“England is too small, way too small! I’m going to Africa, I need more space” These were the remarkable words from Deny Finch Hatton, well known from the movie “ Out of Africa”, before he left his home country to set foot on Kenya in 1911. What he found here was all he had ever dreamt about. Africa’s blue skies and the wide open savannas, the habitat of many wildlife species and unbelievable amounts of birds, trees and plants. The perfect ingredients for lots of films and books worldwide. Besides that, Africa got a vast beautiful coastline with white sandy beaches along the deep blue ocean. This is the continent that attracted adventures, royal families, nature lovers, movie makers and book writers from all over the world and for many centuries. Anyone who visited Africa could only speak in superlative when describing their experiences. Africa was, is and remains a dream for many safari and nature lovers.
AV- Tours & Safaris would be happy to make this dream a reality!
AV-Tours & Safaris, how it all began:
The company was established and registered in 1994 by the founders Ans Voskamp and David Kinyanjui Kuria. What began as a dream of two nature lovers, who wanted to share their experiences and passion of “their” Africa, rapidly grew into a great company with several employees and offices in The Netherlands and Kenya. Today AV-Tours & Safaris is a well known established name in the safari world and have handle over the years numerous well-organized safaris for many satisfied (loyal) clients. From large groups to small group’s safaris including customized (family) safari, starting from budget camping, luxury lodge and tented camps to top luxury fly-in safari.
AV-Tours & Safaris nowadays:
In 2014 and after 20 years of passion, love and commitment co-founder Ans decided to bid goodbye to her great love. It was time to enjoy her well-earned retirement and Mathijs Dassel was her preferred successor who has the ability to take AV TOURS & SAFARIS the extra mile. Mathijs wide knowledge of African safaris along with David and the amazing AV Tours team will strive to continue the success story owing to his passion, knowledge and love for Africa he comes with salt and spices and ready to share with the old and future AV clients. Mathijs has been in the travel industry since 2005 and have guided various clients in various Africa destinations before joining AV Tours .the introduction to Africa came In 2007 through a safari organized by AV-Tours & Safaris team when Mathijs with his family visited Africa for safari with the intention of seeing the big five and the different things he had read about Africa including enjoying the beach with its warm relaxing weather but got more than he bargained for. Mathijs got “infected” by the real African feeling. As is common for those who travel to Africa for the first time. Since then, the “ African blood” flows through Mathijs veins and Africa injected its lifetime lasting effect and he is happy to show, and narrate the many Africa adventures he has to all in his own enthusiastic way.
The Netherlands office:
Mathijs Dassel, working at AV-Tours since October 2014
In 2005 I began my career in the touristic sector in the beautiful Greece. I was appointed as a tour guide and after the first steps into the world of tourism, I knew this is my destiny. Traveling is addictive and I got the possibility to combine it with a fantastic job. The passion for traveling made it possible for me to do this job for 5 years while I was living in several different countries. After this period I found it the right time for me to return to the Netherlands and decided to take an office job at a travel agency. I became the assistant product manager and had various activities with this new profession. After a while it became clear to me that office life at a big company was not what I was longing for and realized that a smaller company and personal contact with the customers was my calling. With my heart still lost in the beautiful African continent, it was time to venture to work for an African travel agency. I started as an African safari adviser and was introduced to various scenic African destinations including eastern and southern Africa. In 2014 I got in contact with Ans Voskamp and she offered me the chance to take over AV-Tours & Safaris which I heartedly made up my decision as quickly as I could. For me this was an offer I could never refuse, to lead a beautiful company like this was like a dream come true. Especially because my first safari experience was with the same company that I was offered to take over. For me it is an enormous pleasure to be part of the AV Tours family and to carry on this beautiful company together with David and the rest of the staff.
Marielle Schoppema, working for AV-Tours from November 2010
With a suitcase filled with 20 years of travel experience, gained at various organisations, I began my new adventure at AV-Tours & Safaris at 2010. I was able to visit many different countries and continents and enjoyed every part, but Africa was still on my wish list as I had not been there yet. Soon after I got my job at AV Tours I went on an educational safari through Eastern Africa and I finally had my own safari experience. There is nothing more beautiful than to encounter Africa with a specialist company like AV Tours. From the very first moment I had my first steps onto the African soil; Africa stole my heart and knew this was my destiny. Nowhere else in the world had I had the experience of wildlife and nature as pure as in the Eastern part of Africa? For me, the best time to go on a safari is in the early mornings while nature awakes and birds start making their calls. The welcoming locals proudly show how wonderful their countries are and they will do it with a true African smile. Through various visits to Africa, I have the experience I can give a testimony to inform anyone who loves nature, Africa for the first time will develop the same passion and love for this amazing continent with all the beautiful places it has to offer. From the beautiful wildlife parks of Tanzania to the vast open plains of Kenya and Uganda. If I have aroused your enthusiasm feel free to let me know and I will be happy to make a suitable safari so that you can explore and experience one of these great destinations yourself. Prepare your suitcase and I will do the rest to make it happen!
