ABOUT US AT AFRICAN SENSATIONS

African Sensations is a full service, boutique DMC/tour operator that offers responsible high-end travel arrangements for visitors to Southern and Eastern Africa. Our core values are; responsibility, heritage, culture, nature, and authenticity. We are passionate about travel to Southern and Eastern Africa and will tailor a unique adventure for you. We work with you to create a trip that perfectly suits your interests, timescales and budgets. We offer tailor-made trips to South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. So whether you want to do a stunning self-drive to visit the winelands and Garden Route in South Africa, join a small group tour to the Namibian desert, or embark on an awe-inspiring ecological game safari in Botswana – we’re here for you.

The founders of African Sensations are Åse Ellingsen and Iain Cottam. We have been in the travel industry for many years. Together we bring a creative and innovative touch to your travels in South Africa, as well as the other Southern and Eastern African countries, underpinned with our passion for adventure and responsibility to nature, wildlife and local people. We have spent the last year visiting most of our destinations, as well as the hotels and guesthouses that we offer. Our offices are in Cape Town and Nairobi, and we are here to assist you at all times before and during your African Adventure.

Åse profile image

ÅSE ELLINGSEN – CO-OWNER

Åse has made Cape Town her new hometown since 2014, when she moved from Switzerland with her South African husband and 3 children. Although born and raised in Norway, she lived many years in Geneva and worked at the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and later for the Permanent Mission of South Africa to the United Nations. Åse has also been on the board of the Norwegian Society in Cape Town, organising events such as Norwegian Constitution Day.  She is passionate about travel and has been exploring Europe and Southern Africa together with her family. Åse is a qualified cultural Tour Guide in Cape Town, Western Cape, Northern Cape, Eastern Cape, Gauteng and Mpumalanga. She guides tours in French, English, Norwegian and Swedish.  She also supports charities like “Zulufadder” situated in KwaZulu Natal, as well as sanctuaries for abused animals. Together with Iain, she is now doing what she loves the most: setting up unforgettable tailor made & responsible experiences for their guests visiting the Southern & Eastern Africa

iain profile image

IAIN COTTAM – CO-OWNER

Iain is currently based in Nairobi but has in recent years lived in Cape Town. While living in South Africa Iain spent a lot of time travelling around and exploring Southern and Eastern Africa. He has long experience working in the UK travel industry. More recently he has also been working with niche cruise lines, creating itineraries as far afield as Antarctica to the Galapagos Islands. Iain is now dedicating his time to taking visitors to see and experience the magic of Africa.

Responsible eco-tourism

We are passionate about our environment and the welfare of the wildlife and communities we visit. Therefore we only work with other responsible partners who share our values. All our partners put the interests of wildlife first, and do not offer activities like animal performances or close encounters with captive animals. We have carefully picked safari lodges, sanctuaries and wildlife organisations that are non-invasive to wildlife, and believe this results in more amazing holidays for our visitors. This includes whale watching from boats, canoe tours to see marine creatures, wildlife safaris and genuine animal rescue sanctuaries. 

We work with privately owned lodges and camps that support low densities of tourist vehicles, with an emphasis on good nature guiding, operating in large pristine wilderness areas and excellent wildlife. We also work with local communities to protect our wilderness areas, and support rural livelihoods. In addition, we offer and support several inspiring ecotourism projects in South Africa. As unethical tourist activities that harm wild animals and contribute to their extinction are a big problem in Southern and Eastern Africa, we want to contribute to positive change in the tourism industry. Conservation is important to us at African Sensations and we actively encourage every guest to contribute to preserving the wilderness of the African continent.

 

Community Projects

Despite its breath-taking natural beauty and diverse cultures, South Africa has many acute social challenges. Millions of  citizens live in extreme poverty and face daily struggles to survive. A township tour will cover an extensive discussion on South African history, the legacy of Apartheid, as well as in-depth information on the political, social, economic, cultural and local issues confronting South Africa today. The core focus of the tour is visiting interesting, innovative and inspiring community development projects and the incredible people driving these projects.

 

”We hope our guests will make a real difference for African conservation. We support sustainable, ethical tourism that benefits wildlife and communities.”

Check out our Blog to read more about Responsible Tourism.

ENQUIRE WITH US

ABOUT US AT AFRICAN SENSATIONS

African Sensations is a full-service boutique DMC/tour operator that offers responsible high-end travel arrangements for visitors to Southern and Eastern Africa. Our core values are; responsibility, heritage, culture, nature, and authenticity. We are passionate about travel to Southern and Eastern Africa and will tailor a unique adventure for you. We work with you to create a trip that perfectly suits your interests, timescales and budgets. We offer tailor-made trips to South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. So whether you want to do a stunning self-drive to visit the winelands and Garden Route in South Africa, join a small group tour to the Namibian desert, or embark on an awe-inspiring ecological game safari in Botswana – we’re here for you.

The founders of African Sensations are Åse Ellingsen and Iain Cottam. We have been in the travel industry for many years. Together we bring a creative and innovative touch to your travels in South Africa, as well as the other Southern and Eastern African countries, underpinned with our passion for adventure and responsibility to nature, wildlife and local people. We have spent the last year visiting most of our destinations, as well as the hotels and guesthouses that we offer. Our offices are in Cape Town and Nairobi, and we are here to assist you at all times before and during your African Adventure.

