Staff Spotlight: Gail Strauss

SAVE Africa Manager


Born and bred in Namibia, Windhoek, but Cape Town is my second home. I am a single mother, love the outdoors, culture experiences and meeting new people. I am what you see is what you get, kind of woman...

My motto in life is:
"Treat others, the way you would like to be treated"

What is your favorite travel memory?

I had the opportunity to travel to a few countries and I have to say my favourite travel memory would always involve meeting up with students that have volunteered with us and just catch up with them and how they are doing and sharing news from back home or what new projects we are doing!

A breath-taking experience for me was seeing the Eiffel Tower being lit up at night in Paris! (never ever would I have thought I would ever experience this when I was a child).

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

I have been with the company for six years and I started as the reservation manager; since then, I was promoted to be the Africa Manager for the past three years and all I can say is that this work has changed me forever!

I was truly fortunate in my upbringing, schooling, etc. but ever since I started working for SAVE my life has changed completely! Everything I have and want to accomplish is set around what I can do for others as well! Gratitude is what I learned from my work experience. We so often take things for granted and we are all so blessed in different ways! I am forever grateful for this experience!

“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”

Melody Beattie

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

I should be from one of my good friends, Marileen from the Netherlands. I met her in 2013 when she came and volunteered with us. We became very good friends and I visited her in the Netherlands; she has been back to Cape Town twice after 2013 to volunteer and travel.

Last year, she phoned me and told me "I am giving up everything in the Netherlands and have decided to move HOME!" (by "home" she means Cape Town). This is the best story or news anyone could give me!

Marileen is back in Cape Town for the next three years running a local school in the community.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?


I have become very passionate about our programs in Africa. I have not been to Malawi and would love to experience the programs they offer as well as just learning about the locals, their culture and the local food. Built closer relationships with our partners and the local community schools and hospitals.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

The fact that SAVE Volunteering manages, runs and fund all of our humanitarian and wildlife projects with assistance from our volunteers and sponsors. We are transparent and our programs are sustainable and impact the local communities that we work with.

I am always PROUD of my team! We are like family and we share the same passion for the work that we do and the vision for our organization.

Vision: To create an environment that promotes positive social change and personal growth through experiences and travel.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

Teamwork: to accomplish the vision as one family.

Integrity: acting and speaking aligned with our values.

Passion: do everything to the best of your ability.

Trust: your fellow colleagues.

Spirit of adventure: always willing to explore and learn.

Service excellence to our students, suppliers and fellow colleagues.