Entrepreneurial sisters Kerry & Clare set up their boutique travel consultancy, ‘Here’s My Card’, specialising in Southern Africa in June last year.
They have created a niche in the market by providing a highly personalised service which offers clients a totally unique experience to Southern Africa. They take care of every aspect of the trip, creating individual itineraries taking into consideration clients’ interests, needs pace and budget – reducing stress and ensuring you peace of mind.
Kerry & Clare were born and brought up in South Africa and have spent years travelling between their two homes in Cape Town and London. They have an in depth knowledge of this vast and unparalleled country and have built relationships with the leading hotels, boutique guest houses and safari lodges, which enable them to offer clients a unique and unforgettable adventure.Kerry & Clare have travelled widely and have a genuine passion for Southern Africa and conservation. They have spent time gorilla trekking in Uganda and turtle tagging in Tanzania as well as supporting both the NSPCC and The Gorilla Organization, for which they recently raised money for by running 7km in a gorilla suit through the streets of London!
Here’s My Card pride themselves on their attention to detail and remain client focused when creating tailor made itineraries to Southern Africa. This boutique travel agency is able to offer a ‘hands on approach’ by unlocking the hidden gems of this magnificent country.
I sat down with the sisters and got the low down on Weddings and Honeymoons in this magnificent part of the world….
What makes Southern Africa such a great place for honeymooning and for weddings?
South Africa, as the largest country in Southern Africa, has been described as a ‘World in One Country’ and we think this statement is pretty apt. It is able to appeal to many people on so many levels as it really is a multiple destination, offering everything from fascinating cities, stunning beaches, incomparable bushveld for safaris and the unique Winelands.
Within easy reach of South Africa lie the pristine archipelagos of the Seychelles, Mozambique and Mauritius and the bordering countries of Namibia, Botswana and Zambia, where you can experience such unique diversities as The Skeleton coast, beautiful desert and mountain scenery, red shifting sand dunes, the Okavango Delta and the mighty Victoria Falls on the Zambezi river.
Never mind incredible sights and incomparable vistas such as these, other elements that make Southern Africa a desirable place to travel to are, the glorious weather, value for money and the ease of travelling there (i.e. no jet lag and direct flights from London).
All in all, we feel that this is a totally unique destination with so much variety.
There are many romantic and exotic places in SA to tie the knot. Here are just some of those distinctive wedding options:
Tie the knot amongst the towering oak trees, rolling vineyards and lush gardens, set against the majestic backdrop of the mountains. Imagine ‘A Mid-Summer Night’s Dream’ setting…
‘African Chic’: Striking untamed landscapes, emotive sights and sounds of the wilderness, and characteristically dramatic skies. Dinner is laid in open air bomas, with soft glowing lanterns in the trees and crackling fires…
‘Villa Vista’: This option is for those wanting the privacy and exclusivity of a home-based celebration. Personal and intimate service for a smaller gathering of guests, whether around the crystal swimming pool or amongst the roses in the garden…
Would SA appeal to all different types of people and ages?
Absolutely! SA has a wide appeal. We have had clients ranging in age from a couple in their 60’s, to families with teenagers and babies, to young honeymoon couples and large groups heading to SA for a wedding celebration.
Obviously it’s expensive for quests to come out to Africa for a wedding; would you recommend that they make it a proper holiday and take in some of SA while they are there? What would be an example of an itinerary you might be able to put together for the bride and groom’s guests?
It can be costly travelling to SA and we recommend that guests make the most of their time there. Depending on the wedding location itself, the key destinations and attractions are: Big 5 safari, city and beach experience, the Cape Winelands, Victoria Falls & also the Indian Ocean Islands.
Recently, we organised a group of guests who travelled from Sydney, Australia, to attend a wedding in the Cape Winelands. We arranged an itinerary that included: 3 nights by the beach close to the pre-wedding activities; 3 nights in Stellenbosch, the Cape Winelands; 5 nights in a private villa in Cape Town with a group of friends and finally a 3 night safari in a stunning lodge in Sabi Sands, Kruger.
Similarly, we have also helped bridal couples themselves in post-wedding honeymoons. This has, for example, included 2 weeks in Namibia and also incorporated exclusive use of a private game lodge for 17 of their family and friends.
There are 3 distinct areas in South Africa for safaris and a lot of people don’t know that some areas are non-malarial where you are still able to see ‘The Big 5’.
The price differential often has to do with the lodge being located within a remote private concession rather than a public park. Logistics can also put the price up, which is understandable as you are experiencing something totally unique and you are off the beaten track. Also, your cost is all-inclusive, 3 meals a day, all snacks, local beverages, 2 game drives daily plus the on-hand expertise of the game rangers. People forget to factor that all in sometimes.
We always seek out great offers and deals for our clients as we know that a safari is expensive so, any extra savings we can make for them always goes down well! Most clients understand that this is where they will be spending most of their budget and they are willing to adjust their other choices accordingly.
What is the best time of year for a wedding or honeymoon in SA?
South Africa is a year-round destination and there is flexibility when it comes to choice for example, Cape Town & The Winelands are best experienced during the warmer months which are Nov – April. On the flip side, the bush is good all year round, with the summer months (Nov – Feb) being hotter and wetter although the game is not as prevalent, whereas in the winter months (June – Sept) are less expensive, cooler yet with more game sightings, but this may restrict visits to other locations, like, for example, Cape Town.
On Safari: We love sipping a gin & tonic as the big red African sun sets, surrounded by the sights and sounds of the bush. Also, a favourite is ‘alfresco dining with a twist’ – imagine a roaring fire, lanterns in the trees and traditional live singing and dancing, all under the African stars. Bird watching takes on a whole new meaning, never mind quietly observing the Big 5 in their natural habitat. Tracking cheetah on foot is an incomparable experience!
City/Beach: Cape Town is a ‘must-see’ as this city has so much to offer. We love the adrenaline rush and feeling of accomplishment after hiking up Table Mountain or Lion’s Head….the views at the top make it all worthwhile! Spend a day soaking up the rays on our favourite beach, Llandudno, and perhaps venturing into the icy Atlantic waters; if not, just listen to the crashing waves and watch in awe the daring surfers. Grab a picnic and head to the famous botanical gardens at Kirstenbosch, find a spot and listen to live music in the gardens.
What makes Here’s My Card different from all other travel agents? Here’s My Card is a boutique consultancy specialising in designing truly unique Sothern African itineraries, seeing them through from start to finish. We offer a highly personalised and independent service based on first-hand experience, knowledge and good relationships.
Here’s My Card takes you off the beaten track to discover the hidden gems of this majestic and extraordinary place, leaving you with a truly unique and unforgettable experience.
Our itineraries are exclusively created to meet individual interests, needs, pace and price – thereby reducing stress and ensuring peace of mind.
We go the extra mile and where possible, even meet clients face-to-face in order to build a rapport and get a better understanding of what they are looking for – a typical agent does not offer this and more often than not , will not have the first-hand, and current experience that we have!
We will organise not only the accommodation, but also arrange any specialised activities, such as helicopter trips, shark cage diving or even surf lessons. Our personal experience means that we can recommend and book the best places to eat and drink in the city! Owing to our strong relationships and good networks, we can arrange anything from concert tickets, to a private cocktail party, be it in a restaurant or even on a yacht! We understand what it takes to organise a honeymoon or wedding and we aim to sustain the excitement whilst eliminating the stresses and strains, and ensuring our clients a truly memorable and unforgettable experience.
Visit their website to find out more www.heresmycard.uk.com