Welcome to the staff page, where you’ll be able to gain some insight into the lives of the Karell Team and match faces to the voices you’ve probably heard on the phone!








Mon – Fri: 8:30 AM- 5:30 PM (EST)
Sat – Sun: CLOSED

4302 Hollywood Blvd, #291
Hollywood FL 33021

Norman Pieters

I was born in the Belgian Congo and emigrated to South Africa with my parents while still a boy. Educated in South Africa, I began my career in travel management in 1973 in London. My early positions included a European Tour Manager and managing a touring company in Australia. I returned to South Africa in 1976 to pursue my love of travel, culminating with the opening of my own agency in 1982. In 1988, I fulfilled my lifelong dream when I emigrated to the United States with my wife, Cathy, and our young son Craig. I am proud to say that I became a United States citizen in 1994. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than creating programs which allow people to see and feel the heart of Africa. For me, the work I do becomes that much more meaningful when I am able to give both the client and the agent that special sense of this great continent.

You may e-mail me directly at

Catherine Pieters

I was born in Wales in the U.K. and moved to South Africa at the age of four.
I have been in the travel industry all my working life starting my career at one of South Africa’s most respected agencies, Rosebank Travel, for ten years followed by two years at British Airways. Norman and I started P & H Travel in Braamfontein before Norman Craig and I emigrated to the United States in 1988. After running a small agency in Massachusetts for three years we acquired Karell Travel in Miami in 2001.

I was responsible for all quality control functions at our agency in South Africa and have continued this commitment to quality assurance at Karell. Although I am no longer directly involved with the reservation process, I make sure that the programs which are designed for you are flawless in every detail. I also work closely with Ali on our website and Karell Facebook page.

Please email me at


Hugo Molina

Born and raised in Cali, Colombia, I came to the United States and settled in Miami in 1978. Along with my wife and 4 children, Miami has become our home, and Karell Travel is my home away from home. I thrive on the challenge which each day brings here at the agency, and I love helping our clients – no matter what the request may be! I’ve been with the agency since 1990, so you can probably guess that I love what I do. I am proud to be one of the reasons that Karell Travel has become such a driving force in opening up travel to South Africa. It’s personally gratifying that I am part of making the great continent of Africa a viable and meaningful tourist destination.

Please feel free to e-mail me directly at


Gloria Gomez

As a child, I called Bogotá, Colombia ‘home’. After receiving a degree in accounting at the age of 22, I began my career working in Colombia. In 1984, a vacation brought me to America, the land of my dreams. I fell in love with this country and remained. I married and had a family. I’ve been working with Karell Travel since 1993, and they have become part of my extended family. My responsibilities include assisting with document preparation and delivery, document review for quality and accounting functions. No detail is too small to ensure your perfect holiday! I can describe my relationship with Karell in four words: (I love this company!)

Please email me at


Craig Pieters

In 1988, at the age of 4, I emigrated from Johannesburg, South Africa to America with my parents Norman and Cathy. Although I now call the U.S. home, Africa will always hold a special place in my heart, and since November 2007 I have been helping our clients discover Africa’s wonder, something I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing firsthand countless times. Whether you’re looking to experience a wild game safari or visit some of southern Africa’s most spectactular cities, I would love to share my knowledge with you as you plan your trip.

If you have any questions or need help in any way, don’t hesitate to call or email me at the following address:

Lissette Casal

I was born in Spain, just a few months after my parents arrived in the country. Shortly after, we emigrated to Puerto Rico where I lived for the next 20 years before relocating to Miami,FL where I currently live with my husband and am lucky to have most of my family close by. In my mid 20’s I started in the travel business and had my own agency for over 14 years. I later sold it to pursue a totally different career path but after a few years away I was lured back into my passion, travel. I was very fortunate to join the Karell family in February of 2008. My goal is for clients have the most memorable experiences on their travels to Africa and throughout the entire planning process.

You can reach me at



Wenda Newton-Smith


Born in South Africa and raised in the foothills of the majestic Drakensberg, my parents instilled a love of travel from a young age. After obtaining my degree from the University of Stellenbosch, I traveled Europe before starting my career in travel management to Africa in 1995. My husband is an airline executive and we now live in Atlanta, Georgia where we’re raising our two boys – our ultimate family treat is traveling. An African safari is always our first choice, followed closely by exploring countries new to us.

My career in travel has taken many twists and turns, yet one thing remains true: you can take the girl out of Africa, but you can never take Africa out of the girl. Representing the Mother continent in all her splendor is the best job ever. I’m committed to curating an unforgettable journey for every Karell customer, one that leaves them coming home saying “If you only visit two continents in your lifetime, visit Africa – twice!”

If you have any questions or need help in any way, don’t hesitate to call or email me at the following address: