Karen Richards

&Beyond Travel Specialist

More about me

In early 2002 I received a phone call from &Beyond. They urgently needed someone to go up to Botswana and spend six months in the Okavango Delta as a relief manager – my wonderful journey with &Beyond had started!

I quickly fell deeply in love with living in this pristine, beautiful, wild place and having elephants visit my home while having my morning coffee! Running a lodge comes with so many delights. The staff, the animals, the wide-open spaces, but it also has its challenges too and I quickly learnt about dealing with emergencies! When my contract in Botswana ended, I left with a heavy heart and many tears. I have been back many times to this wonderful country and it remains one of my favourite places to send my guests.

Imagine my delight when on my return to South Africa, I was offered the chance to go and manage Grumeti Serengeti Tented Camp in Tanzania – it was a dream come true!  I lived in the Serengeti for three years and Tanzania holds so many wonderful memories and experiences for me.  One that stands out, is having the opportunity to follow the annual wildebeest migration through its entire journey from the short grass plains in the South all the way to the Masai Mara in Kenya – what a privilege! However, my fondest memory is of the people and the special friends I made there. Many of the staff I worked with have since become managers of our lodges and it is wonderful to still be in contact with them. This personal relationship I have with them certainly helps when it comes to making special arrangements for my guests!

When I moved to my new home in the Serengeti, I left a wonderful man behind in South Africa, called David. In 2005, we decided to get married and so another chapter in my life began. I moved to Johannesburg (that took some getting used to!) to start a life with David and our two Jack Russell Terriers that are our spoiled children!

It was one of the hardest days of my life when my plane took off from Grumeti for the last time – but a new adventure was about to begin. I had decided that an office, traffic and 9 to 5 job would not be for me – not after having lived in the wilderness for so long.  Again fate intervened and I was very fortunate to be offered the chance to become a Travel Specialist and stay with &Beyond.

Planning safaris is an absolute joy for me because I am able to relive so many of my wonderful experiences through the eyes of my guests and I can just see the beautiful places and people that I am going to introduce them to!  I continue to travel to new and exciting places as often as possible which now include India and soon South America too.

I have been planning safaris since 2005 and have been the top Travel Specialist for &Beyond for the past thirteen years in a row.  I create these magical journeys from my home on a Big 5 Game Reserve north of Johannesburg. I am able to turn my passion for Africa, its wildlife and its people into life-changing itineraries for my guests. Having lived in, and also travelled to these destinations, I am able to create seamless and extraordinary journeys. I know what will work and what won’t from personal experience.

Enjoy the journey with me!

LET ME PLAN YOUR JOURNEY

We can’t wait to welcome you to the world of &Beyond and would love to tailor-make your journey to one of our iconic destinations.

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My recent blogs

Stories to inspire

A selection of stories from the Bateleur Magazine

Leaving our world a better place

Care of the Land | Care of the Wildlife | Care of the People