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Meet the Portfolio Journeys Team

We're a small Cape Town-based company that specialises in travel to Southern and East Africa & the Indian Ocean Islands – we're local, we've been there and we know what we're talking about! Collectively we have over 150 years' experience in the travel industry. It's our passion, and our favourite thing to do is share it.

Ian Solomon

Ian was bitten by the travel bug early through his family’s tourism publishing business. He’s somewhat of an adrenaline junkie, citing Vic Falls as his favourite destination for its adventure opportunities - he has bungeed from the top, helicoptered over the gorge and white-water rafted down the Zambezi. He loves travel for the chance it has given him to see so many places and meet the friendly people the industry attracts.

“My most memorable travel experience was as a 21 year-old on mokoros in the Okavango Delta, four of us camping wild next to camp fires as protection from the wild animals. Closely followed by climbing Mount Kilimanjaro with my soon-to-be wife. My next dream trip is a few nights in a game lodge in the Serengeti, followed by a week on the Quirimba Islands in Mozambique.”

James Westrip

James has been involved with tourism to Africa for 25 years and considers himself a true travel junkie. His favourite destinations (because he refused to choose just one) are Botswana for the wildlife and South Africa for its sheer diversity – and of course, being home to Cape Town. He especially enjoys the excitement of working in travel and appreciates the chance to visit the places he sells.

“My most memorable travel experience is visiting Likoma Island in Lake Malawi; walking through the villages, meeting the friendly locals and seeing the amazing cathedral in this remote part of Africa before heading back to our luxury lodge, Kaya Mawa. For my next trip I’d pick Mombo Camp & Trails Camp, probably the best game viewing in Africa, combined with North Island in the Seychelles for the ultimate exclusive beach chillout - and I would take all my friends!”

Natasha Rautenbach

After 14 years in the travel industry, Natasha can say without doubt that her favourite African destination is Mozambique. She loves working in travel because of the opportunity to get to know each person individually – “We’re creating memories together, and not selling a holiday.”

“My most memorable experience – and it’s so hard to pick just one! – has to be Vic Falls, at the very heart of high water season. Seeing one of the 7 wonders of the world in all its splendour was something so incredibly special, no picture could ever do it justice. It’s like the old cliché, ‘you had to be there’. If I could go anywhere on my next trip, it would have to be a hot air balloon safari across the Masai Mara and a trek see to the gorillas up close in Rwanda.”

Lynne Esau

Lynne is Cape Town born and bred and after all her years in travel, it remains her favourite destination, in part because of its friendly, warm-hearted people. Being able to see a dream holiday coming true through the eyes of a traveller is what keeps her passion for travel alive.

“My best African experience was driving through Namibia from Keetmanshoop to Swakopmund, a drive that seemed never-ending with nothing but expansive plains all around us. Once we reached Swakopmund, the Auas Mountain range just outside Windhoek took my breath away.”

Chris Fortescue

Chris has travelled to most parts of Southern & East Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands, destinations which he has spent much of his career promoting. He loves the challenge of putting together the perfect experience for our travellers and the diverse nature of the industry. He was hard put to choose a favourite destination, but settled on the sublime Okavango Delta in Botswana.

“A memory that stands out in my mind is flying from Seychelles Airport by helicopter to North Island with whale sharks swimming below. Also sleeping under the stars on a dry river bed in South Luangwa, Zambia, with just a mosquito net and mattress; hyenas surrounded the camp that night and a leopard walked right past us. My dream trip is to sail around the coast of Africa visiting remote islands.”

Lee-Anne Westrip

Lee-Anne has been in travel for over 20 years and wouldn’t have it any other way. She loves the excitement of getting to travel for work as well as the mad bunch of people she’s met. Her favourite destination - not just in Africa but the world - is South Africa, for its diversity, climate, food and people, and of course the unparalleled scenery.

“My greatest travel memory is a 3-hour walking safari in the Masai Mara. Our amazing guide taught me so much about the culture and people of the Masai tribe. We stopped at a small village within the Mara and were invited in to one of the small mud built homes, a truly humbling experience. If I could go anywhere in Africa, I’d start with a horseback safari in Botswana followed by a beach holiday on North Island, Seychelles.”

Astrid Lippert-Fisher

Astrid kicked off her career by studying Tourism and has never looked back. She adores working in travel because she gets to assist people from all over the world in finding their dream holiday. She’s also a big fan of connecting with some of the top properties in South Africa. Her favourite South African destination is the Wild Coast, because it’s rural, untouched and especially beautiful.

“My favourite travel experiences are definitely my family holidays to Coffee Bay on the Wild Coast and Hogsback in the Eastern Cape – two of the most beautiful places in the country. If I could choose anywhere in Africa to go, I’d take an extended trip to KwaZulu Natal and spend time exploring the culture and history of the Midlands.”

