Based in Benoni

Charmaine Higgins

Looking for help with your business travel? Find out how I can help here

It's Nice To Meet You

Thank you for visiting my website and welcome to Travel Counsellors, the Travel Company, that meets your expectations as a valued customer.

As a business owner - my professionalism, dedication and concierge service has brought me many coveted Awards. Best Travel Counsellor in South Africa for 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012. Gold Travel Counsellor status, Top Ten Beachcomber Premier Award for 2006, 2007 & 2009 and Top Beachcomber Consultant Award for 2007, 2008 & 2009.

These achievements are a result of the continued support from my loyal customers, their colleagues, family and friends.

As part of the Travel Counsellors group we have enormous buying power and I have access to over 700,000 hotels around the world, great airfare deals, tours and holiday packages to destinations of your dreams! How about waking up to the rhythm of the tropics; visiting one of the Indian Ocean Islands of Mauritius, the Seychelles or Madagascar to name just a few...

Uplift your soul, take a cruise on the Mediterranean, walk through the markets in Egypt, steeped in ancient history or see the happiness on your child’s face when they enter the Magical Kingdom of Disney World, Ski on the slopes of the Alps, relax on the beaches of Phuket, enjoy a night safari in Singapore, where as the sun sets, a different world with long lasting memories comes to life!

Take a train trip and be awed by the Rocky Mountains, enjoy the amazing views in Canada. Be astounded at the vibrancy in Rio and Las Vegas, visit the amazing cities of New York, Chicago, London, Paris and Venice to mention just a few, or simply take a weekend break to one of the many local Lodges, Hotels or Resorts in Southern Africa.

A unique difference that sets me apart is that I am available to assist you with these deals at a time that is convenient to YOU!

Kind regards,



Contact Me

Whatever your holiday needs I'm here to help you, so simply give me a call or send me an email with your contact details on and I can get things started for you:

Find me on social

My Videos

Let's start living our bucket list instead of dreaming it!


So proud to produce our new Brand Video, enjoy!

My Blog

I absolutely live and breathe travel and I love to write about my experiences! Please take a look through my posts - you might find your own holiday inspiration.

The Drakensberg

30 January 2009

Travelling within South Africa can be a wonderful experience and an amazing discovery. With a country so vast in beauty and splendour it is worth taking time out to experience what this beautiful country has to offer. Our trip to the Drakensberg came after a very active year-end holiday in Umhlanga on the North Coast of KwaZulu Natal. It was to be a time of relaxation and reflection on the year to come. It turned out to be one of the most amazing short holidays I have ever taken. The Drakensberg Gardens Golf and Leisure Resort is situated near Underberg in the Southern Drakensberg area it is about 3 hours from Durban and 5 hours from Johannesburg, from the time we left the main road to start winding our way through the mountains for about 20kms to the Hotel we were astounded at the beauty that surrounded us. With the mountain peaks reaching almost 2900 metres above sea level, you are surrounded by one magnificent mountain after the next. With an abundance of rivers and lakes this is truly a beautiful part of the Drakensberg. The Drakensberg Gardens Golf and Leisure Resort offers hotel accommodation as well as self-catering chalet accommodation, all with private facilities. The accommodation is comfortable, clean and spacious. This is a good family holiday destination that offers a lot of activities for children and adults alike. The Resort has 3 restaurants to choose from - The Eagles Roost Restaurant offers buffet style meals with a welcoming fireplace for cold winter nights. The Bistro offers lighter meals and stretches out over a Terrace where guests can enjoy the view of the mountains. The Vine-Knot Restaurant is a good choice for a more private and intimate dining experience. The resort also offers a lounge and bar permitting time to relax and enjoy a sun-downer with views of the surrounding valley and the Rhino Horn Peak in the distance. The Resort also offers a Wellness Centre which comprises of a fully equipped gym, sunbeds beside a cold plunge pool and indoor heated jet therapy pool, a steam room and two saunas as well as a Juice Bar. The Wellness Centre will be accessible to all visitors staying at the resort for a minimal cover charge. Other great activities available at The Drakensberg Gardens are tennis, bowls, volleyball, badminton, fishing, horse riding and squash. They also offer spectacular walks and hikes, or you can just enjoy a relaxing day next to the sparkling pool. Children activates include a games room that offers a variety of activities, babysitting facilities are also available. For keen golfers there is also the magnificent the Glengarry Golf 18 hole golf course. Ultimately it is one of the best destinations if you are seeking peace and tranquilly, with the beauty of nature surrounding you and the excitement of activity around you, a stay in the Drakensberg will leave you craving more!

