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About Us

Southern Sky Adventures: About Us

Richard and Jimmie in BotswanaRichard Pace

Southern Sky Adventures was formed in 2002 after its founder, Richard Pace, left his job at Coca-Cola and began what he thought was a six month trip to a few desired locations around the world before returning home. The first port of call was to be South Africa, followed by Australia and New Zealand. Six weeks in South Africa turned into a longer stint exploring much more of southern Africa. The travel through southern Africa was inviting enough that a trip around the world turned into not leaving southern portion of the African continent. Returning home, he decided that he needed to share his experiences with other travelers desiring an exceptional visit to this part of the world.

The business started small, concentrating primarily on South Africa, but has morphed into a concentration including all of southern and East Africa. We have traveled and continue to travel throughout the area and strive to send all of our clients only to places that we have visited personally. While the scope of areas of expertise has grown, as has the staff, we have not lost the driving force behind the foundation of the company which has been to tailor make each African experience.

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Angela Leaning

Angela was born in Harare Zimbabwe but immigrated with her parents to South Africa at the age of two in search of better prospects. Although spending some of her younger years in Limpopo Province, her family soon settled in Gauteng where she completed her schooling. From an early age Angela boasted a profound sense of confidence and exceptional people skills, naturally pursuing studies and a career in sales. It was in corporate Johannesburg that she grasped the importance of customer service and having further developed this skill set, she quickly found her niche in service driven positions such as Key Account Manager. With a fondness for the outdoors, Angela and her husband relocated first to the Western Cape and then on to Nelspruit, Mpumalanga. What better place to settle and raise their family than Nelspruit, a small town back dropped by the prehistoric Barberton mountains, split by the historic Crocodile River and on the doorstep of the world renowned Kruger National Park? As an avid lover of travel, nature and the great outdoors, Angela established her long term role as a Relationship Manager for an organisation responsible for the training of Safari Guides for the lodging industry. Here she became actively involved with many conservation initiatives and community outreach programs. Deeply passionate about people and the environment, Angela joined forces with Southern Sky Adventures in February, 2016. Together they hope to reconnect people from all over the world with Africa, their home. To submerge them in nature, offer them an authentic and life changing wilderness experience and to teach them about conservation and local community life. Angela’s hope is to facilitate an opportunity where people can experience Africa in all her glory and then take this renewed connection with nature back home in order make a personal difference towards the preservation of our planet. Recently certified by SA Tourism as a South African Specialist, you are in good hands with Angela on the ground!

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Kathy PayneKathy Payne

Kathy adds a great deal of travel and business experience to the company. A prior 5 year Director of Cobb International Center in Atlanta, Georgia, she assisted Cobb Counties businesses in navigating the international market place for import and export. Kathy then followed her desire to work overseas, took intensive German language classes and accepted a position in the marketing department of Robert Bosch GMBH in Reutlingen, Germany. Upon returning to the United States she ran the Society of International Business Fellows (SIBF), a professional organization that selects, educates and connects leaders throughout the world who have a common interest in sharing international business expertise and providing support to emerging global networks. She put together and conducted programs in Mexico, Peru, Brazil, Argentina, China, Singapore, England, Germany, Czech Republic and The Netherlands

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AnnalizeAnnalize Oosthuizen

Annalize resides in Pretoria, South Africa and serves as our inbound meet and greet and general jack of all trades representative. Born and raised in Bloemfontein, South Africa, Annalize is quite knowledgeable about her home country and those countries in proximity. If anything is to be done during one’s stay in Africa, relying on Annalize is the best way to get it done.

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