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Lizani Smith

Currently living in The Wild Coast of South Africa, I am very passionate about the continent I reside in and cannot wait to share the best of South Africa and Africa with you!

What places and activities do you specialize in?

"Anywhere in South Africa and it's neighboring countries. I love to plan off the beaten track vacations with cultural encounters and showing off the beautiful landscape! Depending on the goal of your vacation, I will assist you in planning the perfect luxury, adventurous, budget, solo, family or romantic vacation. "

How did you get involved in travel?

"After studying Tourism Management and traveling for a few years, I started working for an apartment rental agency, renting apartments for short-term vacations in Paris and London. I developed the Travel Design Department and designed luxury travel plans for guests. As I love my country so much, I decided to bring my expertise in-house and plan luxury and budget itineraries for anyone visiting my part of the world. "

Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.

"I was in Paris, staying in an apartment on Rue Cler. I stood on the balcony watching the sunset, when all of a sudden I had an urge for a good glass of red wine. I took my book and went to a corner restaurant that was basically empty. As I received my glass of wine and opened my book to read, I just looked up for a moment and stared. I Stared at all the different people walking about and doing their what it is that they choose to do that day. Most were travelers, and everyone was different. It was a world integrated. And I knew I would like nothing more than encourage people to travel, to see the world outside of your own. Be challenged by perceptions, be surprised by the unexpected, be disappointed by the castles in the sky, be reminded that we all walk the same planet that we should protect. "

Lizani is part of the following groups: South Africa Travel Agents
A lion at Kruger National Park
South Africa Wildlife Road Trip - 10 Days

This 10-day itinerary is the ultimate introduction to South Africa for animal lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Start your adventure with two nights in Kruger National Park followed by a self-drive tour from the Eastern Cape through the Garden Route and all the way to Cape Town while seeing members of the 'Big 5', as well as ostriches, penguins, meerkats, and a range of marine life off the South Atlantic Coast.

A vineyard in Stellenbosch near Cape Town
Cape Town & Garden Route - 8 Days

Experience one of the most beautiful parts of the world as you make your way along South Africa's Garden Route for a unique mix of scenery, multiculturalism, and outdoor activities. This 8-day adventure starts and ends in Cape Town—capped by the magnificent Table Mountain—where you'll have several days to explore this fascinating city (and nearby vineyards) with the help of local guides.

Bloukran's Bridge
Cape Town & Garden Route Adventure - 10 Days

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 wines of Stellenbosch, and dive in to a great white cage encounter before you hit the road on the Garden Route for canoeing, hiking, animal encounters, and more.

Recent trip reviews for Lizani

Beth

A week in (and around) Cape Town · South Africa - Jan 20 - Jan 27, 2019

Traveler: Beth F. - Local specialist: Lizani Smith

Please note that this review pertains to the Elgin Africa travel agency, and is not a reflection of the small group tour we joined, which was delightful.

My boyfriend and I chose to use KimKim because of the wonderful reviews and business model – offering customized, local attention for a 5% service fee. We are economical travelers and have spent nights in modest quarters (including a tent in the desert without heating, cooling or a personal toilet). Which is why we specifically described... read more

Please note that this review pertains to the Elgin Africa travel agency, and is not a reflection of the small group tour we joined, which was delightful.

My boyfriend and I chose to use KimKim because of the wonderful reviews and business model – offering customized, local attention for a 5% service fee. We are economical travelers and have spent nights in modest quarters (including a tent in the desert without heating, cooling or a personal toilet). Which is why we specifically described our accommodation needs as “something comfortable, but it does not need to be luxurious. Comfortable and affordable will do as we do not intend to spend much time confined to a room.” However, we quickly realized while on our trip that we had been hoodwinked into needlessly extravagant lodgings. On our first night we were booked in a 5 star hotel with amenities that, since our flight was not scheduled to land until nearly 11 pm, we could not even take advantage of. In addition, during the group tour, we discovered we had been booked at completely separate and more expensive accommodations than the rest of our group. On one night we had an entire two story, two bedroom “castle” with a balcony overlooking citrus orchards completely to ourselves. Does that sound like comfortable and affordable to you? Several other couples on the tour had backpacker en suites; yet we were never even provided that option. Being separated from the group was far from ideal and required extra busing back and forth, less time with our companions, and a greater expense.

We also discovered, during the course of the trip, that none of the added activities we had scheduled were included in the final price. Why, then, was it imperative to know which activities we would participate in to finalize the bill? We presumed, since we were not given the final invoice until after we determined our full course of activities, that the activities were included in the total price. What an unpleasant surprise to discover mid-trip.

In fact, now knowing the true cost of the group trip (based on materials emailed directly from the tour company), we actually appear to have been overcharged at least ZAR6,600 given that our only extras on top of the tour were a one night hotel stay and an airport transfer. After the trip concluded, I sent a note to the specialists asking to see an itemized breakdown from the trip as well as a rationale for why we were not offered the backpackers en suite option, but have received zero response.

Using a service like KimKim I expected much better. My boyfriend and I debated greatly amongst ourselves over the cost of the trip, but we certainly did not presume we were being exploited. Since we may never have another opportunity to visit South Africa, we made sacrifices to pay for the trip only to find out after that we could have paid far less. Elgin Africa did not provide full transparency and tricked us into the most expensive accommodations package with no apparent motive beyond fattening their own wallets.

Deborah Smook profile photo
Deborah Smook, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Beth

Thank you for taking the time to write a review. In your second last paragraph you mentioned that you received zero response, but I have checked with kimkim and they confirmed that the system registered you opening up the response.

Here is what I sent you:
"Unfortunately, Lizani has left as a travel specialist, but I will answer as best I can. I am not able to advise why she did not give you the backpacker option, I'm afraid... We generally do high-end clients and perhaps that is... read more

Hi Beth

Thank you for taking the time to write a review. In your second last paragraph you mentioned that you received zero response, but I have checked with kimkim and they confirmed that the system registered you opening up the response.

Here is what I sent you:
"Unfortunately, Lizani has left as a travel specialist, but I will answer as best I can. I am not able to advise why she did not give you the backpacker option, I'm afraid... We generally do high-end clients and perhaps that is why.

With regards to the amounts, you are correct about the tour price. The Pepper Club has standard rates that they supply to us throughout the year. Normally they are fully booked over January, but not this year, so they are selling the rooms at a lower rate that we were charged when we booked. That rate was R4800. Airport transfers is R850 per person.

The total for all the above is R28900.00

We then take that amount and divide it by 12.5. This is the industry standard as our currency is super volatile, so it is to protect us against any sudden drops. Just to give you an idea, here is a link:
https://www.xe.com/currencyconverter/convert/?Amount=1&From=USD&To=ZAR

So that brings you to exactly $2312 which you were quoted for.

I really do apologize that you were not offered the backpacker rate and hope that you did enjoy the trip and our country regardless. I heard that you had some great sightings in Addo."

I have since spoken to Lizani and she said that she is really sorry and she did not even think of offering you the backpacking option as most our clients simply don't want is due to having the wrong impression. I know once you see it, it is pretty awesome and I personally like to refer to it as boutique hostels.

Please accept my apology. I am glad that you did enjoy the supplier and the tour regardless of paying for the upgrade. We get such excellent feedback from them and I can assure you that the rest of the staff and myself definitely do promote the backpacker options as well. Lizani should have taken more time to establish your exact needs and the Pepper Club was not necessary for a traveler requesting something comfortable and not luxurious, especially for only a few hours and Cape Town has so many amazing places on offer.

Kind regards
Deborah