Costa del Sol - Our International Conference

11 December 2008

The Costa del Sol is one of the most fascinating destinations in Europe. The fine beaches harmonise with the rugged landscape of the mountain ranges, with a wonder mild climate throughtout makes it a great destination for all. I recently was fortunate to attend the Travel Counsellors International Conference held in Marbella, Costa del Sol, in Spain. I was amazed by its beauty and outstanding accommodation. All lovers of tourism will be amazed at the beauty of the surrounding mountain ranges that rise up from the beaches in Marbella, within easy access to many tourist highlights. Attending our International Conference in this magical place was indeed an honour, I was accommodated at the Guadalpin Marbella Hotel, only 35 minutes from Malaga International Airport and 5 minutes from Puerto Banus. The Gran Hotel Guadalpin Marbella Spa - 5 Star is located in the Marbella "Golden Mile" 500 m away from the Old Town and 200 m from the Beach. The 117 luxurious double rooms and large luxury family suites with living room, kitchen and terraces with splendid mediterranean views, many of them also have a jacuzzi and private solarium. The choice of 3 restaurants offers an impressive gastronomical choice to all. I was able to sample the fantastic culture and sights that the Costa del Sol has to offer and gain a wealth of knowledge about this fantastic destination. This included visits to an array of hotels and a host of special excursions including wine tasting, golf, paella cooking, jeep excursions, flamenco dancing, rock climbing, abseiling, archery, mountain biking and a visit to Malaga and the famous Picasso Museum. Spain a thriving country, the Costa Del Sol features great tourist facilities, accommodation and beauty, with the Mediterranean Sea lapping at it's shores I highly recommend this destination for a holiday of exploration and relaxation. I had an amazing time at the conference in Marbella. It was a truly inspirational experience, the entertainment and activities were fantastic, the setting was amazing and I look forward to sharing the experience and the knowledge I have gained with my clients. During a glittering final awards ceremony, I was presented with the 'Best Travel Counsellor' award, this was the first award presented to a South African Agent following the launch of Travel Counsellors in South Africa a little over a year ago! I am delighted to have won such this prestigious award. Because Travel Counsellors has such amazing technology I can source holidays for my customers that simply aren’t available anywhere else and I think that combined with the fact that I always strive to give my customers the very best service means my business is growing faster than even I thought possible.