Lauren Austin

Lauren grew up travelling all over South Africa in a caravan and her childhood memories consist of endless road trips, farm stall pit stops and camping under the stars. Her favourite African destinations are the Quirimbas Islands in Mozambique and the Panorama Route, for the memory of sliding down through Bourke’s Luck potholes. She loves travel for the passion and inspiration she finds in the people she meets.

“It’s a standout for everyone, but Vic Falls was a huge highlight for me as teenager. It was the first time I had an inkling of my place in this vast, wonderful world of ours. I also loved our rafting trip down the Orange River. For my African next adventure, I would take in the Great Migration in Kenya followed by 2 weeks sailing around the Seychelles.”

Shana Trope

Shana found her love of travel on family holidays to Knysna in the Garden Route. Her childhood memories make this her favourite destination, although she’s also a huge Cape Town fan, having moved here from Joburg in her 20s. She loves learning about new places and sometimes getting to visit them – “few things come close to the feeling you get when visiting a place for the first time – it’s electric.”

“When I was 11 I went pony trekking in Lesotho. I remember feeling a mixture of fear and exhilaration as we made our way down rocky mountain paths that were practically vertical, putting my faith completely in my noble steed! If I could go anywhere in Africa, I’d float down the Okavango Delta in a mokoro…although seeing the Great Migration in Tanzania/Kenya is right up there.”

Heather Coull

Heather started her travel journey in publishing, both in South Africa and overseas. Her heart is firmly in the Western Cape, with her favourite destinations being the Cederberg Mountains and West Coast. Her love of travel comes from discovering new destinations and experiences, as well as sharing the adventures of the intrepid travellers she meets.

“I will never forget our car breaking down while driving from Binga to Karoi in Zimbabwe, being rescued by the Zimbabwean Nature Conservation and being hosted for the night in a tented camp on the banks of Kariba, complete with bucket shower and gin and tonics! My dream African trip includes visiting Central Africa, Namibia’s Zambezi region, Madagascar and a gorilla trek in Rwanda.”

Kirsty Anderson

Kirsty’s travel story began in 2007 when she started at Portfolio. Originally from Joburg, says she’s a born Capetonian who just got lost for a while. Her favourite South African destination is the North Coast of KZN and she loves playing a part in creating once in a lifetime memories for our travellers.

“My most memorable travel experience has to be my self-drive trip through Namibia. The vastness of the desert plains, the desolate yet calming landscapes that constantly change as you make your way north – there’s a peace here that I haven’t found anywhere else. The country – and the people! – have an earthy wildness about them. If I could go anywhere in Africa, I’d pick the ultimate beach tour of Mozambique, Madagascar and the Seychelles.”

Wendy Dwight

Wendy lives and breathes travel, spending most of her day to day on the road. She has travelled South Africa extensively and finds it impossible to pick a favourite destination – from the barren landscapes of the Karoo to the lushness of the Garden Route, she loves it all! She feels fortunate to spend so much of her life doing what she loves, and especially enjoys meeting the owners of the accommodations that we work with.

“My most incredible travel memory is from a trip to Namibia. I was sitting at a beautifully set table eating breakfast on the patio of a lodge near the Eastern Etosha Gate. Out in front was a water hole where 3 lions were drinking, oblivious to the audience of 400 springbok, zebra and wildebeest who were watching them intently. The atmosphere was electric - like National Geographic playing out live! If I could go anywhere, I would take a trip across the whole of South Africa, Namibia and Mozambique, staying for as long as I needed in each place to enjoy all the things I’d want to do.”

Shae Barna

Shae started her very first job in the travel industry and now can’t imagine doing anything else. Her favourite part is managing our destination pages and daydreaming about all the places she’ll get to visit in the future. She’s rates the Garden Route as the most beautiful place she’s ever been and enjoys regular trips there with her family.

“I love the Garden Route for its scenery, diversity and bohemian vibes. My ideal day out includes a picture-perfect beach in Wilderness followed by a trip to the Wild Oats farmer’s market in Sedgefield – sunshine and good food make the best holidays. For my next African adventure, I want to go island hopping – Mauritius, Seychelles, Quirimbas Islands in Mozambique – I want to see them all.”

Louise Lotters

Louise is our numbers cruncher and after working in many industries in her career, she has settled on travel as her favourite. She enjoys the energy in the office when we deliver a successful trip and especially loves dreaming about her retirement in one of the exotic destinations that we sell! Her favourite destination is the Cape Overberg, which she frequently visits with her family.

“My favourite travel memories are the trips I’ve taken with my family to Ceres and Hermanus. Hermanus especially is always a thrill – whale watching alongside people from all over the world, all drinking in the beauty of South Africa – I never tire of it. If I could go anywhere in Africa is would be Mauritius for sun, sea and relaxation.”