Fowler Tours specialises in Catholic and other Christian pilgrimages to all the major pilgrimage destinations, including unique hiking tours in the Holy Land. Fowler Tours is based in Cape Town but serves the whole Southern African region. We use Christian service providers in all countries we visit.
Gail is the owner of Fowler Tours and your first point of contact. She made her first pilgrimage to the Holy Land as a tour leader in 2000 and loves the places and people of the region. Outside the Holy Land, she has a special love for the Rieti Valley, where St Francis spent most of his time after leaving Assisi. She is seen here in Jaffa.
Gabriel Makhlouf, known to everybody as Gaby, is our lead tour guide in the Holy Land. He has inherited the knowledge and skills of his father, the doyen of tour guides, the late Rimon Makhlouf.
Rimon Makhlouf R.I.P.
Rimon was one of the most respected tour guides in the Holy Land. A former professor in tourism at Bethlehem University, he was Fowler Tours’ most frequent Holy Land guide. Hie died on October 3, 2017.
Some of our past & present Spiritual Directors
Archbishop William Slattery OFM
Archbishop emeritus William Slattery of Pretoria, a Franciscan, led The Southern Cross pilgrimage to the Holy Land, Rome, Assisi and Rome in May 2013, and to the Holy Land, Rome, Turin and Florence in 2015, and the Holy Land and Italy in 2017. Most recently he led a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and the Passion Play in Oberammergau in August 2023. He is seen here in Jerusalem.
Archbishop Stephen Brislin
Archbishop Stephen Brislin of Cape Town has led four pilgrimages organised by Fowler Tours, taking groups to the Holy Land, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Egypt, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia and Turkey. He is seen here in Jerusalem with Southern Cross editor Günther Simmermacher, Fowler Tours owner Gail Fowler, and guide Rimon Makhlouf.
Father Emil Blaser OP (RIP)
Father Emil Blaser, a Dominican, led several pilgrimages organised by Fowler Tours for Radio Veritas and The Southern Cross, including the Pilgrimages to the Canonisation of Sts John Paul II and John XXIII in 2013 and Mother Teresa in 2016. He led the special Saints of Italy pilgrimage in 2015 as well as pilgrimages to the Holy Land & Jordan and Holy Land & Rome. He is seen here in the Duomo in Milan during the Saints of Italy pilgrimage. Fr Blaser passed away in November 2021. His name is now on the Fowler Tours Mortuary List, with the names of other deceased Fowler Tours pilgrims. One Mass per pilgrimage is said for the repose of our late pilgrims and those whom the members of the group place on our list.
Bishop Victor Phalana
Bishop Victor Phalana of Klerksdorp led the 2018 pilgrimage to Catholic Ireland, which also included the now late Fr Jonathan Shand of Pretoria (right) and Fr Peter Whitehead of East London (left). Fr Whitehead is planning a pilgrimage for catechists to the Holy Land in July 2023 with Fr Christopher Slater. The three clerics are seen here at a statue of St Patrick at Croagh Patrick in western Ireland. Bishop Phalana will lead The Southern Cross pilgrimage to Holy Land and Egypt in September 20023.
Bishop Giuseppe Sandri (R.I.P)
Bishop Giuseppe (or Joe) Sandri led the Southern Cross pilgrimage to the Holy Land, Rome and Egypt in September 2013. He was scheduled to lead the pilgrimage to Catholic France in October 2019. Sadly, he died on 30 May 2019, the feast the Ascension.
Father Lawrence Mduduzi Ndlovu
Fr Lawrence Mduduzi Ndlovu of Johannesburg led the Southern Cross pilgrimage to Catholic France in October 2019. Fr Ndlovu, the spiritual director of the Sacred Heart Sodality in Johannesburg, is seen here preaching in the Sacre Coeur basilica in Paris. He is going to lead the Saints of Italy pilgrimage in May 2023.
Bishop Joao Rodrigues
Bishop Joao Rodrigues of Tzaneen led a special pilgrimage of prayer for the sainthood cause of Benedict Daswa to Portugal, Spain and France. He is seen here preaching in the famous cathedral of Tours.
Father Russell Pollitt SJ
Fr Russell Pollitt SJ, director of the Jesuit Institute SA, retreat director, author and media personality, led his first pilgrimage with Fowler Tours to the Holy Land and Italy in May 2019. He also led the tour to the papal Mass in Mauritius in September 2019. He is seen here preaching in the basilica of St Sebastian in Rome.
Father Paul Beukes OMI
Fr Paul Beukes OMI, then of Eldorado Park and now vicar-general of Johannesburg, led the St Eugene de Mazenod Pilgrimage in September 2019. The specially-designed Fowler Tours pilgrimage to the group to Paris, Lourdes, Avignon, Aix-en-Provence, Marseilles, Paray-le-Monial, Nevers and other places. Fr Beukes is seen here preaching during Mass at the tomb of St Eugene in the cathedral of Marseilles. At the left is Fr Bonga Majola OMI, who guided the group in Marseilles and Aix-en-Provence.
Father S’milo Mngadi
Father S’milo Mngadi of Johannesburg archdiocese, is a media personality and author whose first pilgrimage with Fowler Tours went to the Holy Land and Egypt in September 2017. He is seen here blessing couples renewing their wedding vows in Cana.
Father Sean Wales CSsR
Father Sean Wales, a Redemptorist, has led two Fowler Tours pilgrimages to the Holy Land, Cairo & Jordan and Holy Land, Cairo, Rome & Assisi. He is seen here celebrating Mass on the shore of the Sea of Galilee.
Father Kapena Shimbomeh OMI
Father Kapena (front, third from left) led groups from Good Shepherd parish in Walvis Bay, Namibia, to the Holy Land in August 2017, 2018, and 2019, and a special Advent Pilgrimage to Rome in December 2019. The group is seen in Capernaum with a statue of St Peter.
Father Larry Kaufmann CSsR
Father Larry Kaufmann CSsR, the celebrated author and mission priest, went with Fowler Tours to the Holy Land and Egypt in November 2016. He is at right here with guide Gaby Makhlouf and Gail Fowler on the Sea of Galilee.
Father Brian Mhlanga OP
Father Brian Mhlanga OP has been with Fowler Tours several times, including the pilgrimages to Mother Teresa’s canonisation in September 2016 and the Lenten Pilgrimage to the Holy Land in March 2017. He led the Radio Veritas/Southern Cross pilgrimage to Portugal and Spain for the 100th anniversary of Fatima in October 2017. He is seen here preaching in a cave at Shepherd Fields near Bethlehem in the Holy Land.
Father Keith Gordon-Davis
Father Keith Gordon-Davis of Bryanston, Johannesburg, went with Fowler Tours to the Holy Land in May 2018. He is seen here with Fr Theo Macupe while celebrating Mass on Mount Carmel, Israel.
Father Thomas Tshabalala OFM
For many years Father Thomas Tshabalala OFM worked as a tour guide in the Holy Land and returned on pilgrimage with Fowler Tours in September 2013. He is seen here with Fr Christopher Siyabonga at Mass in Rome.
Father Tony Nunes
Father Tony Nunes of Rosebank, Johannesburg, went with Fowler Tours to the Holy Land and Egypt in February 2015.
Father David Evans
Father David Evans of St Patrick’s in Benoni went with Fowler Tours to the Holy Land in March 2022, our first pilgrimage after the pandemic. He is seen here at right with Fr Michael Murphy while celebrating Mass on a boat on the Sea of Galilee.
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