Sun, Sea and Island Living, Mauritius

09 September 2008

Travelling to Mauritius in August offers moderate temperatures of between 18 and 25 degrees Celsius, the gentle breeze off the Ocean is refreshing. A pleasant & comfortable time to visit Mauritius. The magnificent 4 Star Superior Le Victoria Hotel situated on the North West Coast between the tourist centre of Grand Bay and the capital Port Louis. The transfer from Mauritius Airport by road takes approximately 50 minutes by air-conditioned vehicle through the vibrant city of Port Louis. Our accommodation was spacious & comfortable with ensuite bathroom. All the rooms at Le Victoria are air conditioned and sea-facing. Choice of accommodation is available on a half-board (dinner & breakfast) or Serenity (all inclusive) basis. The Serenity package is highly recommended for those who enjoy three meals a day. Alcoholic drinks are pricey with water, soft drinks and the local beer at a reasonable price. The atmosphere at Le Victoria is one of family, with the sound of happy children and adults alike the hotel expresses its value to people and service. The friendly and helpful staff are there to host their guests with enthusiasm. The hotel boasts a beautiful wellness centre, spacious Gym, tennis courts on site and non-motorised sporting facilities The mini club at Le Victoria is located in an ideal area of the resort, with loads of planned activities under supervision available for children from 3 to 12 years. There are 3 fantastic restaurants to choose from at Le Victoria, the Buffet Restaurant - Le Superbe, boasts the most wonderful cuisine for breakfast & dinner which is also included in your stay, with lunch at an additional charge. La Casa offers Italian cuisine and & the Sea Food and Creole Restaurant - Le Horizon. The cuisine at these restaurants boasts some of the best food I have tasted! The Le Corail Bleu main bar at Le Victoria gives you the opportunity of watching the magnificent sunset over the Indian Ocean. Mauritius is an island of many aspects and it was with this in mind that we took the opportunity to do a full day excursion to explore the great diversity and richness of the local culture. We departed in an air-conditioned bus from Le Victoria, ventured through Port Louis at Peak hour, en-route to Trou aux Cerfs. Reflecting its volcanic origins Mauritius has a number of large and well-preserved craters. We visited the topmost rim of one of these, Trou aux Cerfs – seven million years old – which offers a unique and spectacular panoramic view. Bois Chéri is at the heart of the tea-growing region, a discovery of the secret preparation of the Mauritius national beverage. The sacred lake of Grand Bassin was our next stop. It is said that the Lake in Grand Bassin is connected to the great river of Ganges in India, Every year there is a pilgrimage by the Hindu community to honour their God Shiva. On we ventured taking a scenic tour of the beautiful sights and panoramas of the Central plateau, the region of the Plain Champagne unrolls its carpet of lush forests high up in the Black River National Park. We headed southwest to the region of Charmarel. This distinctive landscape is vibrant and colourful; it is a stunning geological phenomenon hewn out of the volcanic rock over aeons of time. Known as the land of seven colours. The winding descent took us along the edge of mountain slopes, through dense forests and green hills, offering spectacular views of the coastline. We enjoyed lunch at La Chamarel a superb restaurant nestled high up in the Black River Mountains. With a view from Le Morne to Black River. We returned via the coast travelling north to Le Victoria a journey of adventure behind us. Now we wanted to see the sea, we arrived at the undersea safari reception to be met by friendly staff, ferried from the beach of Mont Choisy by water we reached the Blue Safari Submarine. At a depth of 35 metres, in a pressurised cabin beneath the waves we discovered the sea is one of the most amazing discoveries. A ship wreck and Pirate ship anchor left from bygone days it is an excursion not to be missed. There is no avoiding that face to face contact is the best with your newfound friends of the sea! We checked out of Le Victoria hotel with heavy hearts and when our flight departed from Mauritius it was once again a bye for now wave as I look forward to my next visit!

