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By: Tendai Bushe
Michael Phiri commonly known as Mike is a senior driver for Tours Africa. He has been working with Dave Seaman for 11 years and they have built a relationship based on hard work, lots of laughs and the love of excellent customer service. Mike loves that his job is not fixed and his work schedule changes depending on what is on the books. Sometimes his day is filled with airport pick ups and hotel drop offs but other days he takes guests out on the town to explore Lusaka. Mike says he loves city tours because he gets to talk to guests and engage with them.
“Initially, I wanted to be a teacher so when I am doing city tours, I feel like I am in the teaching profession,” he said with a chuckle.
The most important thing Mike likes to relay to guests is that Zambia is a very peaceful nation. He wants them to be at ease knowing that they are safe, even when they go through crowded areas, he wants them to be calm and have peace of mind. Zambians are known to be friendly and hospitable and Mike agrees with that but he adds that warmth and hospitality is not unique to Zambia, that is something that is common in many African countries. He highlights that something unique about Zambia is the cultural background as there are 73 ethnic tribes each contributing something different and special to Zambia as a whole. It is a privilege to share Zambia with tourists and even more so with return guests. We always want people to come back again, he stated.
Mike is married to his lovely wife Pegrina, and they have 2 sons. His responsibilities as a family man are his number one priority. Despite the harsh economic climate, he has an obligation to provide for his family. Mike explains that COVID has affected him in many ways but mainly economically and that has been a challenge but he is trusting that as the pandemic is controlled more guests will return to Zambia and cash inflow will increase. The tourism industry, along with many others, has been hit hard because of the pandemic but Mike believes the silver lining is that they will value their clients even more. The Tours Africa team are currently thinking of different ways to make clients happier and to add to their stay in Lusaka. The pandemic has given us all time to take a break and rethink and reset, this is a good thing for the development and planning of new ideas.
Currently Tours Africa offers Meet and Greet Services on arrivals and departures into Lusaka Airport, City Tours in Lusaka and transfer services in and around Lusaka and also to other drivable destinations such as Kafue and Lower Zambezi. Over the last year Tours Africa has implemented a new service to cover Covid testing and make life easier for clients who require a Negative PCR test for their onward connections. The Covid testing facilitation service comes in two parts. They can organize directly with CIDRZ and transfer clients to and from the lab to get swabbed then pick up results on client’s behalf or they can organize remote testing at the camps, lodges and hotels and have the swabs sent back to Lusaka for processing and then pick up the results on behalf of the clients. The two options give clients more flexibility and Tours Africa prides itself on being flexible and doing what they can to meet clients at their point of need.
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