Stephan Van Der Merwe

Stephan Van Der Merwe

Locations: Botswana
South Africa
Cape Town

About Stephan Van Der Merwe

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Well I first started out with a career in computer programming after having studied it at university in South Africa, after a short while spent living in the UK I realised working with computers definitely wasn’t for me. I left to go travelling around Europe and I and realised even quicker this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. So I returned to Africa and began discovering the country and certainly did!

I got my guide qualifications around 2003 and began working as a guide in the national parks across south eastern Africa, from South Africa to Kenya and everywhere in between, specialising in adventure trips.

And in 2010, I decided I wanted to do my won tours and experiences, so set up Fly In Safari Co with my partner Stefanie and have since been showing people the best, most untouched areas of South Africa, Botswana and Zambia.

What inspired you to work in travel?

The main thing for me is that I didn’t want to be sat behind a desk for 10 hours a day doing a job that I hated, I wanted to be out there exploring, discovering and most importantly showing people the wonders of these incredible African countries.

We also wanted to create something very special with Fly In Safari Co and I believe we’ve done that. We found when exploring routes and trails ourselves that the distances between two locations was so long, all the time on a trip would be spent travelling so we wanted to eliminate that and thus Fly In Safari Co was born.

What makes your experiences special?

What we do is a life style, it’s a passion, it’s not a job. We care a lot about our clients, the experiences we offer are all highly personalised from start to finish and we sometimes plan of the course of 2 years with our clients, getting everything perfect, down to the minute details.

The experiences we offer are also all fully flexible, if a client wants to change something at the last minute, or stay somewhere for a little longer, they can do that. They’re not strict itineraries or schedules – people are in control of their experience.

And our focus is on the natural world, we focus more on the nature/wildlife side of things more than anything else, we’re not a “big 5” operator we go much deeper than looking at lions, elephants and giraffes, don’t get me wrong, these are amazing, but we go a lot deeper and pick out all the little details of a destination all the way down to a small dung beetle crossing the road.