The BelAfrique team of experts

Let's start planning your African adventure of a lifetime!

Isabelle Dechamps

Owner & Director at Belafrique

Hello, I am Isabelle Dechamps, the founder of BelAfrique. I was born and bred in Antwerp in Belgium but I have been living happily in Cape Town in South Africa for over 15 years. Or rather I should say “Africa has been living in me” because once bitten by the contagious African love bug, it stays with you forever. And gladly so! The people, the beauty, the lifestyle and not to forget, the adventure Africa has to offer, it all fits me like a glove. But sharing all these experiences with you excites me even more. I like to call myself the Mary Poppins of Travel. I want to share my love and passion for Africa and making sure that you have a wonderful journey is my mission. Talk to me, write to me, share with me. I love to listen and will poke you until I have all the ingredients I need. This is what I enjoy doing and what I do best: translating all your information into a perfectly TAILOR MADE HOLIDAY just for you. At BelAfrique, we don’t just book a hotel, we offer you A LIFE TIME OF EXPERIENCES. My favourite African word “Ubuntu” is a word often used by Nelson Mandela & Desmond Tutu, which in simple terms means “I’m happy, if you are happy”. The English equivalent is probably “No man is an island”, I therefore try to surround myself with like-minded people & BelAfrique is very proud & happy to say that a few kindred spirits keenly joined BelAfrique’s philosophy to share our passion with you.

Sophie Van den Hove

Senior travel consultant

All my life I have had a deep passion for travel and have wanted to explore this world as much as possible. Almost a decade ago, I got an opportunity to do an internship at a Tour Operator in Cape Town and for me, this is when the magic all started... I fell absolutely head over heels in love with the city, with South Africa and indeed with the whole African continent. For 2 years after this experience, my travels led me to other parts of the world like Australia and Asia and I spent some time back in Belgium, my country of birth. But I realised how much I missed Africa and its alluring rhythm and made the decision to settle down in Cape Town, which I now happily call home, along with my husband, my daughter and my dog. This country has so much to offer, it is easy to see why I was swept away by its diversity. Whether it is beaches, mountains, flowers, animals, cultures, cuisine... you name it, you'll find it here. Cape Town is my favourite city, its natural beauty is indescribable. Imagine a small, compact city that on one side is entirely surrounded by mountains with funny shapes - Table Mountain, Lions Head, Signal Hill - and on the other side, it hugs the ocean. It is a vibey city with many different cultures and lots of trendy places to hang out at. But it isn't just South Africa that holds my heart, being in the tourism industry for a decade, I have been very lucky to have the opportunity to do a lot of travelling all over Southern Africa and every trip was a totally different experience: from a desert to a tropical environment, every place I visited was unique and special. I have spent many years creating many unforgettable trips for my guests and I really look forward to the opportunity of sharing my love and passion for Africa with you!

Sarah Phitides

Sales & Marketing Manager

Hello, I'm Sarah, your travel expert on all things in Southern Africa.  I am South African born and bred and have a deep love and passion for this beautiful continent that I luckily get to call home. When I'm not soaking up the sun on my local beach or spending time with family and friends, my favourite thing to do is go travelling and nothing beats a long road trip with a stop in the African bush! I have travelled the length and breadth of Southern & East Africa and everywhere in between and despite all my travels, I still get goosebumps from all the experiences that this gorgeous part of the world has to offer. I have a passionate love affair with Africa and I fall even deeper in love with her when I meet her friendly people, see her wild animals and stand in awe in one of her beautiful places. I studied at the University of Cape Town completing a Bachelor of Commerce in Politics, Philosophy & Economics (Dean's Merit List) and then a Post-Graduate Diploma in Tourism Management (placed First in Class). After a few stints of living and travelling overseas, I returned to South Africa and have been working in the tourism industry for close on a decade. I am devoted to conservation and responsible tourism and my favourite thing about what I do for a living (other than the numerous travel opportunities and that I get paid to do what I love) is that through my skills and experience, I get to share my love and passion with like-minded individuals and at the same time make a positive contribution to the sustainable development of a continent that has given me so much to be thankful for.

Platon Trakoshis

Your personal fly-fishing expert

Growing up in Zimbabwe, I went fishing with my father virtually every weekend. It was a mild obsession for him and the gene was passed onto to me. As fun as it was catching Bream in the often muddy, still water dams of my youth, there was always something alluring about fishing running crystal clear water. Finally one day, I had the opportunity the to fish in Nyanga, Zimbabwe’s eastern highlands, full of crystal clear lakes and streams and the thrill of catching my first Trout on fly has never left me. Living in Cape Town for a fly fisherman is paradise. Only an hours drive out of the city, one can be knee deep in crystal clear, free stone streams, framed by huge rugged mountain peaks and beautiful fynbos, sight fishing to free rising wild Trout.  Spending the day slowly fly fishing upstream with a leisurely lunch next to a cascading pool and even a dip if it’s hot, is one of the best ways to spend a day in the Cape. I have been fly fishing the Cape streams for around 22 years now and still get excited when preparing for a trip. I love fishing but also get great pleasure from showing fishermen the beauty of the Cape streams.

Alex De Grootte

Junior travel consultant

Hello! I am Alexandra De Groote - the new trainee at BelAfrique. I originally come from Belgium and count both French and Dutch as my mother tongues. 

I am currently studying Travel & Tourism Management at the Charles Peguy institute, in Louvain- la-Neuve. After finishing off my final exams in the past two years both with the highest distinctions and enjoying my studies so much it became clear to me that the Tourism industry must be my destiny!

The reason that I wanted to leave Belgium and Europe for my internship was that I wanted a total change in my life. I wanted to get out of my everyday routine, discover new places, people and breath-taking landscapes so my curiosity brought me here – to South Africa. 

I like a challenge and I'm so glad I have been given the opportunity to come here and be part of BelAfrique’s team! The atmosphere in this travel agency is great! I feel everyone is passionate and completely involved with what they are doing which, in my opinion, is the most important part of a job. I can say confidently both you and I are in very good hands here at BelAfrique!

So what can I offer you when you contact BelAfrique: I am here to learn and I promise you that I will give my very best so that you can enjoy your holidays worry-free following the motto of “Hakuna Matata”(no worries)!

South Africa is definitely worth the trip because it just overflows with beautiful places, sights, wild animals and other great things. And I would love to share all this gorgeousness with you!