Mauritius Paradise on Earth

31 July 2008

My Achiever Award Trip to Mauritius started with a short four hour flight from Johannesburg to Mauritius. With the blue sky above, the clear blue waters below, there was excitement within me to explore this paradise island located off the East Coast of Africa. I was en-route to an exciting four day trip, to attend the Top Ten Travel Agent Achievement awards with Beachcomber Mauritius. Our destination: The wonderful 5 Star Superior Paradis Hotel, located on Le Morne Peninsula. My first glance of Mauritius as we approached was the magnificent reef that surrounds the island. It hugged the coast line like a comfort blanket, protecting this jewel of rich green tropical trees and white beaches. Our flight on British Airways was comfortable and the service was awesome, we arrived in Mauritius refreshed and excited about our visit. After a short trip in our air-conditioned vehicle from the airport we arrived at Paradis, I was pleasantly surprised by the beauty of the gardens and lagoon spread out before me. As we drove through the gates a sweeping 18 hole golf course could be seen to our left. We arrived at a time when the sun was slowly setting over the sea which turning it to gold. I had arrived in heaven! As you enter the reception area of Paradis you have a view of the wonderful open areas that spread out all the way to the beach. The shoreline at Paradis stretches for seven kilometres around the Le Morne Peninsula, with accommodation ranging from superior and deluxe rooms, to junior and senior suites. The hotel also has 13 Luxury villas built along a private beach where guests have the option of a private seaside holiday. The public areas are close to the beach with a sparkling blue pool close by. A magnificent pub area spreads out next to the pool area, serving island cocktails to be enjoyed on a hot summer day. There are four restaurants on site and the hotel also shares three other restaurants with its sister hotel Dina Robin, another fantastic 5 Star Deluxe hotel close by. Our room; a Junior Suite was located on the first floor; the suite was beautiful, spacious and comfortable with a lounge area leading out onto the patio from where there was a lovely view of the sea. The bathroom / dressing room is huge offering relaxation for the weary needing rejuvenation after an exciting day in the sun. The hotel facilities include a host of excellent sporting facilities both on land and sea, with 5 kilometre of beach it offers world class game fishing with Marlin breeding grounds close by. To top it all off a wonderful Spa which I can personally recommend, offering the best health and beauty treatments, a perfect place to unwind after a day on the 18 hole championship golf course. Our stay included a wonderful boat trip out to sea, to swim with the dolphins. This was truly wonderful experience being able to behold these lovely creatures in their own environment, swimming and playing in the waves and giving us permission to spend some quality time with them. It was an awesome experience that I will never forget and highly recommended to all who visit Mauritius. We were welcomed onboard a Catamaran cruise around the peninsula, being spoilt and relaxed with a glass of champagne, we enjoyed a buffet lunch prepared onboard and with a view of the sea beyond the reef the experience ensured an ultimate end to a most perfect day. I was proud to receive my Top Ten Achievement award held at a celebration dinner at Paradis during my stay. The evening was amazing! The resident Paradis Chef’s prepared a gastronomic feast of Creole dishes and dessert. A saga band and local dancers entertained us and our hosts ensured it would be an unforgettable experience. I was honoured with sixth place in South Africa that evening and on my return to South Africa also received the Top Consultant award in South Africa for 2007. I spent 4 days on this Paradise Island, and left with love in my heart and excitement to share my wonderful experience with the world. My dearest wish has just come true as I look forward to another trip in a few weeks to Mauritius - Watch this space for an update. Mauritius – where past and present meet to combine with splendour and beauty for all to behold and enjoy!