Åse profile image

ÅSE ELLINGSEN – CO-OWNER

Åse has made Cape Town her new hometown since 2014, when she moved from Switzerland with her South African husband and 3 children. Although born and raised in Norway, she lived many years in Geneva and worked at the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and later for the Permanent Mission of South Africa to the United Nations. Åse has also been on the board of the Norwegian Society in Cape Town, organising events such as Norwegian Constitution Day.  She is passionate about travel and has been exploring Europe and Southern Africa together with her family. Åse is a qualified cultural Tour Guide in Cape Town, Western Cape, Northern Cape, Eastern Cape, Gauteng and Mpumalanga. She guides tours in French, English, Norwegian and Swedish.  She also supports charities like “Zulufadder” situated in KwaZulu Natal, as well as sanctuaries for abused animals. Together with Iain, she is now doing what she loves the most: setting up unforgettable tailor made & responsible experiences for their guests visiting the Southern & Eastern Africa

iain profile image

IAIN COTTAM – CO-OWNER

Iain is currently based in Nairobi but has in recent years lived in Cape Town. While living in South Africa Iain spent a lot of time travelling around and exploring Southern and Eastern Africa. He has long experience working in the UK travel industry. More recently he has also been working with niche cruise lines, creating itineraries as far afield as Antarctica to the Galapagos Islands. Iain is now dedicating his time to taking visitors to see and experience the magic of Africa.

Responsible eco-tourism

We are passionate about our environment and the welfare of the wildlife and communities we visit. Therefore we only work with other responsible partners who share our values. All our partners put the interests of wildlife first, and do not offer activities like animal performances or close encounters with captive animals. We have carefully picked safari lodges, sanctuaries and wildlife organisations that are non-invasive to wildlife, and believe this results in more amazing holidays for our visitors. This includes whale watching from boats, canoe tours to see marine creatures, wildlife safaris and genuine animal rescue sanctuaries. 

We work with privately owned lodges and camps that support low densities of tourist vehicles, with an emphasis on good nature guiding, operating in large pristine wilderness areas and excellent wildlife. We also work with local communities to protect our wilderness areas, and support rural livelihoods. In addition, we offer and support several inspiring ecotourism projects in South Africa. As unethical tourist activities that harm wild animals and contribute to their extinction are a big problem in Southern and Eastern Africa, we want to contribute to positive change in the tourism industry. Conservation is important to us at African Sensations and we actively encourage every guest to contribute to preserving the wilderness of the African continent.

 

Community Projects

Despite its breath-taking natural beauty and diverse cultures, South Africa has many acute social challenges. Millions of  citizens live in extreme poverty and face daily struggles to survive. A township tour will cover an extensive discussion on South African history, the legacy of Apartheid, as well as in-depth information on the political, social, economic, cultural and local issues confronting South Africa today. The core focus of the tour is visiting interesting, innovative and inspiring community development projects and the incredible people driving these projects.

 

”We hope our guests will make a real difference for African conservation. We support sustainable, ethical tourism that benefits wildlife and communities.”

Check out our Blog to read more about Responsible Tourism.

ENQUIRE WITH US

SUPPORTING RESPONSIBLE TOURISM IN SOUTH AFRICA

As part of our commitment to support Responsible Tourism in South Africa, we have chosen to partner with a select number of charitable ‘not for profit’ organisations that are providing essential care and support to either the people or wildlife in the country. When visiting one of these organisations either in person or by their websites, you will be helping to support their work and hopefully give much needed financial backing.

PANTHERA AFRICA

Panthera Africa is a sanctuary for big cats and people in the Western Cape that helps to create a secure, safe and prosperous home for captive big cats and raising awareness about ethical and holistic animal treatment.

READ MORE
BLOOD LIONS – BORN TO LIVE WILD

The ‘Born to Live Wild’ pledge is a clear indication of the commitment to advocate responsible tourism by opposing exploitative wildlife interactions, and to endorse South Africa as an authentic wildlife destination.

READ MORE
UTHANDO

Uthando (meaning love in Xhosa) is a unique non-profit and Fair Trade in Tourism accredited organization which aims to raise funds for life changing community development projects in South Africa.

READ MORE
ZULUFADDER

Zulufadder is a charitable organisation that promotes education and self-reliance among young people from rural communities in South Africa.

READ MORE

SUPPORTING RESPONSIBLE TOURISM IN SOUTH AFRICA

As part of our commitment to support Responsible Tourism in South Africa, we have chosen to partner with a select number of charitable ‘not for profit’ organisations that are providing essential care and support to either the people or wildlife in the country. When visiting one of these organisations either in person or by their websites, you will be helping to support their work and hopefully give much needed financial backing.

PANTHERA AFRICA

Panthera Africa is a sanctuary for big cats and people in the Western Cape that helps to create a secure, safe and prosperous home for captive big cats and raising awareness about ethical and holistic animal treatment.

READ MORE
BLOOD LIONS – BORN TO LIVE WILD

The ‘Born to Live Wild’ pledge is a clear indication of the commitment to advocate responsible tourism by opposing exploitative wildlife interactions, and to endorse South Africa as an authentic wildlife destination.

READ MORE
UTHANDO

Uthando (meaning love in Xhosa) is a unique non-profit and Fair Trade in Tourism accredited organization which aims to raise funds for life changing community development projects in South Africa.

READ MORE
ZULUFADDER

Zulufadder is a charitable organisation that promotes education and self-reliance among young people from rural communities in South Africa.

READ MORE