I am absolutely thrilled whenever I have the opportunity to showcase my beloved country to others. It fills me with immense joy to ensure that every visitor who comes here is utterly captivated by the remarkable people, breathtaking landscapes, and the extraordinary value-for-money experiences we offer. I take great pleasure in investing time to understand the unique desires of each visitor, so I can tailor their journey to create an unforgettable experience. My ultimate goal is to provide every visitor to Southern Africa with genuine and authentic encounters that will leave a lasting impression!
What places and activities do you specialize in?
"We specialize in all of Southern Africa (Cape Town, Kruger, Garden Route, Vic Falls, Chobe, Okavango) as well as the Indian Ocean Islands - Mauritius, Seychelles, Reunion, and Madagascar.
We DO Africa! We want you to have authentic and meaningful experiences. Whether you want to immerse yourself in the local community or prefer mountain biking, motorbiking or hiking the incredible scenery or become one with the Winelands and the mouthwatering food options, we want you to DO is at well."
How did you get involved in travel?
"I pursued a degree in Tourism Management, primarily because it provided me with the opportunity to relocate to the captivating city of Cape Town. At that time, there were limited options available for this program, and Cape Town stood out as an ideal destination. Upon completing my studies, I embarked on a thrilling journey of work and travel that spanned five incredible years. My adventures took me across the Far East and Europe, allowing me to immerse myself in diverse cultures and breathtaking landscapes.
Upon returning to Cape Town, I delved into the tourism industry, and fate smiled upon me when I was presented with an extraordinary opportunity. I was offered a position to promote South Africa as a backpacking, volunteering, and adventure destination for an esteemed industry association. I still pinch myself when I reflect on how fortunate I was to land the best job in the world! I had the privilege of exploring my own country in depth and traversing the globe to share its wonders with others. Along the way, I had the pleasure of meeting incredible individuals who have become lifelong friends and trusted partners within the industry.
However, as life inevitably moves forward, I felt the urge to embark on my own path. Fast forward a few years, and here I am, still filled with boundless enthusiasm, eager to share the beauty of my homeland by curating unforgettable experiences tailored specifically for you! Get ready to embark on an adventure that will leave you breathless and yearning for more. Together, we will create memories that will last a lifetime!"
Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.
"Alaska's stark contrast to my familiar surroundings and the unforgettable glacier hike near McCarthy have left an indelible mark on my soul.
Similarly, Victoria Falls, with its African charm and the presence of elephants roaming freely, continues to captivate me. The proximity to Botswana, with its abundant wildlife, further enhances the allure of this region. The opportunity to embark on a luxurious houseboat journey along the Chobe River, witnessing the grandeur of elephants in their natural habitat, and the chance to indulge in the remote luxury mobile camp in the Okavango Delta.
Another recent highlight was a journey on the Rovos Rail "The world's most luxurious train" through Zimbabwe."
Deborah's favorite itineraries and travel advice
Top itineraries and travel advice
You can experience southern Africa's greatest natural wonders alongside local culture and cuisine in just over two weeks. Start in South Africa's Western Cape to scale Table...
Go whale watching, shark diving, wine tasting, meerkat spotting, ocean kayaking, and so much more on this fantastic two-week tour of South Africa. Kick things off in Cape Town...
This 10-day tour of eastern South Africa kicks off in Durban, the country's third-largest city known for its surf culture, Indian heritage, and bunny chow. Spot hippos and crocs...
Road trip itineraries
Spend 10 days taking in the Western Cape with this trip plan. You'll explore Cape Town and see Table Mountain from both a distant beach and right under your feet, sample the...
This itinerary is sure to satisfy any adventurer looking to explore the best of Southern Africa's natural scenery. From the coast of Cape Town up along the Garden Route and into...
Take two weeks to check out Namibia and Botswana's varied landscapes and the many creatures they contain on this itinerary. You'll travel up sand dunes, down into caves, out...
Recent trip reviews for Deborah
Roll out the superlatives!
Aug 16 - Aug 25, 2023
All three of us thought this was a truly wonderful trip, beautifully planned by Deb. There were so many high points: In Jo'burg: the Peech Hotel and the tour of Soweto,. The amazing Ivory Wilderness Lodge near Kruger NP and the extraordinary guides Warren ("elephant whisperer") and Shane (infectious enthusiasm). The enjoyable Panorama Route tour. In Cape Town: our excellent tour guide Matthew for both the Cape Peninsula tour (including Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden) and the breathtaking... read more
A Magical Trip
Aug 6 - Aug 13, 2023
There are just no words for out trip, it was truly amazing! Everything went seamlessly and Deb and her team were absolutely wonderful to work with. We had wonderful guides, and drivers, and the staff at our lodgings were world-class.
