About the Author

Elsa: A Proud South African-born Woman!

Born and raised in South Africa before moving to America, Elsa is the daughter of the well-known Afrikaner song-writer and comedian, Piet Pompies (Pieter van der Byl.) It is inevitable traveling and entertaining is in her genes! With his family in tow, Piet performed all over Southern Africa, including Namibia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. He was often referred to as the “Bob Hope” of South Africa.

By the time Elsa was ten years old, she traveled the width and breadth of her beloved homeland. Oftentimes on Friday nights, when the family was home in Cape Town, dozens of talented people would turn up at the family home to audition for a chance to appear in Piet’s shows. To this day, Elsa shares deep connections with the South African artistic community.

In the 1970’s, South Africa was a country in turmoil and poised for change. Elsa reflects about those days in an interview broadcast on ABC news after the death of Nelson Mandela HERE.

As part of the new South Africa, Elsa became an educator, earning a Doctorate in Education. First as a music teacher, then as a College Administrator, she served in positions all over the country helping establish new programs in Western Cape, Northern Cape, Eastern Province, Northern Province and Mpumalanga. She became close to the people who traditionally lived in those areas: the South Sotho, Xhosa, and Shangaan.

For almost ten years, Elsa lived in the exclusive private Sabi Sand Game Reserve, near the world-famous Kruger National Park and the Mangwazi Nature Reserve. It was an ordinary day to be greeted by an elephant walking past the kitchen window or hear the rumbles of leopards on the roof.

Elsa: A Proud American Woman!

Since 2002, Elsa has been an educator and music teacher in the US. Early on, friends requested she show them a South Africa through her eyes. Travels with Elsa was created in 2006 as a way to present Americans the land of Africa from a unique and exciting perspective.

Because of her extensive knowledge of the land and its people, Elsa introduces her guests an Africa few get the chance to see.

From charming Bed & Breakfasts to private luxurious cottages to camping out in luxury, Elsa knows the terrain and the wishes of her guests!

Her affordable rates and attention to detail make each journey the trip of a lifetime.