Established in 2005 and with African-based travel expertise dating back to 1997, Compass Odyssey’s core interest is offering quality travel experiences that provide our travellers with a journey that is both informative and inspiring. Owner-managed by born and bred Australians who now live and breathe Africa, what sets Compass Odyssey apart from many other Africa-focused travel companies is our invaluable knowledge of both the Western and African cultures. We appreciate the expectations and concerns of Western travellers while understanding the needs and opinions of those that live in Africa.
Compass Odyssey’s stated vision is “to bring greater awareness and understanding of Africa’s cultures, environment and people by informing and inspiring our fellow travellers in an ethical and responsible manner.”
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We also have a Spirit of Travel ethos that includes a commitment to offering freedom and spontaneity during our journeys while also providing an experience that is well organised and efficiently managed.
Over the years, Compass Odyssey has constructed and operated a range of itineraries within Africa that have catered for specific interests (such as cultural, historical, photographic and wildlife), budgets (mid-range up to ultra-luxury) and age demographics (such as family-friendly and senior). As we are both a tour operator and a provider of multi-media travel content, Compass Odyssey boasts a diverse and current range of contacts and partnerships within many of Africa’s tourism-related industries, as well as subsidiary sectors such as logistics and support.
Compass Odyssey prides itself on being a small and personable travel provider. Operated solely by Kate and Darren Humphrys, these two former Australians now permanently reside in South Africa along with their three children Henry, Olive and Hume.
“Through our many journeys along the road less travelled, we have come to realise that travel can mean so much more than a holiday. The enjoyment and passion of travel can be so strong and persuasive that it can bring about tolerance and understanding in even the most hardened and prejudiced amongst us.”
Kate grew up in rural Australia, where her passion for connecting people with the natural environment led to university studies in ecotourism and environmental management. In 1996 Kate joined the Department of Parks and Wildlife, Western Australia’s leading government agency responsible for managing the state’s national parks and other conservation areas. For ten years she collaborated with the tourism industry in the management of these natural areas, and encouraged sustainable nature-based tourism attractions and activities. Kate is a recipient of the Australian Government’s prestigious Churchill Fellowship, for which she travelled to Canada, South Africa and Swaziland to assess successful examples of responsible tourism ventures in natural areas that specifically involved local and indigenous communities. Within Compass Odyssey, Kate brings this specialised knowledge and skills to the fore in fostering and maintaining the close relationships we enjoy with our local accommodations, guides and transport operators and the communities they are within.
Writer, photographer and guide Darren joined the Aussie backpacker pilgrimage to London back in 1987 and has been wandering around the globe ever since. In 1997 he travelled on an epic 2-month overland safari through eastern and southern Africa. A “life-changing” experience, he loved it so much that by the end of the journey he already had a job as a tour leader. Since then, in addition to guiding regular tours through Africa and the Middle East, Darren has researched, constructed, and guided exploratory expeditions in Egypt, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia, as well as conducting educational and training tours in Jordan, Morocco, Syria, Turkey and throughout eastern and southern Africa. A passionate traveller-cum-creative soul at heart, Darren is the author of the Frommer’s Morocco guidebook and has contributed to the Footprint Namibia, Rough Guide Morocco and Rough Guide Turkey guidebooks. His photographic images have appeared in the Bradt Africa Overland, Bradt Nigeria and Rough Guide Morocco guidebooks, as well as numerous international books and publications including Africa Geographic, Time Out, the Royal Geographical Society’s Geographical magazine and UNESCO’s annual The World Heritage wall calendar. Through his extensive travels in Africa over the past 23 years, Darren has acquired a deep knowledge of her many and varied faces and also harbours a keen (and often vocal) interest in the current events shaping the continent today. Darren is usually the first point of contact for Compass Odyssey travellers and it’s with him that you will plan your dream journey.
We are very proud of the close relationships we enjoy with the various guides and drivers that wear a Compass Odyssey badge. While they are all freelancers and are therefore self-employed as such, we still ensure they are rewarded an above-average remuneration for their skills and are always paid on time to enable them to budget their finances accordingly. We also ensure that all of our guides and drivers hold the necessary industry qualifications and required vehicle/driving permits.
Here’s a selection of our renowned local guides and drivers:
Joan and Keith
Thuli, Mike and Stuart (Airport and road transfers)
Bruce and Judy (nDzuti Safari Camp)
James (Senalala Safari Lodge)
Elvis (he usually smiles)
Mortimer and Ruth
Each and every one of our fellow travellers can be confident in the Compass Odyssey team’s ability to provide unparalleled service, offer impressive knowledge and deliver a memorable experience.