About Mia Schoeman
It's one thing to consider yourself an African travel expert, it's quite another thing to actually be one. Selling luxury African safaris since 2001, Mia Schoeman has not only acquired vast experience in safari planning and management but she has the enviable reputation of someone who constantly visits the destinations she sells.
Having cast a critical eye over product in places ranging from the world-famous Kruger National Park and the Seychelles to lesser-known destinations such as the Quirimbas Archipelago and the Okavango Delta, it's fair to say that Mia knows what she's talking about when it comes to recommending the perfect places for her clients seeking an African luxury holiday or safari.
But 'luxury' is a nebulous term, and one often overused in the travel industry - how does she define luxury?
"Luxury is relative", she explains, "what is considered luxurious by one person may not be for another; my job is to find the right place for my client and above all to ensure that their expectations are well and truly met. That's why I need to engage with my client and establish a professional relationship, find out what they need, what they expect and anticipate any issues."
And such professionalism is backed up by her commitment to ensuring that the product she recommends delivers what they promise.
Mia might be well travelled but don't think that she spends her holidays slumped in a hammock: when experiencing a lodge or hotel, or while on safari, Mia is constantly on the lookout, taking notes, inspecting rooms and meeting staff. She looks for exceptionally high levels of comfort, meticulous attention to detail, rigorous staff training and excellent cuisine - and if the boxes don't get ticked, you can guarantee that the product won't be on her list.
Mia laughs: "That's right! I always want to make sure these guys are as good as they say they are - there's a lot of talk out there, I need to know the ones that deliver."
That's all very well, but why use the services of an African Safari Travel Expert? Why shouldn't a traveller book everything themselves and save themselves both time and money?
Mia takes up the story: "One of the most common misconceptions in travel is that it's cheaper to do everything yourself. Well, the interesting thing is that it's not!"
Easy to say, but how is that?
"Well, remember that I get negotiated rates, lower than retail, plus access to great travel deals and value add-ons. In many cases, self-booking actually works out to be more expensive than using a professional safari planner!"
Factor into that the fact that Mia will do all the hard yards in terms of organising your luxury safari, organise flights and transfers, and that she will respond to communication within the same day regardless of where the client is, and you might start asking yourself why you didn't use Mia Schoeman as your African Safari Travel Expert before.