Dave Herbert has been deeply involved in African tourism all his business life, he grew up in South Africa and has designed & guided tours & safaris throughout southern Africa.

Herbert has developed, built & managed game lodges in remote areas of Botswana, Mozambique & South Africa. In 1976 he established his first USA based tour business, African Travel, and now acts as the CEO of his latest venture: Great Safaris, a luxury tour operator to southern & east Africa & Egypt.

Dave is the past Chairman of the United States Tour Operators Association and a recipient of the South African Tourism Lifetime Achievement Award. He resides in Glendale, CA and at the Kruger National Park, South Africa.

Recently, Herbert returned from a South Africa trip where he attended Indaba, Africa’s top travel show. Dave presented on the distribution process in the USA and of the important role of Retail Travel Agents & Wholesale Tour Operators.

lions in savanna grasslands
In Africa, lions can be found in savanna grasslands with scattered Acacia trees which serve as shade.

How do the experiences you offer at Great Safaris give guests a unique perspective on the history, people or culture of the regions where you travel?

We include visits to villages and join local families for meals in most Countries.

How have the experiences that you offer evolved since their inception?

There are more choices today than when we started. It’s now not unusual to arrange meetings at short notice.

What is one detail of an experience you provide that may go unnoticed by guests, but which you feel is important?

Exceed expectations, is our motto. Having our local managers in each city, calling or meeting our clients during their travels.

The Eyrie is one of the accommodations used by Great Safaris.
One of the amazing accommodations used by Great Safaris, “The Eyrie” is perched at the top of the rock kopje with views over the rugged hills to the deserts of the north of Kenya.

What do you wish every guest knew as they consider participating in the experiences you offer?

Absorb the local customs & culture, don’t expect it to be like home.

What is one piece of clothing or equipment guests should have to maximize their enjoyment of the experiences you offer?

Lightweight easy wear comfortable clothes & shoes.

What is one travel trend that really excites you?

Airfare to Africa are getting lower.

Elephants and zebras at a water hole.
Most African animals travel in groups: a group of elephants is a herd while a group of giraffe is called a tower. A group of gorillas is called a band, hippos can be called a bloat, and a group of tigers is called a streak. Perhaps the most colorful goes to the zebras who are called a dazzle.

What sets Great Safaris apart from other safari companies?

Listening to the travel agent or client to learn thoroughly of their expectations & style of travel they enjoy, then deliver it & more.

What is one insiders tip to getting the most out of an experiential travel vacation?

Expect the unexpected and embrace it for the experience.

What is one strategy that has helped your business to grow?

We check, recheck & extra check all services before travel & monitor the travelers route along the way. When the unexpected occurs, like cancelled flights & delays, we have alternative plans in effect.

Yoga on the savanna.
“Wellness In the Wilderness” is a program by Great Safaris that helps guests to reconnect with themselves and the outdoors while experiencing the classic safari setting.

What is one personal habit that has helped you to be successful?

Meet all your staff frequently on the job, learn what they do.

Please share one instance where a guest had a moving or emotional reaction to the experience you provided to them.

We hear time & time again, that their journey with Great Safaris to Africa was a life changing experience. Africans generally do not have many material ‘things’ but have a level of contentment we envy.


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TravelDew is a community based platform for leaders in experiential travel from around the world. Through our interviews we honor the variety of this industry while simultaneously creating the opportunity to learn from one anther.