Chantell McBain-Charles

Chantell is open-minded, inquisitive, and passionate about people, empowerment, learning and travel. She is a go-getter and sometimes afraid, but nothing stops her from making her dreams a reality. She is a wife, a mother (to adult children and furry babies), an entrepreneur, a lover of fun, wine, and nature. Chantell is the founder and owner of Chalan Africa Tours & Travel; an inbound tour operating company in Cape Town praised by travellers from around the world for more than a decade. She recently founded Food Safety S.A., a small enterprise offering food safety compliance & regulatory services to the hospitality industry. We spoke with Chantell to find out more about her journey.


How did you get started in the tourism and hospitality sector?

After graduating from the Applied Sciences faculty and spending more than 15 years working in quality management in the food manufacturing industry, I needed change and new stimulation so I took a leap of faith into the tourism industry and built my wings along the way. I started a new business in an industry I knew very little about but the time was right and it offered lots of potential. There were few barriers to entry but I had to learn fast as I had no prior working experience in tourism nor had I ever owned a business before. Since I love to travel personally and have a passion for people, it seemed a natural progression into this industry. As a business owner, I received funding and various forms of assistance from government and related organizations which was available at the time and helped me to build personal capacity and my brand. It also assisted us in gaining exposure and possible access to market share. The past 11 years has been a very exciting roller coaster ride with so many challenges and opportunities, and certainly worth the effort. I believe every day that life happens FOR me – not to me!


Why did you join Western Cape Women in Tourism?

To assist and empower women in this industry who form the majority of human capital in tourism but who are still being marginalized.


What are your top-3 must-do activities when visiting or exploring the Western Cape?

The Western Cape province is so vast with endless and varied activities. I would say my top-3 must do regions are: Cape Town, Garden Route and Cape Winelands.


Get in touch with Chantell at Chalan Africa Tours & Travel today by visiting their website.