Africa & Beyond was formed in 2007 by husband and wife Richard Russell and Charlotte Howell. We are proud to be a completely independent, owner-run tour operator specialising in Africa, the Indian Ocean Islands and the Middle East.


Richard has 20 years' experience in tour operations to Africa and his father 40 years before him. The company has grown steadily since 2007, and now has a team of dedicated professionals in the UK – based in Manchester, London and in Cape Town, South Africa.

In the beginning the business was built on Richard's loyal direct clients, many of whom were actually his Father's clients prior to his retirement, and a handful of loyal independent travel agents. We still work with these fantastic loyal clients and independent travel agents, along with many new clients and travel agent partners. We hold these relationships as key to our company ethos – that a holiday should be a well-planned, enjoyable and personal experience that makes sure we make the most of your trip. This only comes through the personal, honest and friendly service that we offer.



We specialise in offering tailor-made holidays to East and Southern Africa. We also offer Madagascar, the Indian Ocean, Dubai and 'Arabia'. Whether an adventurous African safari or a relaxing holiday on the beach, we combine personal preferences and interests with our years of expertise to provide a truly memorable experience.

We pride ourselves on not only sending people to the more well-known parts of Africa, but also off-the beaten-track areas and supporting new emerging destinations like Madagascar, Sierra Leone and Ethiopia, where we feel that tourism is a vital part of the country's development. Please browse through our website for ideas and information and then give us a call for a chat through the options with one of our team.

Our team have in depth specialist knowledge in the areas we offer, built up over years of experience travelling, living and working in the destinations. We work closely with operating partners in every location, enjoy preferred rates and often negotiate special offers that are unique to us. We always go that extra mile to ensure that all our clients get the very best value for money and are well looked after throughout their trip. Our ability to match the right guests to the right holiday means that many of our clients come back to us for amazing experiences time and time again.

Enquire Online or call our experts:
+44 (0)161 789 8838

Meet the Africa and Beyond Team

Richard Russell

Richard Russell

Managing Director

I first went on safari back in 1981 and was well and truly hooked; it did help that my Dad founded one of the first African specialist tour operators; and several subsequent trips followed. I was then lucky enough to embark on travels through East, Central and Southern Africa by various modes of transport in 1995/96. After working on mobile safaris in Botswana for a few months, I continued down to South Africa where I lived for a while and studied for and passed the FGASA level 2 guides licence. After several months of doing odd jobs and airport transfers, I decided to head back to the UK where I started to work for my Dad's company, then set up another specialist Africa department for a company in 2000, before finally "going it alone" in 2007. Since returning to the UK, I have been lucky enough to travel back to Africa usually twice a year, with one exceptional year including 5 trips!

Outside of work I still read anything "Africa" that I can lay my hands on. I enjoy cycling, love cryptic crosswords and wildlife documentaries, and watch most sports. Luckily, my wife Charlotte also has the Africa "bug" and safari is now an annual event!

Charlotte Howell

Charlotte Howell


Since 1996, I have been lucky enough to travel extensively through Southern and East Africa visiting South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Kenya and Zanzibar, as well as Dubai. Along with sharing Richard's passion for travel to Africa, I also share Richard's passion for Manchester City Football Club!

Sue Foster

Sue Foster

Operations Director

I’m have worked for Africa and Beyond since September 2011 and am now the Operations Director, overseeing all that goes on behind the scenes to make us the wonderful company that we are.

I have worked for various travel companies, in various roles for more years than I care to mention! I have travelled extensively around the world, focusing on Africa in recent years. This led to me living and working in Cape Town and Swaziland and meeting my now husband (of more years than I care to mention!), who proposed to me at the top of the highest sand dune in the world – Dune 45 in Namibia!

Although I work behind the scenes, my passion for Africa has not disappeared and I have shared my love of travel in general and Africa in particular, with my young family. Away from my spreadsheets, I enjoy playing netball in the local league, cooking and dreaming of the next holiday!

