1.800.421.8907 info@africantravelinc.com

Team Of Experts

Jim Holden, President

Direct Line: 818.649.1920 | E-mail: jimh@africantravelinc.com

Twitter: @JimHoldenAfrica

“Africa is on everyone’s bucket list; take advantage of African Travel’s singular focus on Africa, and USA location, to plan your ‘once in a lifetime’ trip to Africa.”

When you call award-winning African Travel, Inc., President Jim Holden answers the phone with his friendly African-accented, “Jambo!,” and you know that Jim is the real deal. Born in Lusaka, Zambia, he spent his childhood roaming the remote African terrain. A sequel to Out of Africa could easily be made about his pioneer family and his own personal childhood experiences.

Jim’s Grandfather first set foot in Africa in what is today Kenya. He arrived by ship from England in the early 1900s to prospect for diamonds on behalf of George Pauling, the millionaire British builder of the railways in Africa. Jim’s Grandfather didn’t find diamonds, but he took a long safari, traversing the length and breadth of Kenya, often in the company of other well-known personalities such as Blayney Percival, one of the first Game Wardens in Kenya, and Frederick Courtney Selous, the famous big game hunter who became a good friend of Theodore Roosevelt and took Teddy on safari.


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Anais Chavez, Senior Safari Specialist

Direct Line: 818.649.1934 | E-mail: anaisc@africantravelinc.com

Anais Chavez has been in the travel industry all her professional life. While her travels have spanned the globe, her heart has been firmly planted in Africa. Her knowledge and tenacity provide the ability to meet all challenges. Anais never ceases to amaze with her will to accomplish what appears to others as “impossible”! She sets her own personal goals with none more important than creating a safari experience that captures the essence of Africa earning her bragging rights when her clients return. And all this she can do in Spanish too!  She’s also a certified South African Specialist. 

Certified SAA Specialist





Click here for articles by Anais >>

Beth Engelhart, Safari Specialist

Direct Line: 818.649.1938 | E-mail: bethe@africantravelinc.com

Beth brings us thirty years experience in the tourism industry, of which twenty was spent living and working in Southern Africa. Her inquiring, adventurous spirit led her into many of the game rich safari areas and tourist areas in Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana. Her life in the bush, working in these three countries, has left her with extensive knowledge, experience and intimate insight in organizing custom safaris for her clients . Her effervescent nature gets the African adventure started from the first phone call!

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Diane Bell, Senior Safari Specialist

Direct Line: 818.649.1932 | E-mail: dianeb@africantravelinc.com

Diane has been with African Travel for 20 years! She just recently returned from Botswana, Zambia and South Africa. Her first trip ever to Africa was to Botswana back in 1980. A few years ago, Diane fulfilled a life-long dream to see the pyramids in Egypt and she now enjoys helping clients design unique itineraries that combine the antiquities of the Pharoahs with the wildlife of East Arica. With her many years of consulting experience, Diane is a great resource for planning FIT and group travel.

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Hilda Tashjian, Senior Safari Specialist

Direct Line: 818.649.1936 | E-mail: hildat@africantravelinc.com

Marking her 16th anniversary with the company, Hilda loves creating family safaris almost as much as she loves being a mother. Groups are Hilda’s specialty and she is skilled at custom-designing programs incorporating themes such as ‘cuisine’, ‘wine’, ‘culture’ and, of course, ‘children’!

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Jennifer Luckow, CTC, Senior Safari Specialist

Direct Line: 818.649.1931 | E-mail: jenniferl@africantravelinc.com

A native of Great Britain, Jennifer is a Travel Industry veteran with many years in both retail and wholesale. She is quite familiar with South Africa – having lived there for nearly 10 years. She has also visited Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Lower Zambezi in Zambia and considers herself an expert when it comes to the fascinating and varied country of Namibia. Most recently, she returned from an amazing adventure in Botswana – and is only too willing to share her magical time there with you. Jennifer loves the challenge and rewards of creating perfect ‘dream’ safaris where comfort is guaranteed but the ‘Animal Kingdom’ dictates the day.

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Margie Vogel, Senior Safari Specialist

Direct Line: 818.649.1935 | E-mail: margiev@africantravelinc.com

Margie Vogel has worked in the travel industry for twenty six years, specializing in Africa for the past fifteen. On her most recent trip to Tanzania, she witnessed thousands of wildebeests and zebras grazing in the southern Serengeti, game viewing in the beautiful and remote Katavi National Park, and, relaxed in Lupita Island, a private resort on Lake Tanganyika in the southwestern part of Tanzania. She gets the most enjoyment from her job when planning itineraries. She creates the perfect adventures by asking all the right questions: the client’s budget, general interests, any must sees, and level of activity which are all important aspects. She combines this with her intimate knowledge of the diverse areas in Africa to design excellent custom safaris. 

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Niki Duncan, Safari Specialist

Direct Line: 818.649.1937 | E-mail: nikid@africantravelinc.com

Niki has been in the travel industry for 37 years, first specializing in Latin America destinations,  and then the following 33 years as an African specialist.

She is a native Californian and started with African Travel almost from inception, being the third employee to join the company, and remained with us as a Senior Safari Specialist for 23 years.  She has handled literally thousands of clients over the years to all the major tourist & safari destinations on the continent and has visited these countries on numerous occasions.

She opted for a change ten years ago and began employment planning luxury travel throughout the world, but her heart was always with Africa, and that familiar “Call of the Bush” kept ringing in her ears. Recently, Niki returned to African Travel with plans of again making “safari dream a reality” for thousands of clients.

Along with regularly featured tour programs, she is an expert at designing very intricate and complicated journeys for our most discerning travelers.

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Mirlin Manshon, Senior Safari Specialist

Direct Line: 818.649.1933 | E-mail: mirlinm@africantravelinc.com

Before moving to California with her family and joining African Travel, Mirlin Manshon spent a decade in the safari business while living in South Africa. She was a frequent visitor to hotels and safari lodges, learning first-hand which properties were particularly suited to the discerning American market. Mirlin loves creating custom-designed safaris, and is a great source of knowledge for those clients who want to talk to a safari expert who has ‘been there and done that’.

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Dina Holguin, Safari Specialist

Direct Line: 818.649.1939 | E-mail: dinah@africantravelinc.com

Smitten to travel early in life, Dina has been in the travel industry for nearly 30 years.  Always drawn to the most exotic destinations like Asia, China, India and Indonesia but her real passion is Africa! “I feel no matter how many times you visit Africa, each time you fall in love with it all over again..it’s  THAT  magical!”    Dina enjoys creating that “perfect” trip, whether it be honeymoon, FIT, multi-generation or Group..She will provide your with an experience that will provide a lifetime of memories!     

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Carl Garbig, Director of Sales Canada

Direct Line: 416.523.7559 | E-mail: carlg@africantravelinc.com

Carl Garbig is a seasoned sales executive representing more than 20 years in the travel industry, with specific travel experience in Southern and East Africa. The majority of his career has focused on retail travel distribution with an emphasis on complex and luxury products, but his experience also includes the tour operator, airline, and insurance sectors. Garbig’s demonstrated ability to exceed sales goals while cultivating and managing relationships has distinguished him as an effective and client-focused professional. Carl is based out of Travel Corporation offices in Toronto, covering Atlantic Provinces, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia. 

Susannah Zani, Product Planning Manager

Direct Line: 818.649.1925 | E-mail: susannahz@africantravelinc.com

Susannah joined African Travel in 1998 bringing with her a wealth of knowledge, having both lived in and traveled extensively throughout Eastern and Southern Africa. After 13 years as a Senior Safari Consultant creating innovative safaris at all price points from moderate to premium, sharing her destination knowledge, and introducing travelers to Africa’s colorful cultures, phenomenal scenery and wildlife she became our Product Planning Manager. Keeping our team up to date on the latest and greatest, brochure production and special offerings, coordination of travel agent familiarization trips, finding unique and memorable one of kind experiences for our clients and building strong  relationships with our African partners are just a few of her many responsibilities.

