Kelvin and Caral Barichievy of Kaycee’s Sunshine Tours
WHEN they retire most people become part of their children’s daily schedule, fetching and carrying grandchildren, while travelling overseas to visit children working there and touring, if they can afford it.
For Kelvin Barichevy, a senior manager at the local municipality with a PhD in public administration and his wife Caral, an infection control manager at a local hospital, retirement meant an opportunity to build a tourist business.
Initially they offered tours to historical sites and places of natural beauty in KZN, while doing airport and harbour transfers to Durban, starting during the World Cup in 2010, for which they took leave.
Subsequently Kelvin and Caral retired on the same day and commenced Kaycee’s Sunshine Tours SA. At a time when most retired people have become very conservative about money and are concerned about protecting their capital, the Barichievys planned the purchase of an appropriate vehicle for their operation.
The vehicle needed to be reasonably inexpensive to run, be able to transport 10 to 15 people in comfort and safety, as well as be reliable and durable.
Finally they decided on a Mercedes Benz Sprinter 315 2,2 litre turbo diesel, High Roof Tourer, which is probably the most luxurious people mover available, at a cost of around R750 000.
The Tourer’s 4-cylinder turbo diesel engine puts out 120 kW and 380 Nm, allowing them to transport tourists both in and outside the province. They also limited accommodation in the bus to 10 seats, with two seats upfront for themselves, as Kelvin and Caral crew and host each tour.
The Barichievys realised that comfort for their passengers would bring repeat business and the interior of the Sprinter has high comfort levels and is spacious, allowing Caral to serve food on longer trips while Kelvin drives.
The vehicle also has an excellent sound system which allows them to play music and communicate with passengers.
The Sprinter is now six years old but looks new. It has done only 48 000 kilometres as the couple have purchased a second vehicle to provide transfers to Durban since their business has grown.
These days, the couple do one tour a month with the Sprinter, but the tours have grown longer. From day trips to the battlefields and Clarens, Kaycee’s now travel to the likes of the Knysna Oyster Festival, and provide a 10-day tour to Namaqualand, amongst other interesting excursions.
The Sprinter has performed brilliantly and is clearly the right tool for the job.
They have no plans to replace it and it continues to deliver the kind of service of which the Barichievys can be proud.
A Sprinter panelvan is much more than a means to an end for one retired couple in KwaZulu-Natal’s capital.