ULENDO SAFARIS (MALAWI) LIMITEDThe ULENDO group of companies is widely considered to be Malawi’s premier Tour Operator and Travel Service Provider having been fortunate to enjoy steady growth since our inception as a small marketing agent and inbound tour operator in 1998. The superb support we have received from the corporate and leisure markets, on both domestic and international fronts, have allowed ULENDO to expand rapidly and offer our clients the widest range of travel related products in the country.
Our initial mandate focused on generating inbound international tourism from European and North American markets for our original partners – Club Makokola Limited. The partnership was designed to utilise support services and ground handling of ULENDO SAFARIS for guests travelling to Mfuwe Lodge and The Bushcamp Company in Zambia as well as Club Makokola in Malawi. A decision was made in 2002 to buy out Club Makokola’s interest and until early in 2010, the company was a family owned operation with Rob and Lindsay McConaghy holding the majority share with other family members holding the balance of shares in the group. Recently a 25% interest in Ulendo has been acquired by the new owners of Kaya Mawa Lodge on Likoma Island and we believe obvious synergies exist for both companies to complement each other while retaining their own unique identities.
Over a period of time Ulendo's ground handling services expanded to fill areas where we felt local service providers failed to meet market requirements. A major area of expansions was into airline reservations and ticketing and in 1999 we obtained our IATA accreditation and started handling select clients flight requirements. Our steady growth in the market has allowed us to introduce new products and we continue to strive towards providing a first world travel service regardless of the local operating difficulties. In the last financial year Ulendo’s efforts were recognised by our key airline partners when we received top agent awards by South African Airways, British Airways, KLM and Kenya Airways in Malawi.
In 2003 ULENDO established a new division that handles airline representation and currently we act as General Sales agents for Zambian Airways and Jet Airways. Unfortunately British Airways closed their sales offices across Africa at the end of April 2007 – this included the termination of our representation agreement with both BA and Qantas for Malawi – we do however continue to enjoy a very close relationship with these carriers. zambia's new commercial carrier, Zambezi Airlines, launch scheduled services using a Boeing 737-500 aircraft between malawi and Lusaka as well as Dar es Salaam. Ulendo act as their General Sales Agents for the Malawi Market.
The Ulendo Group of Companies range of travel services are clearly defined through the following areas of operation:
- ULENDO SAFARIS
Inbound Tours, Ground Handling & Destination Management
- ULENDO FLYER
Corporate and Leisure Travel & IATA accredited airline ticketing agent.
- ULENDO TRAVEL CENTRE
Outbound Tours & Leisure Travel
- ULENDO LODGES
Lodge and Guest House Management <
Executive Car Hire & Transfer Services
NYASA EXPRESS Scheduled & Charter Aviation Services (currently dormant)
JOURNEYS OF DISCOVERY Airline Representation
Our brand enjoys considerable international market recognition and is synonymous with professional ground handling and DMC services to both Malawi and Zambia. Our team of travel consultants work closely with tour operators from the United Kingdom, Europe and North America developing itineraries for tailor made individual top end clients, incentive travel and package holidays. We are represented in Europe by Gondwana DMC and their global network of sales representatives (see www.gondwana-dmcs.net), while GEO Associates work with the UK market to promote Malawi and Ulendo’s services in what has traditionally proved to be our strongest source of international business. Our international sales and marketing efforts are closely co-ordinated with the Ministry of Tourism and Ulendo can be found participating at key international travel trade shows and events. Growth in this sector of the company is encouraging and we anticipate Inbound Tours accounting for approximately 20% of our annual sales in 2008/09.
JOURNEYS OF DISCOVERY
Acting as a consolidator for Ulendo’s ticketing and corporate travel services division. Until the end of 2007 all airline ticketing was handled through Ulendo Safaris. A decision was made to move this aspect of our operations to a separate legal entity so as to meet IATA requirements that prevent an accredited agent from representing and carrier as a GSA or holding an interest in an IATA designated airline (see Nyasa Express below). We are proud to enjoy enormous support from the Malawi market and hold a number of key accounts generating encouraging levels of sales support for our travel services. These include, but are not limited to:
UNDP / UNICEF, DEPARTMENT FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT (DFID), BRITISH HIGH COMMISSION, US EMBASSY, USAID, WORLD BANK, AFRICAN BIBLE COLLEGE, GERMAN EMBASSY, ALLIANCE ONE TOBACCO, LIMBE LEAF TOBACCO, AFRICA LEAF TOBACCO, STANDARD BANK
We currently operate from our main sales offices in capital City, Lilongwe. A team of 10 sales consultants are dedicated to corporate travel and are able to offer a full range of travel services to the domestic market. New sales outlets will be opened during the cource of 2010 at key retail centres to better meet domestic travel demands through high street travel agencies.
