of around 170 vehicles ranges from sedans to two-passenger limousines, 8 seaters, 11 seaters and 15 seaters; luxury 44-seater coaches and 60-seater touring vehicles. This massive tyre-print across the continent also comes with a small carbon footprint and among our innovations is a water recycling plant to provide environmentally friendly washes. 

Bespoke Travel — Because we tell it like it is, we are the experts in tailor-made FIT packages. Our handpicked portfolio of products is continually monitored with our own team personally experiencing them.  Our commitment is to ensure that customers get an authentic African travel experience, coupled with comfort and safety, to provide the holiday of a lifetime.

Group Travel — We are specialists in caring for series and ad hoc business. We design individual packages to suit the unique interests of school groups, sales groups, religious groups, and their like. It’s an innovative, seamless programme, implemented professionally.

Inventive Incentives — We understand the specialist nature of the incentive business and are well versed in the logistics of travel in Africa. Our approach to handling incentives of any size is to understand our clients and their requirements and carefully match these to our products. It’s all about assembling the perfect combination of accommodation and entertainment to suit each group, delivered in an enthusiastic, personalised way.

At Your Fingertips — Our dedicated Customer Zone can be accessed for up- to-the-minute rates, online availability, exclusive allocations and other creative and inspiring information, including a high-resolution image gallery, video library and downloading brochures. We can connect with you on multiple platforms, including our Thompsons Africa Online Booking and Quoting System as well as numerous XML/API Integrations, allowing for a seamless, fast, and efficient means of communicating and confirming services with us in real-time.

Free Sell Policy — A unique feature on all tours is a ‘Free Sell’ policy. Most of our Fully Guided Journeys can be free sold up to 30 days prior to departure, while our Day Tours can be free sold up to 48 hours before departure. That’s easy and efficient!
 
Flexibility – We always offer options which provide flexible booking terms regarding unintended cancellations or changes in bookings.

As you might expect from a family-built company with a big heart, Thompsons Africa is about sustainability and giving back. To help shape the face of the future Africa, our goal is to ensure that the environment and communities we explore remain vibrant for future generations. We do this in two ways: through our TreadRight Foundation, and our sustainability strategy, How We Tread Right. 

As part of Cullinan Holdings Ltd, we have a comprehensive emergency preparedness plan comprising of protocols, checklists and action plans ensuring, to the best of our abilities, the health and well-being of our workforce and guests.
 
Finally, you can take comfort in the knowledge that when dealing with Thompsons Africa, you are dealing with a company with substantial liability cover, well above the minimum requirements, as well as a strong partnership with SATIB24, the continent’s leading incident management unit.


THOMPSONS AFRICA VISION, MISSION AND VALUES



OUR UNIQUE FREE SELL POLICY
A unique feature of our product offering is a ‘Free Sell’ policy on all tours. Most of our Fully Guided Journeys can be free sold up to 30 days prior to departure and our Day Tours can be free sold up to 48 hours before departure. That’s easy and efficient!
 
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INCIDENT MANAGEMENT AND INSURANCE
Finally, you can take comfort in the knowledge that when dealing with Thompsons Africa, you are dealing with a company with substantial liability cover, well above the minimum requirements, as well as a strong partnership with SATIB24, the continent’s leading incident management unit.

To further mitigate risk, we enjoy a strong partnership with SATIB24, Africa’s leading incident management unit led by a specialist team of doctors and incident managers who are on call 24/7/365 and provide a comprehensive management service from the moment a call is received.

CULLINAN HOLDINGS LTD.
We are part of Cullinan Holdings Ltd. whose main shareholder is the family company The Travel Corporation, a global travel group renowned for its outstanding quality, service, value, reliability and financial stability, with 45 offices worldwide. Sister companies in The Travel Corporation include, respected global travel brands such as Trafalgar, Contiki, Insight, Uniworld River Cruises, AAT Kings, Trafalgar, Destination America and The Red Carnation Hotel Group. We actively support organisations which focus on the conservation, protection and promotion of our rich heritage. We are a proud member of the Tread Right Foundation, a non-profit foundation promoting sustainable tourism within our own family brands.

HISTORY
Cullinan Holdings was established in 1901 as the famous diamond mining company which discovered the world’s largest ever rough diamond. The company is listed on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange under the Tourism and Leisure sector. 

The Group has evolved rapidly in the past four years, from a Group almost exclusively focusing on Tourism to the current business which operates in three major segments. These are Travel and Tourism, still the dominant segment, Marine and Boating and recently Financial Services.

Within the Tourism and Travel segment, the Group operates some of the most reputable brands in Southern African travel and tourism. The businesses within the Marine and Boating segment are licenced to supply many premium yachting products to yacht builders in South Africa, as well as retaining the agency for many well known leisure boating brands. The Finance segment was established in 2012 and is evolving into a key area for the business and continues to be the focus for the future.

In terms of Travel and Leisure, Cullinan has created an integrated business model which allows for the supply of high-quality travel packages in which the Group is involved in most parts of the chain of supply, with consequent control over service and the ability to provide excellent value to the traveller. Financial Services will leverage the cash generative nature of the Travel business and in addition, will work synergistically with the Boating businesses to offer a turn- key yacht finance offering.

In 2002, the Company disposed of non-core businesses being Cadac and Karrimor and the majority shareholding changed, with the acquisition of 64% of the shares in Cullinan by Travcorp Financial Services Limited.

Travcorp Financial Services Limited are part of the Travel Corporation, one of the largest Travel Companies in the world, owning such household names as Contiki, Insight Vacations and Trafalgar Tours. This brought significant expertise into what was now essentially a Travel business, through the appointment of a new board of Directors.

In 2006, Cullinan Holdings Ltd acquired 100% of the shares in Hylton Ross Tours (Pty) Ltd. Hylton Ross is the pre-eminent Coach Operator in the Western Cape. In 2008, Cullinan Holdings Ltd acquired Central Boating to complement the business of Manex Marine. Central Boating and Manex together represent some of the major brands in marine and boating, such as Lewmar, Musto & Aqua-Lung.