Luke and Suzanne have 20+ years of combined experience in the international luxury travel industry. Prior to going off on their own they have worked in Leading Hotels of the World acclaimed properties in Europe and the Middle East. They have also managed, sold and marketed for ground operations and properties in Botswana and Zimbabwe with great success.
Now Luke and Suzanne have created Vayeni - their personal dedication to ensuring that the very finest escapes possible can be realised by travellers visiting Zimbabwe and the region. Through this they believe visitors will have their souls truly touched by this area's people, it's incredible wildlife and the dedication by so many to its conservation for future generations.
Luke and Suzanne also have two beautiful little girls, Charlotte and Annabelle. As a family they frequently travel together to seek out the best kept secrets and pass them onto their Vayeni guests.
Tara was born and grew up in Harare, but at every opportunity she escaped into the beauty of the Zimbabwean countryside. After school she studied at Writtle College in the UK where she graduated with a degree in Business and Events Management along with a good dose of life experience . She returned to her home, Zimbabwe in 2011. She loves all parts of the region, but if she had to choose she says that Nyanga and Kariba hold the most special places in her heart.
Tara is based in the Harare office and is an exceptional and hard working member of the Vayeni team and will go to all lengths to create magical experiences for our guests.
Chenai was born in Harare, Zimbabwe and growing up she travelled around Zimbabwe and Southern Africa with her family which made her realise a passion for Zimbabwe and all things tourism. She completed her Bachelor in Administration in Namibia in 2004 where she briefly worked in the MICE industry before returning to Zimbabwe to follow her passion for tourism. She has been in the tourism and hospitality industry in Victoria Falls for over 8 years with a prime focus on sales, marketing and guest relations and has established a vast network of tourism professionals around Zimbabwe.
As she is lucky in enough to live in Victoria Falls she states that the contrasting mystic beauty and tranquillity of Nyanga make it her other favourite Zimbabwean destination, but the list can go on. Chenai looks after all of the Vayeni guests that start and end their journey in Victoria Falls.
Mel was born in Zimbabwe and raised on a cotton farm in Shamva until she was 8 years old. She immigrated to Switzerland where she primary schooled and returned to Zimbabwe as a teenager. Prior to leaving Switzerland, Mel and her family travelled the entire country. Upon returning to Zimbabwe, they embarked on the same kind of trip to re-familiarise themselves with their country. It was these adventures that gave birth to her wanderlust and also her passion for her country.
Mel has worked in and around the tourism industry since she was 20 years old. She joins the Vayeni team fresh from being Reservations Manager, Camp Hostess for VIP groups and Temporary Camp Manager at a luxury safari camp on Lake Kariba. She continues to still have the same enthusiasm and love for Zimbabwe and the region as she always has had.
Penny founded Samphire Travel Consulting in 2012, following six years of representing African properties with Travel Advance (formerly Travel e-Sense), to promote and market a more diverse range of tourism products. Penny’s experience of the industry is varied, having worked as a consultant for Expert Africa (selling Tanzania and Mozambique) and Discover the World (selling Iceland and New Zealand) before moving to Representation, where she has promoted properties in Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
From 2001- 2003 she led adventure tours for Explore Worldwide, working in France, Djibouti, Morocco, South Africa and Swaziland. As well as living in Germany and China, and earning an honours degree in English and European Literature at the University of Warwick, Penny has travelled widely in south-east Asia, South America and sub-Saharan Africa. Recent adventures include Madagascar, Malaysia and Myanmar. Penny has sailed all her life and has always been around boats, recently racing RS 800 and Laser 4000 dinghies, J-24s and is a rescue scuba diver. Penny is a fantastic force for Vayeni throughout the United Kingdom.
Now based in Madrid Cesar grew up in Zimbabwe and later moved to Europe where he has been linked to the tourism industry ever since. He studied Business Science and focused his professional career in tourism management acquiring valuable experience and responsibilities in key tourism companies in Spain. Since 2012, due to his personal and professional enthusiasm for Zimbabwe and the Southern African region as a whole he has been working to make the area a top-of-mind destination.
Cesar loves to travel back to his roots in Zimbabwe whenever he can and he is involved in many projects aimed at promoting his home country. One of his favourite experiences was a close encounter he had with wild elephants and black rhinos in a private game reserve near Victoria Falls. Be sure to get him to recount the story if you meet him! He is an exceptional partner for Vayeni in the Spanish and Portuguese markets.
My name is Tinashe Maoneni and I am a common Zimbabwean. On a daily basis I experience a lot of the little to big factors that mould and shape the character of the people of this land. I live with it and through it amongst society and like many others, I strive to contribute to its present and future.
Art is my medium of choice and has always been for as far back as I can remember. Above it all was a peculiar keenness for music which led me down some of the best paths I have wondered thus far. It has given me an appreciation for life which by no means is any better than anyone else but somewhat bent towards the lighthearted, fun loving and outgoing side which is what I believe most people search for. The approach of a striving artist is to be open minded to anyone and anything so as to experience an opportunity with as little bias as possible thus gaining ground on which to express it best.
So many miles and turns down that road I found myself positioned in one of the greatest wonders of nature known to man: The Mighty Victoria Falls. I shared and engaged with the world of travelers whom I have met over the years the magic of the nature that’s found here. Both in the people and in the wilderness. Both socially and professionally. It is the joy and pleasure I continue to experience in this destination which makes me excited at the prospect and opportunity of receiving visitors who come to my little town. For me it is not, and remains far from being a guiding experience, it is a hosting privilege.
Welcome to my home.