Ad­ven­tur­ous re­tire­ment

Kelvin and Caral Barichievy of Kaycee’s Sun­shine Tours

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING - BRIAN BASSETT

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.

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