Careers with Expert Africa

Careers in specialist Africa travel


Expert Africa is a market-leading, award-winning specialist tour operator, with our main office near Richmond, south-west London.

We have long grown steadily over the last 25 years, establishing a strong track record for high levels of African expertise and customer service. We are now in the final stages of a brand refresh: the launch of our best-in-class new website is imminent, and we have a significant expansion planned thereafter.

We have two senior vacancies in our London team for candidates who have the right approach, ethos and abilities.


Senior Africa Specialist

Posted: May 2019
Expert Africa’s Senior Africa Specialists are the most experienced of our three tiers of sales specialists.

Attributes

We’re looking for a bright, self-motivated enthusiast with a genuine passion for travel in Africa – a person who loves creating amazing trips for travellers.

You will be someone who is enthusiastic, conscientious and good at cooperating in a team. Excellent administrative skills are vital, as is good time management – to deliver consistently high levels of service on clients’ bookings from start to finish. Our working environment is often fast-paced, so excellent communication skills are very important, as are solid basic computer skills.

You will need to be happy juggling multiple skills and tasks through every working day. These could range from dealing with a plane delay to solving an accounts query to patiently explaining how safaris work on the phone or writing fresh copy on our website.

You will already have first-hand knowledge of some of the countries that we feature and several years of UK experience in organising tailor-made trips to them. These should include one or more than one of the following: South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique and Malawi. You will be skilled at working with camps, lodges, ground handlers and airlines and competency with GDS systems, particularly Amadeus, would be a distinct bonus.

Successful applicants are likely to be educated to degree level. Strong numeracy and literacy are needed, and there is scope for aspiring writers to develop their skills.

The role

In our team, you will swiftly become expert in what you do, rising to the challenge of creating diverse trips for our travellers while working directly with a wide range of suppliers.

Soon after joining us, you will have mastered our state-of-the-art administrative systems and be handling all aspects of sales to our travellers – from initial conversations and emails, through to confirming arrangements and assembling pre-departure packs. Throughout this process, you will use your detailed Africa knowledge to give travellers accurate, honest, first-hand insights into their trip. At the same time, your careful attention to detail will ensure their travel arrangements work flawlessly.

You will swiftly be seen as the expert in your area, able to support others in our team and assist and train more junior colleagues. While striving to exceed your own sales targets, you will help foster a strong team spirit.

In addition to the sales-focused aspects of our work, as a small business there are opportunities for you to get involved in many aspects of what we do – aspects of our digital work, social media, PR and much more.

If you have a talent which can help our work, we will be keen to encourage it. This flexible approach is a hallmark of our success, with team members building roles that match their abilities and experience.

Travel

After approximately 6 months with us, we will usually arrange for you to have four weeks’ of research travel in Africa every year. This time is usually split into two separate 2-week trips visiting the camps and lodges that we feature, and giving you an unparalleled understanding of the areas you visit. You will be responsible for detailed reports on these properties, including taking photos and interviewing camp managers. These intensive, industry-leading travel experiences will enable you to be a real travel expert on your regions.

Progression

Once your sales role is mastered, we expect capable senior specialists to take on additional roles as country managers. These product responsibilities include managing our supplier relationships in their given countries, improving our coverage of them, pushing our PR and marketing of them – and championing Expert Africa’s capabilities in these countries.

Over and above this, we are particularly keen on candidates for this senior role who have the ability and personal skills to progress to manage small sales teams within our business.

Ethos

We try hard to take an ethical approach to everything we do – with the travellers who trust us to book their trips and in our dealings with our suppliers and within our team. We expect high levels of personal integrity: it’s hard work organising fantastic trips, but you will never be asked to take an unethical or hard sell approach.

We are successful because we are Africa enthusiasts with real expertise who advise travellers accurately and with empathy. Word-of-mouth and repeat business are key to that success and founded on our principles of fair play and straight talking.

We embrace diversity and do not take a cookie-cutter approach to recruiting team members.

Package

We offer a competitive base salary which will reflect your industry expertise, plus an annual bonus based on your sales, the feedback from your travellers and your wider contribution to the company.

