Three continents, three women, and a fierce desire to share Africa with travelers. Meet the adventurous women behind bespoke safari company &Three Collective.
BY HOLLY PARMELEE
Amboseli National Park in Kenya is known for its large herds of elephants and with Kilimanjaro as a backdrop, it’s one of &Three’s favorite destination.
How did you decide to create your business?
Once upon a time, we were three expats living in London. Stephanie asked Lanné and I to join her in working for a small safari outfit out of Kenya. We are each ‘those people’—those trusted friends who are great resources for all things travel. In a single year, we grew the business exponentially and realized that there was something special and dynamic about the working chemistry between the three of us. At the same time, we regularly saw people traveling all the way to Africa, spending a ton of money on their bucket list trip—but getting it wrong. So we set off on our own to realize our shared vision for travelers. We have something that nobody else offers: a niche Africa brand that offers three times the perspective and three times the insider knowledge.
Describe your company
For starters, we are not travel agents! We are travel advisors who curate high-end journeys throughout Africa and her islands. What sets us seriously apart from the others is that we are.
To go on safari—or “journey” in Swahili—is one of life’s greatest adventures. But safari to one person can be something entirely different to another.
Some may seek raw and rugged Africa, where they sleep in tents, take bucket showers and eat scorpions. Others might want to be settled among gorgeous South African vineyards and attend black tie dinners on the Rovos Rail. Then there are those adventurous souls who may be combining safari with a specific goal—summiting Mount Kilimanjaro or fishing the Seychelles. Still others may prefer a “sofa safari” where the migration of the wildebeests, elephants cavorting in a salt lick or a lion out on a kill could happen right outside of their room and they don’t have to go anywhere. To help travelers find their perfect trip, Bedford, NY, resident Claudia Church created travel company &Three with partners and friends Stephanie Capuano, who lives in London, England, and Lanné Tucker, an Afrikaaner living in Sydney, Australia. The trio’s shared passion inspired a business that bridges the gap between like- minded travelers and Africa in original and thoughtful ways. “I dare you to travel to Africa and not feel the tug to return,” says Church.
Over lunch at the Inn at Pound Ridge, we spoke with Claudia about African travel trends, starting a business with girlfriends, and their all-time, best safari advice.