The Kenyan office:
David Kinyanjui Kuria, founder of AV Tours in 1994
Born and raised in Kenya I grew up just outside Nairobi in the countryside. Already as a young boy my family taught me a lot about nature and there my passion for nature and the many species that live here was born. After graduating I started my career in tourism in 1986 as a freelance safari guide for big safari companies. I guided many safaris before I met Ans Voskamp during one of the safari she had booked.we talked a lot during the safari and the shared passion for nature and wildlife brought us together as business partners and close friends. We decided to start our own safari company in 1994 under the name of AV-Tours & Safaris. We started with her friends slowly and after 2 years the word of mouth spread like bush fire and since, we have arranged many safaris for a big number of clients who can all look back to wonderful safari experiences they had during our arranged safaris. Not only did we guide them ourselves, we also arranged many safaris for private groups and even big companies with our hands-on approach. Together with my Nairobi team we have close cooperation with our office in The Netherlands and besides working hard we have a lot of fun. Our absolute motive is to share our love for our continent with as many people as possible and to make sure that they will have an unforgettable safari experience which they will never forget. Besides working for AV-Tours I am also co-owner of a fantastic safari camp called the Olumara, based in the Masai Mara.
Veronica Waringa Wanyoike, working for AV-Tours from June 2005
After my college I went initially to work as a secretary at a large company outside the tourism sector. I had a busy job and it was a good experience for me to start my career. After some years this company went bankrupt and unfortunately I had to find something new. I was lucky that the owner of this company was also the owner of a hotel and he offered me to work for him inside his hotel. So there were my first for few steps into the world of tourism. I had a very nice job and during my time there I met David and Ans one day and had some good chats with them. A few months later, when I was getting ready for a new challenge, I got back in contact and since we had this nice click and David and Ans offered me to work for AV tours. In June 200 I began to work for AV-Tours & Safaris and Ans and David taught me all the pros and cons of tourism, safaris and everything that comes with this exciting and busy job. After learning from the best, I quickly learned all the routes and I was able to advise clients myself. Now I am already working for more than 10 years and I contributed to many beautiful dream holidays and have also had a chance to explore many of the east Africa attractions and parks.Safari planning for clients is one of the best jobs I can imagine and I wish to continue doing this for many more years. My main work and daily tasks are quotations, itineraries and coordinating safaris as well as meeting special client’s requirements requests. Besides my work for AV Tours I am also doing the bookings for the Olumara Camp.
Susan Kagwiria Nyagah, working for AV-Tours from July 2014
Since I was a little girl, my dad was my role model. He was an economist by profession I always admired him. It came a time when I joined school and to my surprise mathematics became my best subject and a vision of becoming an accountant if not an economist always lingered in my mind. When I completed my O level education I decided to actualise my dreams, that when I joined Kenya College Of Accountancy University and pursued my career attaining a CPA(K) Holder certificate.
In year 2011 I got internship in various recognised auditing firms in Kenya, where I gained a lot of experience in accounting sector. later in year 2012 I was contracted by Toyota E.A Ltd where I worked as an assistance financial manager for two years after which I went back to school to further my studies. I joined Mt Kenya university and pursued a diploma in management which was an added advantage in my career.My futile search for a job landed me to AV-tours & Safaris Ltd a tourism company. I was soo green on the sector but my boss David and my colleague Veronica really helped me a lot and made me feel at home. Many thanks to them. Here in Avtours and Safaris Ltd. I have gained more in planning costs and handling all accommodation payments as well as interest in the wonderful safari destinations. I have had a chance to visit a number of parks and reserves while on a safari through Kenya. AV Tours is a company of its own kind, full of good virtues like Hospitality, caring, loving people name them all, wonderful and down to earth Bosses David and Mathijs and I look forward to work for AV-Tours for many more years.