Benefits include up to 28 days of fully-funded travel researching in Africa each year, and annual worldwide travel insurance for you and your family. After you’ve been with us for two years, we include optional low-cost group private health insurance and an enhanced contribution-matching pension scheme.

We’re a friendly team, working in our own offices as a member of a larger, independent travel company, the Sunvil group, providing a relaxed, enjoyable working environment, regular social events – and often astounding deals on holidays to Sunvil’s Greek villas.



Marketing Manager


Posted: April 2019
To date our marketing has been effective but low-key. We have relied on word-of-mouth and great PR, underpinned by strong natural SEO. This has delivered steady organic growth for many years. However, now we're looking to take things up another level.

Within the next few months, we will be rolling out an extensive brand refresh. This will include a completely re-engineered website. Alongside this, we plan to significantly increase our marketing focus which has enormous potential to boost the growth rate of our business.

The successful candidate will be comfortable working with senior management and leveraging our new brand identity to design, build and execute a strategy to create long-term growth for Expert Africa. You will also be expected to create and execute shorter-term tactical marketing activity to increase booking enquiries, predominantly via the new website. One immediate goal is to design and implement an effective email marketing campaign to drive enquiries.

Responsibilities include:

  • Taking charge of our social media and digital channels and creating influencer strategic partnerships in alignment with brand strategy.
  • Managing the development of content for the new website and our strategy for ongoing development of our digital resources.
  • Creating and managing email marketing to our well-organised database.
  • Monitoring marketing analytics to analyse trends and the effectiveness of our marketing against the agreed budgets.
  • Coordination of marketing events calendar, including representing company at events where required.

The successful applicant will have:

  • Solid experience of creating targeted and segmented email marketing campaigns as part of an overarching unified digital marketing strategy.
  • Solid experience of database management and associated marketing tools and techniques.
  • A high-level understanding of implementation of SEO, PPC and acquisition strategy.
  • A deep understanding of social media and how to use it plus detailed knowledge of digital marketing strategies.
  • Exposure to/experience with advertising development, media planning, digital activation, PR and promotions development and effective brand project management experience.
  • Strong negotiation and presentation skills.
  • 3 - 5 years (+) marketing experience.
  • University degree required. Advanced marketing qualification preferred.
  • Some experience of African travel preferred; demonstrable passion for Africa would be a substantial advantage.
  • Willingness to roll up sleeves and work across the marketing spectrum from creating an overarching strategy to writing the newsletter copy.

This is a unique opportunity to put your marketing skills to work in the specialist travel sector, building a strategy and implementing it. For the right candidate there’s enormous potential to generate a real impact and help us to take our business to the next level as well as the chance to build an in-depth knowledge of the dynamic African travel industry. Salient points include:
  • This role requires the ability to travel to Africa periodically to better understand the trips that we offer.
  • Salary: £33-38k plus performance-related bonus.
  • 20 days paid holidays per year.
  • Health care included after probationary period.
  • Contributory pension scheme.
  • Based in our office near Richmond, in SW London.


Applications


Please apply in writing, by post to:

Attn: Chris Mcintyre
Expert Africa
10 & 11 Upper Sq.
Old Isleworth
Middlesex
TW7 7BJ.

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 which you feel would specifically make you an asset to the team.

Please include an email address and phone number; the date when you are available to start work – or what your notice period is; and your current salary level.


Internships for students


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

These temporary posts usually last 3-6 months, and the intern normally focuses on projects under the direction of the MD and senior team members. We offer a basic travel / subsistence allowance, but otherwise these posts are unsalaried and strictly for volunteers.

Internships are designed to help university students understand more about a busy travel business, and specifically marketing and the travel industry; they are not designed as a precursor to employment with Expert Africa.



Speculative enquiries for ‘Assistant Specialist’ jobs


We welcome ‘speculative enquiries’, and will hold the most promising ones on file until we do have vacancies. We do fill positions this way, so strong candidates with relevant experience will often find this worth their while.

African enthusiasts based within reach of our London office who feel that they have something to offer us should please send in a full CV with a handwritten covering letter to our UK office, addressed to the MD.

These should include full details of your educational background, your office experience (especially in the African travel industry), and your travel experience – as well as an explanation of why you feel that Expert Africa might be the right company for you.

Please supply an email address if you’d like us to reply.