We Got This

With over twenty years in the safari industry across Africa, we know our experience is unrivalled when it comes to insider knowledge, seamless logistics, and contacts across Africa. Your journey will be planned with enthusiasm and energy - combining what we know inside out, what we care most about, and what we love doing best. With offices in Somerset West, South Africa and Hampshire in the UK, we are available to clients across the globe.

Deborah Kemp-White

Co-Founder and The Fundi*

Deborah’s career began in the mid-nineties as one of the first female guides in Africa.  With over 25 years in the field of luxury African travel and working at both grassroots and a senior management level, Deborah oversaw the evolution of some of the most exclusive  travel in Africa (including Singita, Mombo, Duma Tau, Mwiba, Serra Cafema). But she also ensured that any developments went hand in hand with a positive impact on conservation and local communities. Her commitment to the industry has created an unrivalled network of contacts across the continent, and an intimate understanding of the travel industry in Africa. 

After spending many years with the travellers from across the globe, Deborah understands not only the financial aspect responsibility of a trip, but also the importance of another person’s time. Creating an itinerary that is an intelligent use of that time and one that is nuanced and subtle in its adventure and education requires a breadth of understanding of many elements.  Insight achieved only after a lifetime of living and working within Africa.

Deborah founded Lankester White Safaris to ensure guests benefit from that insight and deliver a safe and authentic experience.  Her ability to create the most personal of itineraries puts Lankester White Safaris in an unparalleled position in African travel.

She has made lifelong friends whose arms still reach out wide in a network of loyal and passionate people who all want Africa to shine. There is no corner of the industry she does not understand. Her knowledge is encyclopaedic and her reputation within the industry is legendary.

*An East African term –  Fundi means a particularly skilled person or master craftsman, an expert or genius. 

Jo Lankester

Co-Founder and Director*

Jo accidentally left Africa after completing her degree. And while embracing a different life in London, a three year stint in the world of finance was enough for Jo to leave the square mile for good and focus her energy on her heritage and roots. Deeply committed to Africa, Jo resumed her work for conservation and drew on her specialisation in AIDS and Sex Education for effective community development across southern Africa.

Her involvement has consistently been the protection of Africa’s natural heritage and understanding the best means of supporting children in poverty stricken circumstances. Projects as diverse as Flora and Fauna International, the South African National Biodiversity Institute (more commonly known as the Kirstenbosch stand) at the Chelsea Flower Show for ten years,  setting up an NGO to support those at the front line of child abuse or working with charities who support children affected by AIDS and poverty.  Programmes that need to be sustainable and accountable in order to be effective for the communities they serve. 

Extensive travel across Africa with sister Deborah gave Jo a thorough understanding of African travel and she came to know so well the diverse and dedicated people across the safari industry. Exploring unknown corners of the continent with Deb (often with 4 children in tow) Jo built up an invaluable understanding of African travel logistics, what travellers want, how best lodges and camps can deliver, and who really is putting back into communities and conservation.

Surrounded by discerning travellers who were time short and intellectually demanding,  Jo built a reputation for not only being extremely well-connected but passionate, knowledgable and honest on the topic. Those in the know soon knew who to ask when seeking advice on how best to journey to Africa.

By the time the business was started, Jo and Deb already had a core of loyal supporters who had enjoyed the privilege of their insightful and extensive experience.

* Debs always was the coolest of the sisters. 

Diana 'Bat' Colquhoun

Operations Manager

Formerly a Goldman Sachs client relationship manager, Diana ‘Bat’ Colquhoun left the city to follow her heart and family footsteps ‘back’ to Africa. And quite literally – her great-great uncle was Ewart Grogon, the first European to document their walk from the Cape to Cairo. With extended family in Kenya, Bat has loved exploring East Africa with her own sons and introducing them to not only the wonders of safari – but also the excitement and sport to be found on the shores of the Indian Ocean.  Since joining Lankester White, Bat has added significantly to her personal experience of Africa and is now extremely well versed in travels throughout Kenya, as well as a sound knowledge of the Congo and Botswana. 

Bat’s combination of banking savvy, an eye for detail and experience as a parent who travels extensively has resulted in Bat becoming an essential cog in the Lankester White team.