Our Story

We are an award-winning tour operator with almost 50 years' experience in organising African safari holidays. We pride ourselves on being able to arrange a wide range of holidays, including romantic honeymoons, beach retreats, family safaris and tailor-made holidays, in many destinations including Kenya, South Africa, Botswana, Zambia and Tanzania.

Our people

We are a close-knit, family-run business with a passion for African travel and an enthusiasm for crafting dream African holidays. We love hearing all about your Africa holiday plans, and are always keen to offer advice and to help turn your dreams into reality, with the excitement and passion that we know every holiday to Africa will bring.

Management

Suresh Sofat - Chairman

Suresh Sofat - Chairman

I've lived in Kenya my whole life, and from a young age I had a strong desire to explore Africa. Consequently, I developed passion for African travel and a desire to share this continent with others. Whilst I was working in the aviation industry in the 60s, I noticed a gap in the market for flights between London and Nairobi. From this initial idea I started Somak in 1968 and developed the company into a global entity that now handles in excess of 30,000 leisure travellers to Africa each year. With our superior knowledge of this complicated but exotic continent, it is little wonder that we continue to win numerous awards for our care and expertise in handling clients.

Ash Sofat - Chief Executive

Ash Sofat - Chief Executive

Somewhere in my genes is this passion to travel around Africa, which was probably ignited by the fact that I was born and brought up in Kenya. My father established Somak nearly fifty years ago and I found it only natural to establish and develop a division of Somak that provides bespoke holidays to Africa. Furthermore, I am lucky to be working with people who share the same passion for Africa as I do - we understand the many operational challenges that exist, we know which areas to go to, we understand the geography and culture of the region. Apart from going on Safari, I play golf (badly) and enjoy watching sport (usually live); I am a regular spectator at Lord's.

Anil Sofat - Commercial Director

Anil Sofat - Commercial Director

I have a deep respect and passion for the land and people of my birthplace, Kenya. I have travelled the length and breadth of Kenya and Tanzania on my frequent visits to my family in East Africa. The people of Kenya and Tanzania are remarkable; their enterprise and resourcefulness is something I marvel at and, indeed, learn from; but by the same token I am keen to get involved in helping local communities in any way that I can. With my wife and two young children I also enjoy travelling to all corners of the world. Outside the office I enjoy watching most sports and playing squash, cricket and football.

Team UK

Sanjay Sofat – Operations Director

Sanjay Sofat - Operations Director

I have been part of the Somak team since 1986, in various roles. My love for travel has given me an insight into what our guests expect from their holidays and to make them as perfect as possible from start to finish. I have made frequent visits to Kenya and Tanzania and this familiarity makes it easier to advise on these destinations, with a passion. To relax away from the office I like to watch sports, in particular cricket and football, or just watch a good film at the cinema with the family.

Amanda Atkins - Reservations

Amanda - Reservations

I’ve been working for Somak Holiday since 2000, and it’s my passion for and interest in Africa, that has given me the expertise to create tailor-made holidays to both East and Southern Africa to fit exactly our customers' requirements. Part of my work involves working closely with consumers and travel agents that are based abroad - it is intriguing how the needs of different nationalities can vary. When I'm not booking dream holidays for our guests, I enjoy going to the theatre with my group of close friends. Travel to the African continent is my absolute pastime of choice.

Meeta - Reservations

Meeta - Reservations

I have worked in the reservation team since 2007 (a relatively new addition to the team!). My husband, two young children and myself travel to Africa frequently, hence I have become an expert at knowing exactly where to visit and stay as a family. When I am not creating tailor-made holidays I enjoy spending time with my family and planning my next trip to Africa.

Minal - Reservations

Minal - Reservations

I have been part of the Somak Holidays reservations team since May 1995. I was born in Tanzania and brought up in Kenya, hence I have travelled extensively in Kenya. In the past 5 years I have also travelled to north and south Tanzania including Zanzibar, and South Africa. Part of my work lately has been organising and constructing tailor-made itineraries for schools and colleges; this has been an interesting learning experience and is certainly something I can share with you all. I visit Kenya with my family at least once a year - holidays to East Africa are truly a way of life for me. Apart from booking holidays I love outdoor activities with my family.

Nishma - Reservations

Nishma - Reservations Supervisor

A member of the reservations team since 1996, I was born and grew up in Kenya, which is where my passion for East Africa stems from. Over the last 18 years I have used my first hand knowledge and own experiences when advising on, and putting together, dream tailor-made holidays to both East and Southern Africa. When I am not booking holidays I like to watch nature documentaries and listen to music. I still enjoy travelling to the African continent on a regular basis to update my knowledge and experiences.

Saonli Chatterjee - Operations

Saonli Chatterjee - Operations

The thrill of exploring new places drives my love of travel. I have been fortunate enough to visit many countries which allowed me to experience different cultures, people, cuisine, architecture. For me, travel is all about enriching my mind with new experiences. My own journeys have helped me to understand that each person's travel needs can vary greatly – one might seek luxury and comfort whilst another may prefer a basic stay with extensive sightseeing. Somak understands different travel needs and provides tailor-made holidays to satisfy each and every one of our guests. Delivering client satisfaction is at the heart of Team Somak and I am glad to be part of that team. When I'm not helping to craft fabulous holidays I enjoy listening to music, going to the cinema and outdoor activities.

