About us

The Classic Safari Company - Who we are

The Classic Safari Company is Australia’s leading safari specialist. Since 1992, we’ve been exploring the world and sharing our passion, using our first-hand experiences to create exceptional safaris and journeys to Africa, the Indian Subcontinent, Latin America and beyond.

Our beginnings

The Classic Safari Company was founded by South African-born Julie McIntosh, who wanted to share her passion for Africa’s people, wildlife and landscapes. Sarah Hoyland joined the team in 1993, and has been a director and co-owner since 2000. With a focus on creating luxurious bush experiences, Julie, Sarah and the team carved a niche by tailoring adventure holidays to intimate and exclusive safari camps in Africa’s premier wilderness regions.

Our personalised, bespoke travel service now includes India, Sri Lanka, Bhutan; Central and South America; and other far-flung corners of the world where there are wild and wonderful things to discover.

The common thread?

Untouched wilderness, incredible wildlife, rich and colourful cultures, exceptional hospitality and professionalism and, above all, out-of-the-ordinary experiences you’ll never forget. All with little touches of class and style along the way, whilst experiencing some of the most exotic forts and palaces, best boutique resorts and luxury bush camps in the world.

Our office in the leafy suburb of Woollahra embodies all that The Classic Safari Company is about. The journey begins as you walk up the stairs, entering a world of travel inspiration

Come see us, and let our team of passionate safari specialists create the holiday of your dreams.

How we create Tailor-made travel experiences!

Our thoughtful team of knowledgeable experts are here to take care of your every want and need, from the second you contact us to the time you return.

A Team Effort

A Team Effort

We offer a number of specialist departures with designated Itineraries, but beyond that, we design all our journeys and safaris to sult your specific travel goals and dreams. We will provide you with as much advice and inspiration as you need, but we also encourage you to work with us – the more involved you are in the process of planning your holiday, the more likely we are to meet and exceed your expectations. Come visit us in our stunning offices or call us to talk through your arrangements- that way your adventure begins long before you leave home!!

Passionate, Honest & Expert Advice

Passionate, Honest & Expert Advice

Our team members are passionate and experienced world travellers who love what they do. We’re a small team, and the owners are still very hands-on – we travel extensively throughout our destinations, and handpick every safari outfitter, and every hotel. We will give you expert advice, share our personal experiences, and provide you with invaluable insider’s tips. We’ll also give you our honest opinion!

Flexible and hassel-free travel

Flexible and hassel-free travel

We will plan as little or as much as your holiday as you would like, and if you change your mind at any stage, that’s okay! Our dedicated team, whether in the office or on the ground, are responsive to your needs and use our expertise and contacts to ensure you can experience the wonders of Africa, Latin America and the Indian subcontinent with a minimum of fuss.  Bespoke is our game.

Unparelled Support

Unparelled Support

From start to finish, our team will work overtime with passion and care to ensure your every need is satisfied. Our preferred safari outfitters and ground operators have a proven track record for delivering exemplary service from the minute you arrive to the minute you depart. Throughout your stay, you will be hosted by specialist and professional guides – all hand-picked by us.

Friendly & efficient Service

Friendly & efficient Service

We know how busy you are, but we also know you want your holiday with us to be meticulously planned and exactly what you imagined it would be. Our expert team will listen to your ideas, then work with you, and behind the scenes, to tailor a holiday that is right for you. We’ll add extra touches that we know you’ll love, and even throw in a few surprises, to ensure your travel experience with us exceeds your expectations.

well-priced, all-inclusive arrangements

well-priced, all-inclusive arrangements

Where possible, we will accommodate you in the premier safari camps and lodges, in the world’s leading boutique and luxury hotels, and on board the leading expeditionary vessels available – all for the best possible price. We recommend travel experiences that are authentic and not contrived; we want you to feel immersed in your environment, and come home raving about your holiday – and us!

Meet the team

We are travellers ourselves and we combine our personal insights and exceptional knowledge to create bespoke safaris, with serious style, for you.

Julie McIntosh

Founder/Director

From a young age, I travelled, not only in my home country South Africa but around the world with my nomadic parents moving to Brazil, the USA and back to South Africa before settling in Australia. Australia is home but the want to travel is constantly there...I just love the adventure and seeing what is out there.

Sarah Hoyland

Director

I was born under a flight path, opposite a railway station, above a bus stop and a taxi rank....is it any wonder I pursued a carrer in travel? Having explored all seven continent I love nothing more than sharing my passion for travel to wild and exotic destinations!

Jeffrey Shewell

Africa specialist

Africa is my first love. I called Zambia home for several years & I've travelled extensively through South Africa, Malawi, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Tanzania, Egypt & Morocco. Away from the African continent I've also experienced India, Argentina & South East Asia.

Julia Salnicki

Africa & polar specialist, zoologist

I'll never stop exploring! I am fortunate to have already experienced South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Congo, Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Morocco, Argentina, the Galapagos, the Amazon, Falkland Islands, South Georgia Islands & the Antarctic Peninsula.

