Thursday, April 18, 2019

Vale Lewis De Souza

Sydney 23/4, Nairobi 22/4 I am absolutely shattered to learn of the passing of my dear friend Lewis De Souza in Nairobi, just a few days after I posted the article below. He suffered from illness for quite a while, but he never showed it. He battled it with his eternal smile. Our deepest condolences to his widow Antoinette and daughter Heather-Gail. A truly terrific family. Lewis was a pretty fun guy, blessed with an eternal smile, he was a lot of fun. He was a businessman of the highest order and folks who have been on safari with his outfits usually rave about their wonderful East African experiences. I shall miss a very special friend. Rest in Peace, shrouded in heavenly embraces under the care of many, many angels.

I was born in Nairobi and raised on the fringes of Kenya’s Tsavo West National Park (fondly called the “the heart of wildlife” by wildlife lovers) in Kibwezi. As a result of this early introduction to wildlife, I have been a keen wildlife enthusiast. Nevertheless, my earlier interest was as a “destroyer of wildlife” through sports. But ever since I got into tourism in 1968, after my formal education and a working stint in my family’s business, I opened my heart to conservation, believing then as I do now that sensitive tourism is the best way to enjoy the marvels of nature with which the world is endowed

Not only does sustainable tourism reward your heart with a feeling of being part and parcel of such a beautiful natural world, but it also ensures that future generations too will have the chance to experience the same. To paraphrase an African saying, we must take care of the earth not because it was given to us by our parents, but because it belongs to our children.

The many years I worked in different capacities for various tourism based establishment provided me with the much-needed hands-on experience required to participate positively in the industry in Africa. Apart from being sensitized to the needs of our very fragile environment that is the life and blood of tourism in this part of the world, I also came to understand what it takes to satisfy the needs of each and every visitor.

When in 1984 I started Visit Africa Limited, my goal was to establish a firm that shied away from “mass tourism” dedicating itself to providing customized and personalized service to the visitor. This begins with the language our guides use on safari. For example, if you are French, we will get you a French speaking guide. We do the same for Spanish, Italian and English –speaking visitors.

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