Parita - Commercial Manager

Parita - Commercial Manager

I first joined the Somak Holidays team in 1993, working as part of the reservations team. After 14 years of organising African holidays, I started a new role as the commercial manager, until I left for new pastures in Kenya in 2012. I spent 3 years living and working in Kenya within the travel industry before returning to my role as commercial manager at Somak Holidays. It's great to be back at Somak Holidays and helping to develop the business. Outside of work I love nothing more than reading a good book and watching a good film with my family.

Justin - Agency Sales

Justin - Business Development Manager

I have over 20 years' experience in the travel industry, and have a passion for Africa and in particular, South Africa. I'm a relatively new addition to the Somak Holidays team, and have been travelling the country meeting agents, and helping to develop their business since February 2014. I've been lucky enough to visit Kenya with Somak Holidays, and I can honestly say it exceeded all my expectations and I look forward to returning to Kenya in the future.

Ranjit - Head of IT

Ranjit - Head of IT

My career at Somak began in 1992 when I worked at the Nairobi office in Kenya, developing the system for ground-handling. I worked in Kenya for 7 years, and during this time I was lucky enough to explore many of its national parks with my family. I love exploring new destinations and nature, so having all of Kenya's national parks on my doorstep fuelled my passion for African travel. In 1999 I started a new chapter and moved to London to join the Somak Holidays team, where I continue to develop and implement new systems.

Team Kenya

Bushra Sultan – Managing Director

Bushra Sultan
Managing Director

I’ve lived in Kenya my entire life and have always had a passion for travel. It seemed natural to study tourism at University and to consequently pursue a career within the travel industry. I joined Somak in 1998 as a Travel Consultant and have experienced career growth within the company to include the Tours and Marketing Department dockets. It’s a pleasure to head the staff in Somak Kenya and I’m very proud of our team and the bonds that have formed between departments; we are a well oiled machine and it’s this team spirit that ultimately ensures our guests’ satisfaction. My hobbies include travelling, reading and assistance to the disadvantaged in our country whenever I can.

Chidambaram Subramanian – Accounts

Chidam Subramanian
Director of Finance

A graduate of the University of Bombay, I ventured into Kenya in 1994 and joined Somak as an Accounts Assistant and settled in this wonderful country.Within the 21 years I have experienced growth within the Company facing several challenges and rising from an Accounts Assistant to my present position as the Finance Director. I have a passion for making new programmes and travelling to various destinations. Somak has a host of friendly staff. The result is a friendly working atmosphere and having weathered the successes and challenges over the years together, we are like family. During my leisure time I serve on the Association & Cultural Society of Kerala in Kenya and have a passion for Cricket and traveling.

Maureen Nandwa – Operations

Maureen Nandwa
Director Of Operations

I joined Somak Tours in 1992 as a Tour Executive and have served in various capacities: Supervisor, Reservations Manager and Operations Manager. In my current role, I enjoy the operational challenges and the rich interactions with the Somak team, hoteliers and airlines as we strive to deliver exceptional service. It is a pleasure to work alongside a talented team that focuses on quality service and customer satisfaction. The dynamic environment at Somak invigorates me, each day brings a different challenge and opportunity but the objective to ensure customer satisfaction never waivers. Outside of Somak, I enjoy travelling, singing, swimming, listening to gospel music/jazz and spending time with my family.

Jenny Kaka  - Customer Service Manager

Jenny Kaka
Customer Service Manager

I joined Somak in 2000 and manage the Customer Service Department and Administration. I work with a team of exciting colleagues who meet and greet, and all the Tour Guides in Kenya and Tanzania who guide all our clients on safaris. I respond to all inquiries and concerns from clients and agents and also ensure the contractual agreements and expectations from our global agents are adhered to and that all our suppliers comply to the standards. I’ve enjoyed spending the last 14 years in Somak’s vibrant atmosphere - it’s been amazing. Kenya is my home and the most beautiful country in the world. I love reading, dancing, travelling, Hatha yoga and once a year I accomplish something on my ‘bucket list’.

Lennox Wekesa - Customer Service Representative

Margaret Muema
Reservations Manager

I joined Somak in 2001 as a PA to the MD tours department and have since progressed to Reservations Manager. I’ve always been passionate about travel and I’ve been fortunate enough to combine my love of travel with my career. My role as Reservations Managers is busy and varied one, it comes with many challenges each day and no two days are the same – and this is why I love it. It’s great to overcome challenges and to create holidays that you know the client will love. Outside of work, my hobbies are cooking, reading, singing and listening to Gospel music.

