✔️ Super flexible conditions – ✔️ Responsible tourism – ✔️ 100% insured on your trip

LOOKING BACK AND FORWARD: “NEVER LET YOUR MEMORIES BE GREATER THAN YOUR DREAMS”.

Thank you for everything!

Auteur:

TRAVEL-HUNGRY ADVENTURERS,

Hoping that you have enjoyed the festive season and are looking forward to 2021, I would like to say a few words. This crazy year is coming to an end and a look back and forward seems appropriate. And also our dreams expressed, a man has to keep dreaming!

10 FEBRUARY 2014

et me take you back in time. I can remember my arrival for an internship in Kenya like yesterday. What an adventure: on my own in a totally different world. Not just visiting or passing through, I was going to live here! Three months as an intern in financial services were extended and soon I could call myself “employee”. I kept looking around, started to understand society better. I felt at home here.

The desire to travel more became greater than the number of holidays. I also wanted to share my experiences with others on the home front. Facebook updates turned into travel requests. In the evenings and weekends, I threw myself into developing off-the-beaten-track trips. Soon I felt: this is what makes me happy! I impulsively quit my job (much to my parents’ dismay) and ‘Charlie’s Travels’ was born!

The years flew by… First on my own on a moped with a camera and laptop, then with an ever-growing team at the Jungle Villa in Nairobi. We all had one thing in common: the love for this continent and the adventure! CT became a community of enthusiasts with the same vision: however cliché it may sound, we want to show people a different and “truer” Africa!

27 FEBRUARY 2020

The year started well and we were all full of energy, ideas and motivation to continue developing our beautiful travel agency! The outbreak of the pandemic: in no time everything changed. For the company, the team, our partners, the industry, almost everyone in the world has been affected by the crisis.

The first weeks were strangely exciting in a positive way: change, that it could happen so quickly… We’re in it together! Alongside some excitement, uncertainty and fear dominated! How hard would the virus strike? In the Netherlands and in Africa? Were you safe? How is the care here? Would it escalate and how would the population react? Part of the team went back to NL, the rest stayed here.

Apart from the personal experiences, it really was a tough year for the travel sector. Especially for operators “on the ground” in African countries (we know from experience), where governments have no means to support.

CT Team

ACCEPTING AND ADAPTING

From the moment of the outbreak, we changed our strategy: reduce costs to a minimum as soon as possible to be able to sit it out. Optimistic that we are, it took longer than expected and we continued to take internal measures to buy ourselves more time. We let good people go, stopped large projects, said goodbye to partners who went bankrupt, created new (even more flexible) conditions for our clients, unfortunately had to cancel some trips and with pain in our hearts we had to (temporarily) close our physical offices in Uganda and South Africa.

OPPORTUNITIES

But… “never waste a good crisis”, remained our motto! Innovation and creativity reigned supreme! We would like to share some of our developments with you:

  • You didn’t come to Africa, we brought the joy of travel to you! A travel agency with its own video channel with high-quality travel documentaries: ‘Charlie’s & Chill‘ was born! For each video watched, we donated 10 eurocent to a partner project chosen by the viewer!
  • 1000’s of colourful African mouth caps in the streets of Holland, where a large part of the proceeds went to the female tailors.
  • Efficiency improvements made through implementation of software: Travelspirit (tour operator CRM) and Exact Online. In the future, we will be able to serve eager travellers even faster and more efficiently.
  • Participation in UNWTO Inspiration Africa Branding Challenge; a competition to change the perspective of travel in Africa and develop new ways for travel to contribute more locally. Didn’t win, but brought a lot of insights, also internally!
  • Partnership Travelife: a certification initiative for travel companies committed to greater sustainability. Together with Travelife we constantly strive to improve the way we do business ourselves and together with our partners.
  • We did what we do best, Product Development, and the trips came early:
  • 1.5-metre trips: authentic, off the beaten track, travelling with impact, but at a suitable distance!
  • Remote-working trips: make a virtue of necessity, embrace change and reap the benefits. Slow travel without a sabbatical!