Walt Disney World

28 October 2008

Walt Disney World Florida is 112 square kilometres of fun - Where Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck reign! We arrived at Orlando Airport and boarded the Monotrain to the Walt Disney World Resort. The Resort stretches for 112 KM square, with hotel accommodation from 3 Star to 5 Star (in abundance) in and around the Resort. We disembarked from the Monotrain and were quickly transferred to our hotel in one of the many buses transporting people within the resort. Disney's Yacht & Beach Resorts offer New England quaintness from the 1870s! All the style and exclusivity of a real Yacht Club and everything from hard-wood floors to host and hostess attire evokes images of New England seashore hotels of the past century. Here you step back in time but forward in hospitality! Within walking distance of Epcot and a boat ride away from Disney-MGM Studios. We checked in and unpacked to begin our 5 day trip of Fun and happiness! With our Walt Disney World 5 day Hopper Pass we could venture to all the Walt Disney Parks, transportation between these were easy to navigate, we boarded the boat for a short ride to Disney-MGM Studios. Indiana Jones welcomed us with his Epic Stunt Spectacular show, from a Back-lot Studio Tour to the Hunchback of Notre Dame - a musical adventure, from Him Henson's Muppet vision in 3D to Beauty and the Beast, a live show to keep you entranced! Experience the Tower Of Terror - Twilight Zone, a ride not recommended for the tame at heart, enjoy the ultimate Star Wars Thrill ride and "Honey, I shrunk the kids" it is all there! Walt Disney World Resort also features The Magic Kingdom Park where small children will be delighted to meet their favourite Disney Characters. Mickey Mouse, Goofy and Donald Duck roam the Park spreading joy to children and adults alike. Enjoy Peter Pan's Flight or take in Mickey's Toontown Fair, enjoy a ride on the Walt Disney World Railroad or Space Mountain, the Alien Encounter or the Legend of the Lion King, everywhere you go you are entertained in this Magical world of fun! Magic Mountain sends you down a ravine at 40 miles per hour, plus a 5 story plunge, and splash comes the water! Enjoy a leisurely cruise on Lady Liberty or take a walk around the Indian Camp where Pochantas sits weaving her mat! The best of all was Epcot, an ever-changing world of Discovery - a holiday experience to amaze, entertain and inspire you. Epcot is about the future and the achievements that make it possible. Let your imagination run wild as you enjoy the 3D adventure of "Honey I shrunk the Audience". Jump into the driver's seat to test the transportation of the future. Take in the ever-changing wonder of Innovations! It's family-friendly all the way! Cap off your Epcot Evenings with the Spectacular IllumiNations - a fire work display featuring the Nations of the World in all its splendour! Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach - both water parks give you the opportunity to enjoy the sunshine while taking in some of the best water rides in the world! The Blizzard Beach Legend tells of a Meteorological phenomenon of the strangest order, a freak winter storm developed over the western end of Walt Disney World and covered the area with a thick blanket of snow, before you could enjoy your "hot cocoa" plans were underway for Florida's first ski resort. From Ski lifts to toboggan runs were laid down and an entire resort area blossomed around the mountain of snow. This is the home of the tallest and fastest water slide in the world. The Ski resort became known as Blizzard Beach, the most slushy, slippery, exhilarating water park anywhere! Downtown Disney - The Heart of a City on a corner of Disney's World. The Downtown Disney area is an all-day, all-night big city playground featuring the best fun from the hottest spots on the planet. Downtown Disney Pleasure Island - Visit an Island filled shore-to-shore with spectacular clubs, dazzling live stage shows and an Island-wide New Year's Eve party every night! The service, the people, the entertainment at Walt Disney World Florida is top class and we left there yearning for more! An experience of a lifetime, this destination is highly recommended for loads of family fun (adults and children alike).

Fantastic Rio

10 September 2008

We arrived on a balmy Sunday afternoon at Rio De Janeiro, after clearing customs and immigration, we boarded our bus to start a 4 night trip that would amaze and astound me! The air had a sweet scented smell which I was to find out was the smell of fuel made from the Sugar cane that they used to fuel their vehicles. We passed through the city of Rio, headed for Copacabana, 4 kilometres of fine, gold sand swept between the headlands of Leme and Arpoador, to form Copacabana, the world’s most famous beach, countless bars and restaurants overflow onto its wide, mosaic sidewalks. The beach is irresistible, but Copacabana offers much more. Here is Rio’s major concentration of hotels, from the luxurious to the simple. Restaurants include some of the best in the city. On Avenida Nossa Senhore de Copacabana, and its side streets, boutiques and modern shops display chic Brazilian fashions. Facing the beach on Avenida Atlantica, with the world famous Copacabana Palace hotel was our destination. Downtown Rio – no doubt about it, there are quieter and more peaceful places than downtown Rio. Yet, if one really wants to experience the very nerve of this great city, then this is the place to go. It is the area where the once small town of Rio de Janeiro began. There it grew to become what it is today: a densely crowded metropolis with hundreds of tall office buildings, including a great number of sleek skyscrapers. It is here where hundreds of thousands of Cariocas work; mostly in air-condition offices, banks, stores and public institutions. Avenida Rio Branco is, with the exception of Avenida President Vargas, the most important main street. It practically cuts the “Centro” right through the middle. This bustling avenue with its narrow cross-streets delineates the commercial and financial heart of Rio. In the streets there is the ear-shattering noise of heavy traffic and as an alternate the ultra-modern, silent subway underground. The downtown area is also Rio’s most important cultural centre with a remarkable number of theatres, one of them being Teatro Municipal – which is virtually a true copy of the Paris Opera House. The National Museum of the fine Arts is a must to visit; it overlooks central Avenida Rio Branco and is scenically located on the shore of Guanabara Bay. Rio’s modern Cathedral, with stained glass windows towering 80 metres above the altar, is a triumph of modern architecture. The old Imperial residence, the Sao Bento Monastery (1641) and the 42 arches of Lapa’s aqua duct are just three examples of historic importance. A visit to Corcovado was part of our itinerary. Due to its privileged location, the impressive 710 metres high Corcovado offers a fantastic, 360 degree panoramic view of the entire city. The Corcovado sightseeing tour includes a ride on the modern Swiss cog-wheel train, which leave from its station and reaches the top after a lovely 16 minute trip through a rich and dense tropical forest. There on the peak of the mountain, the statue of Christ the Redeemer, with arms opened wide as if he were blessing the city below. It stands an impressive 38 metres high with a width of 28 metres and weighs 1,450 tons. You really haven’t seen Rio, unless you have seen it from Corcovado. Then onto Sugar Loaf, to the east, Rio’s most well known symbol, the sold 396 metres high granite rock, named ”Pao de Acucar” or Sugar Loaf stands like a motionless sentinel, overlooking the entry of the enormous Guanabara Bay. Nowadays it is quite easy to reach the peak of the mountain in a modern and comfortable cable-car. The ascent is divided in two parts, each of which takes note more than a few minutes. After the first ride you find yourself on the top of the “Morro da Urca” at 230 metres. Here is the first spectacular outlook of Botafogo Bay, the Yacht Club, Flamengo Park, Downtown Rio and the mountains. After a two minute walk you reach the next station, where you take another cable-car. The second part of the trip takes you right up to the top of the Sugar Loaf itself. The panoramic view that will unfold before you is something I will never forget, be it during the day of after sundown it is not to be missed! Fantastic Rio! It lives up to its name and a must to visit!