Jamie Taylor

Jamie Taylor

Sales Director

I have been in the travel industry for over 25 years, having started out as a messenger boy for South African Specialists S.A.R. Travel. During this time I gained invaluable experience in the various facets of Tour Operation and worked my way up to Senior Consultant level.

By this point, I was fascinated with Africa and left the UK to manage various safari lodges in Zimbabwe and Mozambique, before returning to the UK to work at Beachcomber Tours to manage their Africa department.

In 2009, I joined the Africa & Beyond team as Reservations Manager, and am now the Sales Director,  helping the company grow and supporting the Reservations team.

Aside from my passion for Africa, I really enjoy spending time in the countryside with my wife and two young children (bug hunting mostly!), and the occasional round of golf. 

Kate Cooper

Kate Cooper

Administration Manager

I'm based in our Manchester office and my role is that of Administration Manager. I joined the team back in May 2012, having started work at an early age as an Apprentice Engineer and then working in the legal profession for nearly 18 years. At this point I felt it was time for a change and have not looked back since. I am keen to do lots more travelling, and have a long list of countries to visit!

Outside of the office, I like to keep busy running, doing yoga and enjoying time with my young son, family and friends.

Michael Davies

Michael Davies

Reservations Team

Official company poet and historian, mixed in with creating dream safaris, my role is certainly varied.  My travels have taken me to South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia as well as other corners of the globe, but my favourite place to be is any near water; rivers, lakes or oceans and in 2018 I shared the same space in Mana Pools as painted dog packs of BBC's Dynasties fame. In fact the entire region of the 'Mighty Zambezi' is a must for any safari in Zimbabwe and in 2019 the area will see many exciting new developments.

Places to watch out for in 2019 are Akagera in Rwanda & the new Shipwreck Lodge in Namibia, watch out for new images on our site.

On Saturday 5th January 2019 I celebrated my 10 years in travel anniversary, can't wait to see what the next 10 have install for me!

Notes on a Safari by Michael Davies


What’s that ABC thing                                                                                           

Where should I start                                                                                                   

It’s the anticipation in the sunrise                                                                             

The sunset that melts your heart


It’s Kate and Hope and Calvert too                                                                             

It’s too many people to mention here but this one’s for you

And it’s in the guest stories, John with his wife                                                         

The Swiss couple and the time Nadia saved their life


It’s Calvert on a game drive who knows just where to go                                           

It’s Cloud when he tells you to row, row, ROW!

It’s the elephants at Kanga                                                                                         

All those Lions at Somalisa                                                                                       

And I can’t not mention those amazing pizzas!


It’s the gin and tonics the Zambezi beers                                                                   

It’s the spontaneous moment we all say cheers

It’s a helicopter flight over the falls                                               

And Bhubesi in Hwange and his massive……paws


It’s the elephants that play fight, the weavers in flight                                                   

Those amazing leopards at the end of the night

It’s on the Zambezi by boat or canoe                                                                             

It’s a guides smile when he makes your dreams come true


Nothing in this world is anywhere near as effective                                                   

Than Africa and these things to put life into perspective


It’s the warmth of the greeting, the final goodbye                                                       

It’s the most amazing trip that’s passed in the blink of an eye


So again thank you, from the bottom of my heart                                                       

When I get a new enquiry I know where I’ll start!

Louise Dean

Louise Dean

Reservations Team

I first specialised in creating African itineraries in 1998, and since then I have travelled to different parts of Africa, I think it safe to say I’m hooked!

I started in the travel industry in 1986, since then I have worked in many different aspects of the industry.   It is great to be back creating holidays to a country I have such a passion for and for a company that really cares about its clients.


Jemma Storey

Jemma Storey

Jemma was an amazing part of our team, who was sadly taken from us all far too soon.  She fought the bravest battle against cancer and was a positive inspiration upon us all and we will never forget her.

Lala Salaam Jemma xxx

Katie Winn

Katie Winn

Agency Sales Manager

From a young age, I have always had a passion for travel and it was my dream to work in the travel industry. My dream became a reality in the year 2000 when I started working for the airlines as cabin crew which I enjoyed and I gained lots of worldly experience.