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Lilly Cervantes, Director of Operations

Direct Line: 818.649.1930 | E-mail: lcervantes@africantravelinc.com

Lilly joined our team in 2012 bringing 22 years of experience and expertise in the travel industry to African Travel.  As our Reservations Manager her extensive systems knowledge, organizational skills and managerial experience are all being utilized to benefit our company and assist our safari consultants in their daily tasks. Her customer service skills and understanding of custom designed itineraries are a great asset.

During the course of her career Lilly has sold practically the entire world from the Machu Picchu ruins of Peru to exotic beach honeymoons in Tahiti.  She is available to assist you. 

Teresa Hovsepian, Airfare Specialist

Direct Line: 818.649.1944 | E-mail: teresah@africantravelinc.com

As one of African Travel’s top air experts, Teresa is a great resource for our clients, as well as our in-house reservations staff. Teresa joined our staff back in 1994, but has over three decades of travel experience. She is especially knowledgeable about international fare and ticketing, and is – of course – an Africa aficionado!

Kim Severini, Vice President Sales & Marketing

Direct Line: (646) 338-9383 | E-mail: kims@africantravelinc.com

Kim Severini is a travel & hospitality executive with more than 20 years of successful senior marketing and sales experience in diverse sectors that include luxury hotel, airline, tour operator, cruise line, Destination Management and the Walt Disney Company.

Kim’s diverse experience in managing high performing teams, developing strategic sales & marketing plans, launching new business units, cultivating vast connections in the travel industry, understanding of the retail travel agency channel, and experience in destination marketing give her the credibility to tackle the most complex issues and initiatives.


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David Schwenk, CTC, District Sales Manager, North East

Direct Line: 717-419-5186 | E-mail: davids@africantravelinc.com


David brings to African Travel over 19 years experience in the travel industry. Launching his travel career as an international tour director, David has held sales positions for both domestic and international tour operators, covering the Eastern USA. He is currently responsible for sales implementation and support in the Northeastern USA from Maine to Kentucky.

John Godfrey, District Sales Manager, West Coast

Direct Line: 818-312-7828 | E-mail: johng@africantravelinc.com


With over 25 years’ experience in the travel industry John’s approach to sales & marketing has been through extensive education and thorough product knowledge. In addition to strong sales results, John’s contributions have included innovative programs – and numerous workshops and trade shows that have improved company market share and enhanced partnerships with National Accounts, Tourism Boards, Airlines and travel agency partners. John has developed great working relationships with tourism bureaus such as Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Germany,Tahiti, Fiji, Hawaii, Mexico, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, St. Lucia, Hong Kong, Japan. He has worked with National Accounts such as Virtuoso, AAA National & Regional offices, Signature Travel Network, American Express, Vacation.com and Travel Leaders. He has  also worked with key airline partners such as Qantas, Air New Zealand, V Australia, Air Tahiti Nui, Air Pacific & Singapore Airlines. In addition, John has conducted workshops at many national sales meetings for Signature Travel Network, American Express, Vacation.com and Travel Leaders (formally Carlson Wagonlit Travel). John has been the company representative in key tourism functions such as Australia’s Corroboree, New Zealand’s Kiwi Link, Fiji’s Sales & Marketing forum, Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau & Pacific Asia Travel Association.


Kevan Cowie, District Sales Manager, South East

Direct Line: 800.421.8907 | Cell: 813.446.8388 | E-mail: kevanc@africantravelinc.com


Kevan was born in Kitwe, Zambia, and spent many years in central Africa where he frequently forayed into the Southern and Eastern regions. His inherent love of travel has taken him to all corners of the world as both a visitor and an expat; he has also lived in Southeast Asia, including six years in Hong Kong, as well as several years in both Europe and the Middle East.

Kevan’s wanderlust inevitably led to his career in the travel industry, which now spans more than 25 years. He has developed excellent relationships with agencies and consortia in various countries. Kevan’s love for product and desire to share it with others has led to speaking engagements at seminars and presentations all over the USA, Canada and Australia with a targeted focus on the luxury end of the market.

Ukwamukela Africa!

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