+64 6976 1118 safari@africanencounters.co.nz
+64 6976 1118 safari@africanencounters.co.nz

About Us

About Us

How African Encounters began…

Hi, I’m Karen Platzer, founder and director of African Encounters. I’m a widely-travelled New Zealander who lived in Switzerland for 20 years and travelled extensively throughout Europe in that time. After relocating to Africa I worked for a tour operator in Kenya for several years before returning to New Zealand where I started my own tour business. I escorted my small group tours throughout Europe and South America for 20 years, but it was Africa that captured my heart on my first visit 35 years ago. There have been many twists and turns in my journey as an independent tour operator but one thing remains constant – after working with large tour groups in Africa I knew that mass tourism was not the path I wanted to travel. The decision to specialise in small groups, allowing my guests to venture off the main tourist routes and support local communities and conservation projects, is one I’m very happy to have made.

Every year I escort several small group safaris to my favourite places in East- and Southern Africa, sharing my love for this amazing continent with my guests. These ‘safaris in comfort’ are exclusive to African Encounters and are very popular with my loyal clients who keep coming back for another African Encounter!

African Encounters director Karen Platzer
A close encounter with a friendly lemur in Madagascar.

Why should you choose African Encounters for your dream safari?

  • You’ll travel in a small, friendly group of maximum 8 guests.
  • You’ll enjoy game drives in open 4×4 safari vehicles for optimal wildlife viewing and photography.
  • You’ll avoid the crowds by staying in small luxury accommodation on private conservancies.
  • Private conservancies and concessions offer incredible game viewing opportunities and you’ll often be the only spectators – no herds of minibuses surrounding a big cat sighting here.
  • They also provide the opportunity for guided walks and night game drives which are not allowed in National Parks and Reserves.
  • Giving back is a vital part of our philosophy – African Encounters supports conservation projects, and the communities we are privileged to visit.
  • Small groups = personal service and less environmental impact.
  • Our hand-picked partners in Africa have won many awards for their eco-friendly small camps and their conservation policies.
  • We know Africa, we’ve lived there and worked there for more than 30 years. Let us take you off the tourist route!

African Encounters is not your big, faceless safari company. We specialise in bringing the personal touch to our safaris. With over 30 years of travel in Africa, we not only show you the well-known highlights but the hidden treasures too.

Karen’s level of knowledge about Africa is outstanding, and is one reason why our clients keep coming back for another African adventure! African Encounters will take you on a safari which exceeds your expectations, each and every time. Surprise picnics, amazing bush dinners and memorable sundowners are all part of your adventure with African Encounters!

If the dates for Karen’s personally-escorted safaris don’t suit your travel plans we also offer scheduled departures with our award-winning partners in Africa who specialise in small group ’safaris in comfort’.

Tailor-made private safaris for family groups, friends or clubs are also possible. We’d love to help you plan an amazing safari tailor-made just for you!