Curious about all our destinations?

FOREWORD

2020 brought our busy lives to a halt and gave room for reflection. The new lessons and realisations will stay with us going forward. Perhaps you will find some inspiration in our greatest achievements:

The world is changing faster than ever. It is crucial that every individual and company examine the extent to which their behaviour impacts on the climate crisis. If we have a better understanding of how we are part of the problem, of the damage we are causing, we can take steps in the right direction. There is such a variety of human responses to global change that we believe everyone can contribute, even on a small scale at home. People are herd animals and a good example follows.

For example, we do not use plastic in our Nairobi office. We also filter our own water, grow our own vegetables, compost waste and recycle the rest and offset our own corporate emissions by planting mangrove trees in Kenya every year.

Travelling continues and we are convinced that it is good for people to broaden their perspective, to learn from each other and other cultures and to keep discovering. For this enrichment, people pay a bill which we plan to “overcompensate”, we want to promote slow travel even more and avoid international and domestic flights in Africa.

We also want to grow WITH our partners and our customers: we will train our partners in Responsible Travel, set a higher standard for tourism in Africa as a whole and continue to inform our customers about a new and better way to travel. More info about Responsible Travel.

pare-mountains-school-charles-klas

TRAVELLING IN THIS PERIOD

Travel is at a low point right now and we understand the situation. Of course, because we are directly affected, we sometimes find the measures difficult to ‘accept’. All the more so because we live, travel and work here and we know what the situation is like. With the vaccine on its way, we are positive. We also sincerely hope (we don’t expect it, BUZA ;)) that the government will give nuanced travel advice and will see the impact of the virus in a broader context than our little country. In many of the countries where we travel, a very large number of people (10% GDP) depend on the tourism sector. The livelihoods of many businesses, communities and families are directly affected. Travel is possible with the virus among us, if the right measures are taken, we hope that more and more people will realise this! More info about Travelling during Corona.

Charles chilling met Steph

DROMES

We are not afraid to dream. We dream about travelling in 54 countries! We dream about more offices, one in each region (North, West, Central, Islands, you name it), from where we can develop new experiences & trips with the local communities, so we can show you the whole continent!

Biggest Dreams: we will train partners and bring new skills with our own Tourism Academy. Biggest Dreams: We will build eco community lodges in remote locations, areas that have few other resources, or means for development, other than beautiful nature and culture, which for the diversity of this world, we all love to preserve!

We are dreamers but also hard workers with a strong vision. We encourage our customers and partners to keep on dreaming, and moreover; TO DO IT! We challenge you to make a change in your life by 2021. No matter how small, the ripple effect will affect everyone and everything around you! YOU can make a bigger difference than you think.

charles-chill

THE END

2020 was quite a rollercoaster ride, to say the least. But we are learning here to always look on the bright side 😉 Kenyans, Ugandans, Tanzanians, South Africans… they help us to tackle this corona crisis with their heads held high, smiles and mouths covered. Strict measures, good response, enough space and nice and outside. We have been lucky enough to suffer the virus here. We remain positive, an attitude that is easily adopted here.

A word of thanks to end the year: we would like to thank the team, the customers, our partners and everyone who is supporting us in one way or another during this crazy and beautiful adventure for your constant encouragement. We foresee a positive (near) future!

Biggest Dreams: We will train partners and bring new skills with our own Tourism Academy. Biggest Dreams: We will build eco community lodges in remote locations, areas that have few other resources, or means for development, other than beautiful nature and culture, which for the diversity of this world, we all love to preserve!

We are dreamers but also hard workers with a strong vision. We encourage our customers and partners to keep on dreaming, and moreover; TO DO IT! We challenge you to make a change in your life by 2021. No matter how small, the ripple effect will affect everyone and everything around you! YOU can make a bigger difference than you think.

‘‘ Never let your memories be greater than your dreams. ”

 

Cheers,
Charlie & the Team

Team foto

Inhoud

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