Planning a dream holiday and safari to Africa can be daunting – Africa is exotic and different and it is important to know that all aspects of your holiday will run smoothly at all times, that there will be no dramas and that all of your expectations will be met. We believe the only way to guarantee that you have a holiday that is both perfectly suited to your tastes & budget and hassle-free throughout, is to use the services of a specialist Africa tour operator like Pembury Tours.
Why is Pembury different? What sets Pembury apart?
We do not pretend that Pembury Tours is the only specialist Africa tour operator that offers great prices combined with world class professionalism. There are others out there doing what we do – and competition is good.
We have to make the point, however, that Pembury relies almost exclusively on it’s past clients for referrals and future business. We do not embark on glitsy marketing campaigns to lure customers in – we take the long-term view at all times and create holidays and itineraries for our clients that are 100% based on what is in their best interest. This reliance on word-of-mouth referrals from past clients, we believe, is one of the major differentiating factors between Pembury and others.
When we put together an itinerary for you, we place a lot of care and attention into ensuring that our proposal is perfectly suited to you. We do not run automated computer models that simply spit out itineraries and suggestions – we take our time to give you a good, honest, professional and well-priced proposal. In some ways, one could say we offer the best of the “old” combined with the best of the “new” – we run our business on old fashioned values using the best of modern technology!
What is the business model? How does Pembury make money?
Pembury does a large volume of business throughout Southern and Eastern Africa. Because of this volume, we have negotiated special reduced rates with all reputable hotels, safari lodges, car hire companies, transport providers etc throughout this region. The difference between what you would pay were you to book everything directly and what we would pay is our potential profit. However, we actually cut into our profit margin and will always charge you a rate that is less than what you would pay were you to book directly. The difference between what we charge you and what we pay our suppliers is our profit.
IT’S OFFICIAL! WE ARE NO. 1
MEET THE TEAM
+27 41 581 2581
I started Pembury from scratch with Susan way back in 1996. Susan and I have always shared a love of travel and with me having a business and accounting background, I started to think about how to make a living in tourism. I am extremely proud of how we have grown to become one of the leading incoming tour operators to South and East Africa.
My role is more behind the scenes – ensuring that the business aspect of Pembury works and that it runs efficiently. I also oversee the marketing aspect although this is a fairly limited role since we rely mostly on word-of-mouth referrals as our main source of business.
Over the years we have developed what we call the “Pembury Promise” – a culture or business ethos that focuses 100% on:
- Intelligent, well-trained & experienced consultants – Our hand-picked consultants work hard at building up a rapport with their clients and will draw up an itinerary that is tailor-made for YOU. They are all well-seasoned travelers in their own right. They draw pride from the fact that they are your representatives and, as such, will always act in your best interests. They are not paid a commission, and so will offer impartial advice and will NOT automatically suggest the most expensive option. Your personal consultant will be with you throughout the whole process: from the planning stages right through to the end of your holiday.
- Years of Experience – Pembury Tours was established in 1996 and we have been arranging memorable tailor-made holidays for countless happy clients ever since. They say there is no substitute for experience. Not only do our tour consultants have a wealth of experience, they have been with Pembury for many years – our very first employee, when we first opened, is still with us. As we have grown over the years, our consultants have tended to stay with us. So, either the coffee is really good or Pembury is just a great place to work at – or both!
- Up-to-date knowledge – Being based here in Africa, we have our ears close to the ground and know what is happening here RIGHT NOW, not what was happening the last time we went on a fact-finding mission. We keep up to date with developments in the hospitality industry – we know which hotels have new owners, which restaurants have deteriorated recently, which game lodges have had a re-vamp, which guesthouses have won this year’s awards, etc. This “inside” knowledge is valuable and is something that we pass onto you when planning your trip. Reviews on sites like Tripadvisor can often give a false impression of a place due to staff, management or ownership changes.
- Expert product knowledge – We only offer destinations and accommodation options that have recently been personally tested by a Pembury Tours staff member. With our local knowledge, we will help you discover unique and charming places you might otherwise have missed. We invest in our consultants by regularly sending them on trips to see new properties and products as well as to ensure that standards at existing properties etc remain up to standard. This investment in our consultants is costly but, in our view, absolutely a “no-brainer”. We are also a SafariBookings.com destination expert.
- Perfectionism – At Pembury Tours we subscribe to the philosophy that the pass mark in tourism is 100% – anything less than getting everything absolutely right 100% of the time is just not good enough. Everything we do is obsessively checked, double-checked and then checked again to ensure that the programme runs smoothly once your holiday starts. We recognise that, in addition to price, your peace of mind that your holiday will be hassle-free is critical. Think of yourself and Pembury being a swan enjoying some time on a beautiful river…… You are the part of the swan that is above the water enjoying the sunshine and scenery – Pembury are the legs, unseen and paddling like crazy to ensure that all aspects of your holiday run smoothly. We call it “sliding uphill”!
- Passion for Africa – We are blessed to live here in Africa. We are absolutely passionate about this continent – this is our home and we genuinely can’t wait to share it with you!
Best Price Guarantee
- Best prices – Pembury are members of TravelSmartCrew (“TSC”), a group of independently-owned tour operators who pool our collective buying power together. Membership of TSC is confined to independent tour operators who comply with a strict code of business principles and ethics. One of the main focuses of TSC is to negotiate attractive rates within the industry – because of the volume of our combined businesses, we are able to negotiate the best rates with a range of tourism products, such as hotels, safari lodges, guesthouses and car hire companies. As a bulk buyer, Pembury Tours is able to pass some of these discounted rates on to you – we guarantee that you will not be able to book the same itinerary any cheaper by booking direct.
- No service fee – Whilst Pembury earns its living by charging you more than what we have to pay our suppliers (but less than what you would pay if you booked direct), we do NOT place any service fee on our time and expertise in organising your tailor-made holiday.
- No hidden costs – We believe in the long-term view and this means no nasty surprises – all of our pricing includes all taxes and tourism levies. All our itineraries will always have a detailed list of exactly what the tour price includes and excludes, so there are no nasty surprises.
SATSA Membership – The Southern African Tourism Services Association (SATSA) is the most representative tourism body in Southern Africa. Membership of SATSA is subject to compliance with a strict set of conditions based on credibility, integrity and stability. One of the important aspects of SATSA membership is the fact that SATSA members are bonded, providing a financial guarantee of deposits held and ensuring that your holiday and investment are protected.
Pembury Tours has been a member of SATSA since 1997 and our membership number is 868. Please feel free to verify our standing with SATSA by contacting them directly:
E-mail: [email protected] Tel: +27-11-886 9996
- Financial Cover – In addition to Pembury being bonded, booking with Pembury means you automatically have financial cover in the event that a property that you are booked into goes out of business or burns down etc. See our booking conditions for further information and a more detailed explanation of this issue.
- Secure payment options – In the modern world of e-commerce, our bank has sophisticated software that facilitates payments to be made to us via their secure online payment system. This means that we never get to see your credit card details so there is never any risk of your personal details being compromised. You can choose between making a credit card payment using this secure online payment system or making an international bank transfer. Either way, your private banking and/or credit card details are entirely secure throughout the payment process.
- Funds in Trust – In addition to being bonded members of SATSA, funds paid to us by our clients are held in Trust. All accommodation and other services are pre-paid by us prior to our clients’ arrival in Africa. Only after all accounts have been pre-paid are the balance of the funds (our profit) made available to Pembury.
- 24 hour Support – Africa is not Europe or North America – things do go wrong from time to time here. And when things go wrong, you need someone who not only knows Africa, but someone who is right here IN Africa to sort things out for you. Immediately! The last thing you need is to have to deal with a call center in your home country. Since we are based here, in the same timezone as you will be in, we can react fast in the event of any issue or emergency. We have a manager on duty 24 hours a day, every single day of the year. We give this number to you prior to your arrival in Africa and we encourage you to call us at any time during your visit should the need arise.
- Pembury is with you all the way! Lastly, unlike booking directly through internet portals or overseas consolidators, booking an itinerary through Pembury means that we are responsible for you throughout your stay here in Africa. So if there is an issue at any of the properties or service providers, if unforeseen things occur, we take the matter up on your behalf and we deal with the issue – our responsibility to you continues right till when you leave Africa for home! Due to our buying power, our experience is that properties and service providers prioritise our clients. You will not get this level of support if you book through a web-based booking engine or even if you book directly.
- Bespoke Itineraries – Everyone is different (thank goodness!) and we all have diverse ideas on what we want out of a holiday. All our itineraries are truly tailor-made according to the amount of time you have for your holiday, your budget, your interests, your likes and dislikes and your expectations. The itineraries on this website are a snapshot of what some of our past clients have experienced. These are useful in order to give you ideas of where to go and what prices are like. Any of them can be adapted to suit you or we can start an itinerary for you from scratch. We do not charge a fee for this work that we do in planning your itinerary – our fee/profit is only earned when you book an itinerary with us.