When we told Deb and her team that we wanted to see all the nature that South Africa has to offer and do it within a comfortable setting, they really nailed it. The Tree House Boutique Hotel and the Ivory Wilderness Resort were the perfect places to rest our... read more
Expertly curated trip by travel planner Deb Smook
May 31 - Jun 13, 2023
With our travel planner Deb Smook's impeccable guidance and insight, we had a truly remarkable, custom trip in June, 2023. Deb really heard and understood what I had envisioned for this trip for our family of four and she expertly curated a memorable and impactful adventure, far exceeding my wildest expectations. Our favorite experience was the photo Safari at the Pangolin Lodge. Deb and her support staff were 'with us' behind the scenes every single step of the way, allowing us to travel comfortably and securely thru South Africa, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The Best Vacation Ever
Jul 20 - Jul 28, 2023
The Ivory Wilderness Lodge was The Best Safari ever!! Shane our guide couldn't of been better!! The food serves was delicious as well!! Then onto Victoria Falls, what a beautiful natural wonder!! And The Palm River Resort was absolutely beautiful!! The sunset cruise was nice as well!! The helicopter broke was a unique way to see the Falls!Then we were off to a Photo Safari at The Pangalon hotel, absolutely awesome place and people!! The Camaras they let you borrow get you up close and... read more
Using a Local Expert is Essential and Deb and Team are the BEST!
Jun 29 - Jul 8, 2023
Deborah and her team were amazing!
I have not used a travel agent for about 20 years. When I last did it was someone local to me who had been to the location 2-3 times at best, so was basically giving limited anectdotal experience or assempling reviews from the same sources available to me. But, having never been anywhere in Africa, I knew I needed some additional help with this trip - to Cape Town, the wine region, and a safari in Kruger. Even still, I approached the whole thing... read more
Southern African Family Adventure
Apr 12 - Apr 21, 2023
We enlisted the help of Deb and the Kim Kim team to help us organize a whistle stop trip to S. Africa and Zimbabwe. We only had 10 days so needed help getting the most out of our limited time.
We were so impressed with the level of communication throughout the planning process and whilst on the trip itself. Some great dinner spots and additional activities were suggested which made a huge difference to our experience. It was also great to be given a variety of accommodation options which we... read more
Family Southern Africa Trip
Mar 19 - Mar 26, 2023
The trip was a 10/10 experience. Deb really took the lead on planning everything for us because we came in with limited knowledge. We got to do everything and had the greatest of times. All the staff was extremely accommodating. Having all of the drivers planned out made the trip carefree and seamless. read more
We were very grateful to Deborah and her team...
Feb 28 - Mar 3, 2023
We were very grateful to Deborah and her team to help us plan our trip to South Africa. The personal touch and great recommendations for driving routes, accommodations made the trip amazing. The Mosaic Lagoon Lodge was a perfect place to start the trip, (amazing atmosphere) and ending at Ivory Wilderness Lodge was a lovely bookend the whole experience.
We would highly recommend getting Deborah and her team to assist in your trip due to their local knowledge, insight, great communication and... read more
5 Star African Adventure!!
Jan 6 - Jan 17, 2023
If you thinking about having Elgin Africa plan your trip, stop debating and just do it! I can't say enough about how great the entire experience was. Deb, whose company is Elgin Africa, lives in South Africa and has personal relationships with a lot of the tour companies that we used. She cared deeply about me and my family having an amazing trip, and made sure every detail was perfect. I can only say that there would be no way that we would have had such an amazing, flawless trip without a... read more
Deb provided one of the most amazing and well...
Jan 27 - Feb 8, 2023
Deb provided one of the most amazing and well planned itineraries we have ever experienced. She took care of everything down to the minor details. She truly made Southern Africa a trip of a lifetime. We will be back again traveling with Deb!
Belated Honeymoon in South Africa
Nov 18 - Nov 28, 2022
We had an amazing time on our trip to South Africa! With only a brief description from us about what we were looking for Deb was able to plan just the type of accommodations and experiences we were looking for.
