Every trip an Aussie takes to Africa can be accredited to Charles Bench, the man who really opened the doors for leisure travel between Australia & the Motherland some 50 years ago.

As the Founder of Australia’s first Africa specialist company, Bench International, Charles Bench is recognised as having ignited a passion for travel to the historic and naturally marvellous continent. A passion that’s now as strong as ever and fast-spreading.

He saw tourism to Africa through its flourishing periods and its harder political times, and “left a lasting impact” across the Australian travel industry as a whole.

Now, exactly 50 years after launching Bench International (now Bench Africa), the industry says farewell to this major figure who passed away on Monday night at the age of 82.

In a statement, Bench Africa’s Martin Edwards described Charles’ legacy as ongoing. He continued, saying that he and the rest of the Bench Africa team were proud to be able to carry on “his good name and reputation for excellence”.


“Charles really was a major figure in African travel and he has left a lasting impact amongst the Australian travel industry.”

Martin Edwards, Bench Africa General Manager

“We wish to extend our deepest sympathies to his family.”

Funeral details are yet to be advised.

Arthur Charles Bench, 25.10.1936 – 09.09.2019