Warren Smith

Africa & India Specialist

You name it, I’ve done it – travel, photography, business. I’ve travelled all over the world, spent time living in Europe and have worked in travel almost all my life. Feel free to pick my brains on any destination - I’ve probably been there.

Shelly Vernon

Africa & India Specialist

I’m Kenyan so I originally grew to know Africa as a local. I’ve travelled extensively through most of Africa and I can safely say I know the east of the continent like the back of my hand.

Ella Collins

Marketing

The UK is 'home' so I've explored much of Europe and now reaching the farthest-flung corners of Australia is my new mission! Further afield I've ventured to South Africa, Botswana, Tanzania & Zanzibar, Kenya, Zimbabwe & Zambia plus lots of Asia and the Pacific.

Helene Boderiou

Finance Manager

Born and raised in Morlaix, France I grew up on the beach so being Sydney suits me down to the ground but I fill every spare opportunity with hiking, biking and adventures further afield. I’m the ‘Minister of Finance’ in the office but at heart I'm a free spirit.

Kath Austin

Africa & South America Specialist

I cut my teeth working on overland safaris across Africa so I’m resourceful and good in a crisis! Moving into luxury travel I still I love seeing the world at a grass roots level, feeling the earth beneath my feet. Africa is my passion with South America a close second.

Monique Zaruba

Secret Women's Series & South America Specialist

I've lived all over the place from France to Mexico and now Australia and I've travelled extensively through North and South America, Europe and the Pacific. With my worldwide knowledge I look after the Secret Women's Series journeys, wherever they may take us!

Valerie Jauregui

Office Manager

I'm from Peru and having explored America, backpacked round Europe and finally settled in Australia its safe to say i'm a traveller! I manage the office and keep everything and everyone running like clockwork.

Exellent and wonderful, reaching way above expectations.

Elizabeth Mackintosh

Julia you did a fantastic job - everything was first class. Well organised, efficient and stress free. We all agreed it was the best holiday we've ever had. Cant wait to travel with CSC again.

Milford family

We are so happy we put our trust in CSC, we had an amazing adventure and would recommend them to anyone.

Kim & Brad Balance

The trip exceeded my expectations and was the best family holiday I have ever had. Our children simply loved it and now I know more about African wildlife than they do about our own farm animals.

Rowntree family

Classic Safari are the people who genuinely know other culture and offer incredible insight to perfectly meet your expectations.

Melanie McMillan & Iain Jones

We loved it all. Our son wants to go back tomorrow. We would ALL go back again!

Laurence & Remi Cunningham

An amazing experience - the best family holiday we have ever had. We were extremely impressed by the meticulous attention to our itinerary. I can't speak highly enough of all the elements of this exciting journey!

Sheryl & Robert Taylor

Thank you for making our trip to Africa so spectacular. The attention to detail really made it special. It really was the trip of a lifetime.

Paul Cozzi

Very knowledgeable and patient. Our trip was all that we hoped for. Wonderful!

Jane & Robert Happell

Everything was perfect! Advice and information on destinations and activities hit everything I had hoped to experience. I contacted the Classic Safari Company upon recommendation and have now, in turn, recommended to others.

Tim Bradley

You can't improve on perfection. I had my best birthday and holiday with my family celebrating my 80th birthday in Africa. Everything that Julia organised was perfect and the whole trip was a highlight!

Buckingham Family

The trip of a lifetime, couldn't have dreamt of a better adventure if I tried.

Emma Jeffcoat

Absolutely everything was first class & so well organised.

Simon & Jackie Adams

Classic Safari Company has done it again! A unique experience that ticked all the boxes - wildlife, culture and dining experience. A dream come true!

Ros Wheeler

Their experience and knowledge of Africa is evident and we couldn't have been happier with the total package. This has given us a taste for Africa - now we are ready for more.

Andrew & Pip Stevens

If you want the most sensational experience in Africa let Julia and the staff at Classic Safari Co plan it for you! Their knowledge, expertise and enthusiasm for their job means your every wish will be fulfilled.

Miriam & Joseph Harrison

Classic Safari is the place to go to for "top end" adventure travel.

Ron & Alison Guthrie

Classic Safari Company were brilliant - 10/10

Di & Kingsley Yates

The Classic Safari Company is the best I have dealt with. Extremely knowledgeable & professional, friendly, patient & understanding of first timers to Africa.

Annette Whiley

It certainly was the best trip we have EVER had. The experiences were mind blowing.  We want everyone we know to experience Africa - the animals, the people - magical.

Jo-anne & Dean Mifsud

Would do it all again and not change a moment. Best holiday ever!

The McGowan Tribe

An absolutely fantastic travel company - every one of the many trips they have organised for us over 22 years have been faultless and fabulous.

Judith & Roger Williams

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