Rochelle was fantastic and showed us around Cape Town and the surrounding areas at the start of our trip. Stellenbosch was beautiful and our wine tastings and e-bike ride in Stellenbosch were some of our favorite memories from the trip. The highlight of our trip was definitely our... read more
We had an amazing trip! With Deborah's coord...
Sep 7 - Sep 23, 2022
We had an amazing trip! With Deborah's coordination, expertise and knowledge, she blended our request for traditional African cultural experiences and off the beaten path adventures. We visited Johannesburg (Soweto, Cradle of Humankind, Sterkfontein Caves), Safari in Kruger Bush, Cape Town coastal tours (including lunch with Nicky Gibbs!), Paternoster (Penguins, lunch at Wolfgat), Cederberg, (Rock Art), Franschhoek (Wine Country), National Parks (both Western & Fossil), Victoria Falls, then... read more
Garden Route tour with Steph
Aug 28 - Sep 6, 2022
The trip was great overall, Our guide, Steph, was fantastic. We changed a few items in the itinerary due to weather/cancellations & added a few unplanned activities. All of the hotels were great. Activities
Bettys bay - Stoney Point Penguins colony; Wilderness - canoeing/hike; Boutkans bridge bungee jump; Tsitsikamma National park hike; Plettenburg Bay skydive; Robberg nature areas hike; Knysna catamaran sunset cruise; whale watch tour; Oudsthoorn cango caves; meerkat viewing
Deborah (AKA the Debz), was such a joy to wor...
May 2 - May 19, 2022
Deborah (AKA the Debz), was such a joy to work with. She coordinated travel for my honeymoon which included stops in Johannesburg, Cape Town, the Winelands, Chobe, Victoria Falls, Kruger and Zanzibar. A trip we coined "Beach Wine Safari." She answered all my questions, big and small, leading up to our trip. Deborah really listened to what we wanted to get out of the trip and made all our dreams come true. She is extremely knowledgeable. Additionally, throughout our trip she was... read more
Deb, the world class travel agent!
Apr 7 - Apr 14, 2022
Deb was phenomenal! From the start, she was super communicative and eased us into the process of working with a travel agent, as we had never done so before. Every morning we would wake up to amazing updates that got us incredibly excited for our trip.
As she learned more about ourselves and what we wanted from our trip, she never batted an eye about making changes to our itinerary and even made suggestions about things that we never thought possible. When we were on the trip, we had a few... read more
Amazing itinerary and client-focused service ...
Apr 11 - Apr 21, 2022
Amazing itinerary and client-focused service by Deb! The itinerary was fairly complex since we were visiting 4 countries, but the activity selection, local guide selection, accommodations, and the *numerous* transfers were all seamless. We are so happy with our trip, and could not have done it without flawless execution by Deb. She was also very mindful of our budget and we felt she maximized the experience and value based on what we had planned on spending. Also amazingly responsive during... read more
Deborah could not have been more perfect from...
Nov 20 - Nov 25, 2021
Deborah could not have been more perfect from start to finish.
The start: we were taking a last minute vacation to South Africa as part of our honeymoon (I worked for an airline so that was feasible). When I say last minute, we were coming in a week!!! That was absolutely no problem for Deborah, who took it in stride, perfectly planning every detail from our time in Cape Town to our safari in Krueger. If you are considering working with Deborah, do it! Thanks again for making our trip one we’ll never forget.
Our local specialist Deborah was fantastic
Feb 28 - Mar 8, 2020
Our local specialist Deborah was fantastic in helping us organise the trip from start to finish. We encountered a few teething problems along the way to do with booking of flights but all issues were resolved to our total satisfaction without any fuss. Deborah also arranged excellent choice of on the ground personal guides and car transfers which all went very smoothly, they were all very professional and knowledgeable. All in all we would highly recommend Deborah and her team and would like to thank her for making our honeymoon so memorable in South Africa.
Eon was excellent!
Nov 8 - Nov 14, 2019
Eon was excellent! He was very knowledgeable and gave us time to spend together as a family.
Thanks to Debra for all the helpful tips for the road trip as well!
Incredible experience to Southern Africa!
Oct 28 - Nov 7, 2019
The trip planned for us by Deborah and Tara at Elgin Africa was amazing. We came up with a base plan and they took it from there. From the boutique hotel in Cape Town to the Victoria Falls Hotel with its incredible history to the tented safari camp in Zimbabwe, everything was well organized and came through without any glitches whatsoever. All in country land transfers were pre-arranged and were always on time (or early). We did 3 private day tours in Cape Town; Stellenbosch, the Cape... read more