Careers with Expert Africa

Join our team in Spring 2020

Based in southwest London, near Richmond, Expert Africa is a market-leading, award-winning specialist safari operator, with a growing business and an unparalleled track record for African expertise.

In the last year, we have re-organised our sales team into more focused units, and we’re currently refreshing our branding. We’re about to replace this website with a more inspirational and also informative new site. These exciting changes are helping Expert Africa to expand further.

As part of these changes, we have two vacancies starting in Spring 2020. We’re looking for candidates who have the right approach and ethos, as well as the abilities and experience.

Our fundamental aim remains to help travellers plan trips to Africa which are right for them, and to organise these trips flawlessly. We have a strong focus on first-class customer service with the satisfaction of our travellers being paramount.

Expert Africa is an independent company within the long-established Sunvil Family, hence we work within a larger, lively office. Our current team consists of 18 motivated, well-organised team-players who love travelling in Africa. Everyone works hard in a cooperative environment and with a high degree of independence.

Senior Africa Specialist

We’re looking for a successful Africa travel specialist with 3-4 years’ experience working in African travel and excellent destination knowledge. This role requires someone with a demonstrable track record of consistent sales with super customer service. It will suit someone looking for a broader travel industry experience, ultimately with scope beyond sales.

You will already have extensive first-hand experience of some of the following areas: South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Seychelles. Detailed, up-to-date knowledge is necessary of at least some of these countries, including their attractions, safari camps, lodges and hotels.

You will also need to demonstrate a genuine passion for Africa, likely to include a strong interest in the continent’s current affairs, wildlife, environment and cultures.

Excellent organisation and communication skills are important, as are solid basic computer skills. Competence with MS Word is essential; a good understanding of Excel is an asset; and proficiency with the Amadeus GDS system would be an advantage.

To be successful, you will need to be enthusiastic and intelligent, conscientious and cooperative. You will always take your duties seriously and make decisions carefully.

High levels of literacy and numeracy are vital, and tests in both will form part of the application procedure. You will be adept at expressing your ideas in writing. There’s scope for a keen writer to develop their skill and contribute to travel articles and possibly guidebooks. Most successful applicants will hold good degrees.

When taking up this senior role you will start by learning our own advanced booking systems and preferred style of communications, while focusing on sales. We will expect you to swiftly become a ‘safe pair of hands’, working autonomously with your own travellers.

Our team members get involved in many aspects of our business. These include: every aspect of selling and booking trips for safari travellers; involvement with PR and marketing work; and writing and taking photos for our website. If you are keen, and have the ability and aptitude, then you will have the opportunity to excel – and we will give you the opportunity to continue to grow.

Initially we want you to be a real Africa expert, someone who can advise travellers accurately and with empathy on the phone, by email and in person. We actively promote responsible tourism and you will never be asked to sell anything that is not in the best interests of the traveller. This isn’t a company where we ever “hard sell” or “switch-sell” anything.

Once you have thoroughly mastered our systems and proved yourself able and highly efficient at sales, we hope that you have the ability to take on the management of one or more of our country programmes.

All of our positions are office-based. However, some of our most experienced senior specialists, who focus purely on sales, work from home. Senior specialists can apply to work from home after they have had at least 3 years of experience working in our office.

Starting salary: Depending on experience, £30-36k p.a. plus performance-related bonus. OTE £40-50k.

Graduate job: Trainee Africa Specialist

Are you keen to embark on a career as an African travel specialist? We’re looking for a highly motivated individual with a demonstrable passion for Africa to train as a sales specialist. You’ll acquire detailed knowledge and expertise on African travel as part of a knowledgeable team. The role requires a demanding combination of commitment, enthusiasm, literacy and numeracy.

You are very likely to have significant travel experience in Africa and a strong desire to travel further there. We would expect you to share our deep interest in the continent’s wildlife, environment and culture. Having a track record of working in a sales, administration or customer-facing environment will be an advantage, as will being able to show you understand the importance of treating clients well.

You are a bright, keen graduate with love of Africa and an eye for detail. You are enthusiastic and curious, conscientious and co-operative. You take work seriously and make thoughtful decisions. You communicate clearly in speech and writing, are good with words and have excellent numeracy. You like the look of the role above (Senior Africa Specialist) and aspire to it as your travel industry experience grows.

If you can demonstrate the criteria above apply to you, then let’s talk.

Starting salary: £20,000 p.a.

Both these positions offer opportunities for progression within Expert Africa, limited only by ability, experience and motivation.

We pay at the top of the scale for our sector of the industry for roles which are far more varied than any average ‘travel sales’ positions. All packages include 20 days of holiday per year. After you’ve been with us for two years, they also include free annual travel insurance, optional group private health insurance, and a contribution-matching pension scheme.

Within or soon after your first year with us, you can anticipate up to four weeks of research travel in Africa annually. This usually consists of two 2-week trips per year, undertaken independently and organised and paid for by Expert Africa, to broaden your knowledge and help you become a real Africa expert.

Expert Africa wholly funds this travel, usually on individual trips rather than the industry’s standard group familiarisation trips. Our commitment to frequent, independent travel in Africa ensures our sales specialists are some of the most knowledgeable Africa experts in the industry.

In addition to these research trips for work, after team members have been with us for over a year we regularly fund additional trips for those who want to widen their African travel experience at an even faster rate.

Applications procedure

If you think that either position is right for you, then please apply in writing, by post to:

Sally-Anne Follett-Smith
Expert Africa
10 & 11 Upper Square
Old Isleworth

Please send a full CV stapled to a concise, handwritten letter explaining which position interests you, why you would like to join Expert Africa, and the skills and experience you have which you feel would make you an asset to our team.

Please include an email address and phone number, and state when you would be available to start work, or what your notice period is.

Internships for students

We usually have the capacity to accept one or (max) two interns in the Expert Africa team at any one time. We focus mainly on students who are undertaking this as part of a university course, typically a sandwich course in marketing or travel and tourism.

These temporary posts for volunteers usually last 3-6 months, and the intern normally focuses on projects under the direction of the managing director. The posts are unsalaried but we offer a basic travel and subsistence allowance.

Expert Africa internships are designed to give interns experience of a busy specialist travel business, often with some focus on the website marketing. They are not intended as a precursor to employment with us.