Ruth Wambua  - Tours Executive

Ruth Wambua
Tours Executive

I've been part of Somak Travel team since 2011 and have the pleasure of working in the Product Department. Over the past three years I have used my first hand knowledge and experience to advise and put together tailor-made itineraries to East Africa for our Far East, Danish and Russian clients. I love creating itineraries that cater for our clients' every need, and the ultimate satisfaction is creating an itinerary that you know will exceed their expectations. When I am not booking holidays, I like to spend time with my family and enjoy going to the Nairobi National Park to watch the amazing wildlife we have on our doorstep.

Diana Kenyatta - Tours Consultant

Diana Kenyatta
Tours Consultant

I have been part of the Somak reservations team since 2010 and enjoy all aspects of my role. My work entails booking hotel reservations, including transfers, day tours and guided tours throughout East Africa. My role is certainly busy, and I enjoy the excitement and buzz around organizing these packages that I know the client will love. The ultimate satisfaction is when we receive positive feedback on how a client’s itinerary was exactly what they hoped and more. I enjoy reading and outdoor adventure paintball, quad bike racing with family and friends and watching movies.

Victor Tindi - Tours Executive

Victor Tindi
Tours Executive

I’ve been a senior tours executive with Somak Travel since 2006. I work in the tailor-made department where I help clients create customized safari programs across the varied and diverse attractions East Africa has to offer. What I love most about my job is that each day is a new learning experience; trying to match clients needs by creating extra ordinary programs to places as diverse as Gorilla trekking in Rwanda to climbing Mt Kilimanjaro or a wildlife program covering some of East Africa’s finest parks. Besides travelling, I enjoy listening to soul music, playing football and photography is something I am very keen on.

Grace Kamau - Tours Consultant

Grace Kamau
Tours Consultant

I hail from Nakuru - the home of the greater and lesser flamingos. I have been part of Somak since 2005 having had an experience within the hotel industry previously. My work entails the booking of accommodation for clients on proposed dates, liaising with hotels, restaurants and other clients, making sure that all travel arrangements run according to plan and that accommodation, meals and services are satisfactory. It’s a busy role and I love overcoming that daily challenges and delivering a package I know the clients will enjoy. I enjoy listening to gospel and classical music and I love travelling and reading captivating books.

Xu Wen Liang - Tours Consultant (China Desk)

Xu Wen Liang
Tours Consultant (China Desk)

My name is Xu Wen Liang. English name is Willy, 'Wenliange' is the Chinese way to say 'William'. So it was taken in the short form. I am the Chinese Market Tour Consultant and have been working for Somak Travel since 2013. There are so many reasons I love tourism and travel, in particular seeing the pleasure experienced by our clients. I studied in Kenya in 2008 and can converse in Swahili, and have been guiding tours in both China and Kenya. My hobbies are travelling , basketball, movies, and reading.

Keiko Yumoto - Head of Japan Desk

Keiko Yumoto
Head of Japan Desk

I came to Kenya in 1986 and joined Somak Travel in 2003 as a Tour Executive on the Japan Desk. Prior to this I worked at All Nippon Airways as chief cabin attendant for vips. I was also an instructor for staff training and service quality controller for 11 years in Japan. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Somak and have worked my way up to Head of the Japan Desk. My aim is always to make sure we provide the best services for all our Japanese clients and to make them feel secure and totally satisfied. When I am not working I enjoy nothing more than reading and travelling. In fact, I enjoying travelling so much that I have visited more than 30 countries, but in the end I decided to settle in the beautiful country of Kenya.

Rose Kimathi< - Tours Consultant

Rose Kimathi
Tours Consultant

I joined Somak Nairobi in 2003 as a tour consultant in the Japan Department. My work entails putting together tailor-made and set itineraries for the Japanese Market. Having studied the Japanese language in college, I also meet and brief Japanese clients and sometimes escort them on safari as a guide. I love my job, each day brings a new learning experience with its own challenges, so there is no time to get complacent; making my time at Somak so fulfilling and enjoyable. My satisfaction comes from ensuring that each of our agents’ requests are fulfilled where possible. Outside of work, I enjoy spending quality time with my family, reading motivational material and travelling to new places.

Team USA

Fraser Teasdale – Manager USA – Somak Safaris

Fraser Teasdale - Manager USA

I was born in Tanzania and also lived in Kenya. Spent almost 30 years in the travel industry, in Europe, Middle East and since 2001 in the USA. In that time I have visited Eastern and Southern Africa several times, most recently on a trip to Kenya with some US Travel agents which was an amazing trip for all. I started with Somak Safaris in September of 2009 in the New York office, and have helped many Americans enjoy the delights of Africa and experience their first Safari. Welcome to Africa and Somak, we look forward to putting together your experience of a lifetime.

Petri de Koning  – Operations USA – Somak Safari

Petri de Koning - Operations USA

I was born in Holland and moved around Europe before settling in the USA in 2001.I have worked in travel for over 30 years, in Aviation and Tourism. I have enjoyed some really great trips to South Africa and Namibia. I'm based in the New York office and provide support for Somak Safaris and assist many Americans traveling to the diverse and welcoming continent of Africa. I look forward to serving many more new customers and welcoming back existing clients.

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