DSA Vacations… A Family Company

By Terry von Guilleaume, Founder and CEO 

After working and traveling around the US for 4 years, I was itching to move back to South Africa. Around that same time I met my wife…..so the decision to move back home became a little more complex. Where should we begin our married life? Moving to South Africa would require finding a home, finding new jobs etc. We elected to start our life together in Tucson with the possibility of moving to South Africa at a later stage. This yearning to be back in South Africa however became more and more persistent. How could I still keep in touch and be part of the country? I was constantly telling people I met of what a great destination it was and how incredible it was a place to explore. I realized I was a walking salesman for the country….and that maybe I could open a business helping people plan their trips to Africa. So in 2001 I decided to start Destination Southern Africa – and took that exciting step of launching myself into an industry I knew nothing about. My wife, Holly agreed to take the $25,000 we had in her home and let me use it towards launching the business. Those first couple of years were fantastic – lots of hard work, but I was extremely passionate as I was ‘selling’ something I both believed in and loved to bits. My craving to be back in South Africa was now satisfied….as I was not only visiting new hotels and game lodges and exploring new parts of the country, but I was living vicariously through clients trips I was designing and planning.

Over the next 15 years, DSA grew from strength to strength. In 2008 FIFA appointed us as one of the 3 US Tour Operators to sell and plan trips to FIFA World Cup 2010. At that time, DSA had a total of 6 employees. Shortly after the 2010 World Cup DSA was appointed to operate South African Airways Vacations, which it has now successfully be running for the last 7 years. This expansion has grown our staff to a compliment of 20+ full time employees and afforded us the opportunity to locate our offices in wonderful downtown Tucson. The company has recently started adding new destinations to its portfolio. Originally specializing in only Southern and Eastern Africa, we have now ventured into West and North Africa as well as the Middle East. We continue to focus of tailor making our trips and with over 15,000 satisfied customers we are excited about the next 15 years ahead and looking to expand our portfolio each year.
Facebook Comments