June 19, 1989
I was born on a summer’s Monday morning. Twenty four years later, calculated on the date and time of my birth, the Luo tribes in Kenya have named me: Charles Odiambo!
We had a fantastic family trip to both Zanzibar and the Northern safari parks of Tanzania. However, eleven years later I would realise that we hadn’t seen anything more than the beach and animals. If only I knew then what I know now!
I got my Law degree! Which is good, but it soon became clear that the law and I were not a perfect match…
2012 - 2014
Throughout my years at University, I had a few small businesses which inevitably piqued my interest and desire to be more involved in the business world.
2012 - 2014
Back to Africa!
I set out to look for more work experience but also an adventure! Africa, it is! I went off to Kenya to work as an intern at a financial service provider in Kisumu, a cosy African town on Lake Victoria.
After a year of living in Kenya, I had fallen in love with the country and wanted to stay. Looking at the maps of not only Kenya, but Africa as a whole sparked a curiosity in me that I could not ignore. As a sideline business, I started to organise safaris for both ex-pats and volunteers. When my friends and family came to visit for the first time I wanted to show them my Kenya, not the tourist Kenya. I realised that I was not destined for finance, but rather a life of adventure, travel and Africa! I closed the door on finance and started focusing full time on Charlie’s Travels!
2015 - Q1
Bought a 125cc motorcycle!
2015 - Q1
2015 - 2016
My motorcycle and I travelled around East Africa (Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and Ethiopia) for two years! I explored the countries and got to know them well. I made friends, business partners and most importantly, created new off the beaten track routes. I showed people the real Africa with help from my laptop while on the road!
The clients who travelled with Charlie’s Travels loved the off the beaten track adventure and started recommending us to their friends. My inbox was overflowing with requests and I couldn’t keep up on my own. And so, the Jungle Villa was born: a magical compound in the forests of Kenya. The Jungle Villa would be a home and office space for our new and ever-growing team where we would discover more of Africa from.
Expedition of Africa Inside Out begins!
Africa is large and diverse, for us to keep discovering new, unique and adventurous routes for you – we need to be on the ground. With this, the ambition to create an amazing work lifestyle community with all Angels across the continent was born. Now we have a “home” and welcomed greeting wherever we go! In 2020, our team was strengthened by two new offices in South Africa and Uganda as well as Angels living in Ethiopia, Tanzania and Madagascar.
2018 - Q2
A big part of having a successful company is to have a strong social responsibility program. We believe that this is the only way to do business honestly. Being off the beaten track, one of our main focus is to have a positive economic impact with local partners and communities. As a company, we never want to lose sight of the cultural impact tourism has because ultimately, tourism is a cultural exchange that works both ways. Charlie’s Travels prides itself continually trying to do more business in a responsible, sustainable way. We offset all CO2 emissions from flights and transportation by supporting local carbon compensation projects.
In two years, the company has grown from a one-man business to a bustling team of 35 African enthusiasts. We are all passionate about discovering the real Africa, finding new routes, local partners and how to show you this beautiful and diverse country!
We want to share our off-the-beaten-track Africa with more than just the Netherlands and Belgium! In the coming years, we hope to introduce more Western European countries to our way of travelling! The more travellers we have, the more we get to keep discovering new routes and experiences – a win-win for all!
The African continent has 54 countries and is wonderfully diverse. By the time we reach 2023 we would love to have Charlie’s Travels work and travel hubs across the continent: North, East, South, West and Central. Our goal as a company is to show people the splendour of these countries and all they have to offer. What better way to do that than to be on the ground all over Africa! Charlie’s Travels will grow and evolve until we are the # 1 specialist when it comes to off the beaten track travel through Africa!