Our Story

 

Our Story

Africa, Madagascar & Latin America specialists

Born from one man’s deep love of Africa and unrelenting passion for responsible travel, Rainbow Tours began with a handful of people and an adventure to South Africa. It’s a love and dedication that remains, and drives us to pioneer new destinations and find new ways to explore well-trodden routes. Rainbow Tours now offer quality tailor-made holidays and group travel throughout Africa and Latin America and are proud to be the UK’s leading tour operator to Madagascar.

When Roger Diski established Rainbow Tours in 1997 he wanted to show that Africa was a place to be fallen in love with – not pitied. It was a belief that grew from his own experiences. Encountering majestic wildlife, grand landscapes and exotic cultures drove him to spearhead responsible travel through Africa.

Every journey he made forged long-lasting relationships with the communities visited and Roger ensured that each unique, handcrafted trip combined unforgettable experiences with ensuring that tourism actively benefited local people, without compromising on fun. His ethos remains at the heart of Rainbow’s core values today; each of our tours is carefully constructed to support the conservation of wildlife, protect surrounding natural landscapes and further development in our host communities.  

But with a name like Rainbow Tours, it seems fitting we should have a colourful past. As a North London schoolteacher in the 1980s, Roger became a widely known anti-apartheid activist and regularly taught British students about the regime that reined in South Africa. His life took a turn in the direction of travel when he met Mannie Brown, the businessman behind African Hinterland – one of the first overland tour companies operating in South Africa. Unbeknownst to the backpackers, the lorries they travelled in were being used to supply the ANC with arms until apartheid fell and the ANC rose to power in 1994.

Roger, utterly captivated with the country, channeled his vivacious energies into establishing his own touring company (Rainbow Tours), taking groups of people on inspiring journeys to showcase the beauty of a fascinating and relatively untraveled continent.

Today we work closely with a select group of respected charities and NGOs to remain deeply involved in each of the countries we specialise in. Extreme poverty and limited healthcare access for disadvantaged Malagasy people are tackled head-on by Money for Madagascar and the Madagascar Development Fund, with which Rainbow has funded water sanitation works and a classroom equipped with educational supplies. The Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, founded by the author and naturalist Gerald Durrell, aims to protect biodiversity by saving some of the world’s most threatened species. With the help of Rainbow Tours, the NGO's largest Madagascar-based project area tirelessly protects the endangered Ploughshare tortoise.

Our passionate Travel Specialists are handpicked for their extensive first hand-knowledge and are committed to delivering exceptional service. Lucky enough to have travelled intimately through their specialist countries on countless occasions, they’ll turn your needs and interests into individual suggestions and construct the perfect, tailor made tour for you.

Calling from one of the countries below?
If so use the toll-free number listed.
USA611 3001 4894
Australia184 4332 5169
New Zealand184 4332 5137