I started working for a well known Africa Tour Operator in 2001 and that was it, I fell in love with Africa. The scenery, the smells, the people, the amazing wildlife and much, much more. There is nothing more I love than sitting on a kopje watching the sunset listening to the sounds of the African bush.

Sixteen years later working for three well known Africa Tour Operators, I joined Africa & Beyond as Agency Sales Manager. Having worked in the industry for a long time I have gained a huge amount of experience and there is no other role I would rather do.

In my spare time I look after my two lovely children and we like to travel and go on family adventures. I enjoy cooking and reading recipes for the next delight I will concoct.

When I can, I spend time in the gym, which I enjoy when it's finished!

Julie Gough

Julie Gough

Reservations Team

Growing up  in South Africa and embarking on a career in the Airline industry allowed me to travel around Southern Africa, that’s where my real passion for Africa began.   After my return to the UK and leaving the Airline industry I started working for an African Tour Operator where I spend 12 years before joining the Africa & Beyond team.

I have been fortunate to take several trips to South Africa, Namibia, Madagascar, Zambia, Malawi, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Mozambique, Kenya  and Tanzania.  Favourite so far Namibia...

In my spare time it’s spin classes and yoga and I can normally be found on the sidelines of the Football pitch cheering on my teenage son.

David Sutcliffe

David Sutcliffe

Reservations Team

It may be a cliché, but travel has been a genuine passion of mine since a young age, and really took a hold when I went to live in California in my early twenties, leading the then less than glamorous life of a professional skateboarder.  It gave me a sense of wanderlust that has never left me; there is nothing that quite compares to visiting a new place, seeing new sights, experiencing different cultures and making new friends.

I decided that I wanted to work in an industry that gave me the opportunity to travel further than my wallet would otherwise allow.  My background is luxury, long haul travel and having worked in travel for about 20 years now I’ve been lucky enough to visit all corners of the planet, from Argentina to Zimbabwe and all points in between.  My favourite destination?  Africa (perhaps obviously).  Africa gets under your skin and once there keeps calling you back, and so I kept going back.  I’ve managed to notch up South Africa (several times), Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe……so far.

Cheryl Mallon

Cheryl Mallon

Reservations Consultant

After 31 years already in the travel industry, 2018 was time to start a new chapter and I joined Africa & Beyond, giving me a chance to indulge my passion for the African continent.

I've been lucky enough to travel across most of the globe from Canada to Thailand and everywhere in between, but now my focus is back where my heart lies, on safari!

Call me a hopeless romantic but some of the most magical destinations have to be Mnemba Island just off the Tanzania coast and the island of Mauritius. With delicious, locally inspired cuisine, 5 star luxury accommodation and pristine sandy beaches, they are the perfect places for those searching for utter escapism.

Next on my bucket list of travel destinations, is Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda, I'm hoping 2019 will be my year!


Sandy Clements

Based in Somerset West, near Cape Town, I have been in the travel industry for over 20 years. My real passion is for travel and I do love booking holidays for people visiting South Africa. I enjoy exploring my own beautiful country but have also travelled abroad extensively. Together with my husband Zane, we now look after our guests in South Africa and are always a phone call away if needed. I love safaris, the outdoors and enjoy jogging and yoga.

Zane Clements

I'm a registered Tourist Guide for the Cape Town area, and along the Garden Route up until Port Elizabeth, which I have enjoyed doing for the past 12 years. I am often the first person you meet on arrival in Cape Town and will offer any assistance necessary. I absolutely love taking people around my beautiful city and surrounds, and sharing the knowledge I have built up over the years. I also enjoy birding, flora, fauna and all aspects of wildlife!

Thank you both for booking one of the best, relaxing holidays we have ever had. The Yu-lounge staff were fabulous both on arrival and departure. What a wonderful service. I am not sure we have ever departed a country in such a hassle free, chilled way. The Royal Palm, as always, is perfect in all they do and provide. Finally, the helicopter ride was the nicest way to finish off our holiday.(Mrs K, Mauritius Holiday)

Enquire Online or call our experts:
+44 (0)161 789 8838