Born in Mufulira Zambia, Billy spent the more significant part of his childhood in the Copperbelt. He moved to Lusaka to study hospitality management at the Hotel and Hospitality Training Institute.As one of the top graduating students in his class, Billy was quickly snapped up by one of the largest tour operators in Zambia where he worked for several years before coming to join us at Royal. He is a fantastic host, calm and reliable, always willing to go the extra mile to extend Zambia’s down to earth hospitality. Billy wakes up every morning with a cheerful smile ready to tackle what the day brings. In his spare time, he likes to play football as he is a staunch follower of Manchester United.
Gogo grew up in the city of Lusaka, where she attended Lake Road School. Her love for Maths and Accounts led her to study IMIS. Her first job with Cadburys Schweppes was in administration which allowed her the opportunity to practice what she had excelled in at school. Still, she soon realised it was not where her heart was. A career in tourism then started in 2006 when she joined Wilderness Safaris as a Trainee Manager. Here she discovered and cultivated her love for people and especially interacting with them in a natural environment. Her career blossomed and progressed into other areas of tourism such as relief management for lodges based across Zambia, Namibia and South Africa, as well as a Camp Management position in the prestigious South Luangwa & Livingstone region. Gogo was complimented in her job by her husband, a professional guide with extensive experience in lodge management. Through her hard work and commitment to service excellence, Gogo had the opportunity to train other colleagues in the industry within management positions, all of whom have excelled in their careers. Gogo’s friendly nature and warm demeanour have enriched her relationships with both guest and colleagues throughout her career. She loves nothing more than providing mentorship to others and encouraging the younger generations along their journey in this industry. As parting inspiration, you will often hear Gogo sharing her favourite quote ~ “A person that loves what they do will never work a day in their lives”.
Vanessa grew up across the river in Zimbabwe and has called Zambia home since 2003. Her earlier years were spent competing in outdoor sports, and after marrying a farmer and living on a farm, she naturally moved into administration type roles that could fit in with the remote freedom of farm life. Vanessa joined the Royal Zambezi team in 2008 and has proudly managed all aspects of the reservations function single-handedly for ten years. She puts every effort into efficient responses and enjoys building relationships with both agents and guests and ensuring all expectations are met. Being a valued and integral part of Royal Zambezi Lodge, Vanessa loves being a part of the Royal family and getting positive feedback from happy guests.
Originally from Zimbabwe, Lauren grew up as a farmer’s daughter on a cattle ranch where she discovered her love for the African bush at a young age. Playtime consisted of being outside in nature with her brothers – building forts in trees, riding horses, playing hide n seek in the maize crops, lawn cricket, swimming in reservoirs & the occasional consumption of Chongololo’s (African Millipede), mud pies & sheep poop. The last three she strongly believes helped develop the strong immune system she needed to withstand the English weather in her next chapter. Lauren spent a brief period of 3 years in London, living amongst fellow Zimbabweans in Zimbledon, sorry – Wimbledon, where she worked in recruitment & cultivated her love for people. The undeniable love & passion Lauren has for Africa is what made her move back to Zimbabwe where she established her Marketing career in tourism. She learned that it truly makes such a difference to promote something you love – and Africa was it! Privileged to have worked with some of the best across the industry in Zimbabwe, Lauren was curious to learn more about neighbouring Zambia, a country with which Zimbabwe shares so much history. Having joined the “Royal” family in 2016, Lauren was given the opportunity to immerse herself in the diverse landscapes and rich cultures of Zambia and fell in love with the incredible people, unpredictable wildlife encounters and the essence of ‘space’ that Zambia is still able to offer.
Chileya was born and raised in the Copperbelt Province of Zambia. Some of her fondest memories are of family holidays in the most remote areas of the country, where she turned a curiosity about wildlife into a genuine appreciation of nature and the great outdoors. At boarding school in rural Zambia, Chileya cultivated passions for camping, hiking, exploring, rock-climbing and bird-watching. She went on to spend her university years abroad and following this her early career was spent in Media and Advertising until a golden opportunity to swap the big city life for the wilds of Lower Zambezi presented itself. Chileya jumped at the chance with open arms and hasn’t looked back since. She derives an enormous amount of joy from inspiring local and international travellers to explore one of Africa’s most magnificent wilderness frontiers while spoiling themselves to the safari luxury at Royal Zambezi Lodge. A country with vast beauty and diverse culture, Chileya intends to continue on her quest to motivate more and more people to fall in love with this part of the world, just as it has stolen a piece of her heart.
Sandra Musiyiwa was born and raised in Harare, Zimbabwe, and after completing high school, she had the fantastic opportunity to train as a beauty therapist with Silvana Redman for two years. This opportunity was the beginning of her exciting career adventures. Sandra was lucky to gain experience at a professional Spa in Mpumalanga, South Africa, for two years, where she got promoted and subsequently went to manage their branch in Pemba, Mozambique. After a further two years here, Sandra caught the travel bug and found an opportunity on a cruise ship that ultimately allowed her to explore the world while doing the work she is passionate about and loves. After her travels took her to Europe, Alaska and the Caribbean, Sandra decided it was time to go back to South Africa where she gained further experience at a Spa in Johannesburg before returning home to Zimbabwe to be with her family. We are happy to welcome Sandra and her diverse international experience to the Royal family and are looking forward to our guests treating themselves at the award-winning Royal Bush Spa.