Taking advantage of technology available to us through our GDS (Amadeus), The Ulendo Group invested in E-Power, an online agency booking engine powered by Amadeus. This service was the first of it’s kind in sub-Saharan Africa and Amadeus first agent to launch the product in the region. We are able to offer customers access to flight information, live seat availability, quotations and make reservations through Ulendo’s website. Passengers and account holders can book flights, car hire and hotels worldwide using this service and manage their own bookings.
Our accredited office enjoys ticketing facilities with more carriers than any other agent in Malawi and through our relationships with these key airlines we are able to ensure our passengers have a wider variety of travel options and more competitive fares when booking through Journeys of Discovery.
Ticketing facilities are currently in place with the following airlines:
KL KLM / QM Air Malawi / AF Air France
MK Air Mauritius / UM Air Zimbabwe / PO Proflight (Zambia)
BA British Airways / QF Qantas / DL Delta
QR Qatar / ET Ethiopian Airlines / SA South African Airways
CX Cathay Pacific / 9W Jet Airways / VS Virgin
KQ Kenya Airways / ZJ Zambezi Airlines
Ticket sales and Corporate travel generated through this aspect of operations accounts for the bulk of our sales turn over with sales projections for the 2009/10 financial year to grow by approximately 15% and reach a target of US$7,5 million for air travel.
ULENDO TRAVEL CENTRE
Through our commercial agreements with internationally respected tours operators such as Thompson’s Tours and Kuoni, Ulendo offer an extensive range of hotels and tour products to the domestic market wishing to visit regional and international holiday destinations. We participate in Expedia's online agents link to access live hotel, car hire and ground services around the world and extend competitive rates to Ulendo customers by taking advantage of the discounted rates our partner operators negotiate based on volume of sales. Our tours teams offer both tailor made and package holidays as well as incentive tours, conferences and business travel. Destinations we currently feature in our product include South Africa, Zambia, East Africa, Egypt, Indian Ocean Islands and Namibia. Our focus for 2008 is to expand our product to Europe, Middle East and North America and will also include a wholesale operation for smaller local agencies wishing to offer similar products to their clients.
The recent launch of ULENDO EXPLORER self drive and escorted transfer services represents an exciting initiative to add quality driving holidays and professional transfer services to the countries tourism product. Ulendo have invested in a fleet of new vehicles including Toyota Fortuner 4x4’s, Toyota Corollas and Quantum 14 seater buses. Plans are underway to secure specially adapted Land Cruisers in 2009 for tourism initiatives in some of the regions less accessible areas. This project represents a substantial investment by the group and is proving popular with both corporate and leisure travellers alike.
Ulendo hold a 51% interest in Nyasa Express and have extensive experience in local aviation operations which began with a joint charter venture, Sefofane Air Charters (Malawi) in 1998. Ulendo represented a 30% interest in a partnership between Wilderness Safaris and Sefofane Botswana to operate charter flights in the Malawi market – this operation was replaced with Ulendo Air Services in 2002 and evolved into Nyasa Express. Nyasa Express held designation as a Malawian carrier and had anticipated launching both domestic and regional scheduled services in 2008. An investment and technical partner for the venture has yet to be secured and the project is currently on hold pending agreement with potential investors.
Ulendo’s ongoing commitment to developing the travel industry in Malawi and flexibility in our approach to regional travel has contributed enormously to the growth of our company. Future projects for Ulendo include the development of a range of top end lodges and historical homes in the region and the possible expansion of Inbound Tour operations and ground handling to include Zambia.
CURRENT CORPORATE STRUCTURE
Company Name: ULENDO SAFARIS LIMITED
Registration Number: 5318 (May 1998)
Journeys of Discovery (IATA 61-2 1000 4)
Nyasa Express Limited
Satemwa Ulendo Lodges
Chairman: Charles Clark O.B.E. (UK)
Company Secretary: Alan Chinula (MW)
R.G. McConaghy (MW) - Managing
L.B.McConaghy (UK) - Tours
K.Mwalweni (MW) - Flight Sales
D.Clark (UK) - non-executive
james Lightfoot (UK) - non-executive
Nick Brown (UK) - non-executive
Registered Head Office:
441 Chilanga Drive
PO Box 30728