Happy Birthday Travel Beyond—A Founder’s Reflection on 48 Years!

On February 19, 2023, Travel Beyond celebrated its 48th birthday. Founded by husband-and-wife David and Audrey Beal in 1975, the company started with the planning of upscale safaris to Audrey’s home-country of South Africa. Since then, and with their son and daughter-in-law, Craig and Kay Beal, at the helm beginning in 2005, it has grown into one of the most well-respected companies in the travel industry!

To celebrate this journey, David Beal shared some memories from his first ever trip to Africa and a bit of the inspiration behind the company’s creation. As he reflected,

“I first set foot on the African continent when I landed in Cairo, Egypt in August of 1955. I arrived as part of a volunteer program that was performing a large-scale musical in about a dozen countries, starting in Japan and ending in Switzerland. I was part of the stage crew.

While in Cairo, the group met with Colonel Abdul Gamal Nasser the President of Egypt. We staged the musical in the Cairo Opera House where the opera Aida was first performed in 1899. From Egypt we then journeyed to Kenya where we met and entertained Jomo Kenyatta who would become Kenya’s first President following its independence in 1963.  

We then went on to Uganda and to my first introduction to African wildlife. With three others I drove a jeep from Kampala west to the Kingdom of Bunyoro where we were entertained by the King and his wife at their palace. Along the way, we passed next to a hippo who was on his or her way back to the river. We also drove through Queen Elizabeth Game Reserve on our way back to Kampala.

Other personalities the group and I met included the Prime Minister of Japan and his visiting guest Conrad Adenauer, the first President of Germany after WWII, Chiang Kai-Shek in Taipei, the Shah of Iran, and many other notables.

This global experience gave me the desire to ultimately start Travel Beyond in 1975 with my wife Audrey. I am so honored to have been part of what is now considered a premiere safari operator, run by Craig & Kay, alongside their wonderful staff. My most recent safari to South Africa is the cherry on the cake of a lifelong relationship with the continent.”

What an inspirational experience, what an amazing 48 years it has been, and what an integral role David and Audrey Beal have played. We can’t wait to see what the next decades hold!