Babette Alfieri, Founder & Owner
Africa Calls, Ltd., a small boutique travel company specializing in Southern and East African safaris, was founded by Babette Alfieri in 1989 and is registered in the US as a limited corporation. The permanent base of operation is in Santa Fe, New Mexico where Babette and her daughter, Christina Alfieri have established their office. Babette’s background in the travel industry began in 1971 with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines in their 5th Avenue, New York office. In 1974 she joined South African Airways in New York where she handled sales, marketing and public relations until she left in 1980 to join the prestigious tour operator, Abercrombie and Kent. She was Vice President of Sales Eastern USA with specific responsibility to develop special interest travel programs to Southern Africa with American Zoos and Museums. She designed and arranged many such programs until 1986 when A&K transferred her to Zambia’s magnificent Luangwa Valley, to handle all of their incoming Zambian clients. For the following three years she also traveled around the world marketing the company’s Southern African division. In 1989, she founded Africa Calls with the intention of offering unique adventures far off the beaten track, and away from the ever-increasing tourist crowds. Today Babette’s time is split between Zambia and Santa Fe.
Christina Alfieri, President & Owner
In 1995, Christina joined Babette full time at Africa Calls as her business partner. Prior to this, Christina’s career began in the finance and private banking field where she worked for Chase Manhattan Bank and Brown Brothers Harriman in Boston for eight years. Christina has traveled extensively throughout Southern Africa since early childhood, and brings a wealth of African knowledge and adventure travel experience to the company. Today Babette and Christina are continually updating Africa Calls with regular travels throughout Southern and East Africa to keep informed on the latest safari products, in addition to both accompanying selected small groups annually on safari. The entire administrative responsibility of the Africa Calls office is Christina’s domain. Her impeccable attention to detail has become Africa Calls’ trademark, and is illustrated by the number of repeat travelers and referrals that we receive. Africa Calls is consistently among the top ten producers for some of Southern Africa’s most prestigious safari camps and land operators. Africa Calls objective is not only to show you the true wilderness areas where wildlife abounds within Southern and East Africa, but where possible to also introduce you to the local people and communities. Should you desire you will have the opportunity to visit schools and clinics and to meet local artists, purchase their goods, and witness traditional ways of life. With over five decades of combined African experience, Africa Calls, Ltd. is able to offer their clients a truly customized safari of the highest caliber. The advantage of Babette living in Africa half of the year offers the significant benefit of being completely on top of the emerging tourist scene there, while at the same time having an intrinsic understanding of the US market and expectations of American tourists traveling to Africa. Africa Calls is uniquely positioned to ignite the spark of a dream safari to Africa here in the US, and to then be there in Africa to help make those dreams come true.
Karen Schwoerer, Office Manager
Karen Schwoerer joined Africa Calls in 2018 as Office Manager. Originally from a small town in Wisconsin, USA, Karen was drawn to Santa Fe, New Mexico, by a love of mountains and sunshine. Her career in office administration has previously afforded her opportunities in interior design, education, and healthcare, but travelling has long been her passion. Her adventures have brought her to, amongst other places, the beaches of Greece, the sunflower fields of Macedonia, the pyramids of Egypt, many a Parisian café, and national parks around the USA. Karen loves the outdoors and spends most of her spare time hiking, bicycling, and camping. She’s also a proponent of the circus arts and is often found hanging from a trapeze, stilting, or clowning. Africa is of particular interest to Karen, who studied African History, along with Anthropology and Linguistics, while studying at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.