My customer stories

Sent by Peter Van Der Ree

I had the pleasure to spend 3 excellent weeks in South-Africa, consisting of the perfect mixture between Safari, travelling and exploring the countryside as well having leisure time in the beautiful Cape Town. Although business wise, I already was a few times in South-Africa I never used the opportunity to visit the gorgeous country together with the family. In order to avoid that this intention remains a wish or a dream I decided in 2022 to make this happen. The interesting part is that I know both business wise as well privately a lot of South-Africans but my first attempts to ask them to make for me a nice itinerary was everything except successful. Finally one business partner recommended me Charmaine Higgins and to use her service however based upon a No Cure No Pay concept. However I am my business partner still extremely grateful to put me in contact with Charmaine as she was the initial missing link to make this one of the best trips ( if not the best ) in my life. Charmaine carefully listened to my wishes, made excellent suggestions and even after sometimes accepting an initial proposal she reached out once again in case she found an alternative to discuss if this would not even be better. So as a conclusion, she really goes the extra mile, both before but also after booking. As it is clear that this was for sure not my last family Holiday to South-Africa I will for sure use her services again but can highly recommend to work with her in order to make sure your itinerary will be perfectly organized.

Sent by Samantha Stanier

Both Garry and I wanted to thank you for all the effort and time that went into not only organising our trip, but being available to change hotels and amend car hire at all hours. Garry and I are very appreciative of your assistance, always. Thank you again for making our trip so special. I will carry the memories with me forever. It was not possible without you. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.

Sent by Constance Fraundorfer

What a wonderful experience to deal with Charmaine, she made our trip even more enjoyable and special with her attention to detail, caring, and excellent service. She is very highly recommended!

Sent by Patricia Connor

My partner and I are going to France at the end of the year. Charmaine has been absolutely amazing. She has worked out a wonderful itinerary for us and got the best prices for what we were looking for. Charmaine has made this whole trip for us feel so exciting and we can wait to see the real thing. Charmaine is extremely efficient and I would not hesitate to use her again.

Sent by Cynthia Marais

It was an absolute pleasure dealing with Charmaine Higgins. It was a first time overseas trip for me and had so many questions and fears, that when addressed no matter how silly, small or unimportant really, she was so helpful and went the extra mile to put me at ease. All our documents were perfect, booking as it should be. I would highly recommend her.

Sent by Andrew Dunn

We have had nothing but fantastic service and personal care. Nothing is too much. We greatly appreciate your ongoing commitment and support.