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Top Class Luxury African Safari Guides

There are a number of elements that come into play to make a luxury African safari the trip of a lifetime, the guide being a very crucial one.

The gourmet food, stylish accommodation, attentive service and plush surroundings can all be of the highest order, but if the guide falls short in some way then your experience can be somewhat diminished.

On the other hand, if the guide is exceptional then it elevates your whole adventure onto another level and makes it completely unforgettable.

Don't risk going on a luxury African safari with an underwhelming field guide, rather travel with the best, like the ones listed below...

QUALIFICATIONS
  • KPSGA GOLD LEVEL (Only 26 gold guides in Kenya, highest qualification level possible).
EXPERIENCE
  • 1986 TO PRESENT: Guided all over Eastern, Southern and Central Africa, but mostly focused in Eastern Africa.

WHY AND HOW DID YOU BECOME A SAFARI GUIDE?

I was raised as the son of a safari guide and operator and so it was a natural progression for me to follow on with the tradition.

After completing my education at University in Canada, I decided to return home to Africa and continue in the same tradition as my father in the life of a safari guide.

WHAT MAKES A GOOD SAFARI GUIDE?

Knowledge and understanding of wildlife, birdlife, plantlife, insect life, geography, culture, photography and all sorts of other outdoor skills are needed, but are only a part of being a good safari guide.

Also of great importance are social and communication skills, as well as high sense of responsibility and work ethic in looking after your guests.

FAVOURITE ANIMAL?

Favourite animal is certainly the elephant, all time spent in amongst elephants is high quality time. They are such magnificent, gentle, intelligent, family oriented animals, all with such individual personalities.

I like nothing better than sitting quietly in amongst these awe-inspiring animals.

MOST MEMORABLE SIGHTING?

After 30 years of guiding, there are so many fabulous experiences it is impossible to select one.

Is it seeing 10's of thousands of wildebeest struggling to cross the Mara River with crocodiles taking out the stragglers? Is it sitting in amongst 150 magnificent peaceful elephants in Amboseli, or being repeatedly charged by a very protective matriarch elephant in Tsavo?

Or is it being repeatedly charged by a silverback mountain gorilla in the forests of the Virunga Mountains in Rwanda? Or is it being in the forests of the Mahale Mountains on the edge of Lake Tanganyika and witnessing the terrible brutality of chimpanzees hunting and killing colobus monkeys?

They are all memorable and extraordinary sightings and behaviours that I feel privileged to be party to, and I like nothing better than to be sharing these experiences with appreciative guests.

GUIDING SPECIALITY?

I would say my areas of specialisation are wildlife, mammal behaviour, birdlife, culture and photography.

FAVOURITE CAMPFIRE STORY?

There are so many, it is impossible to elect one. Stories are triggered by events while out on safari that relate to memories of related previous events.

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QUALIFICATIONS
  • KPSGA GOLD LEVEL (Only 26 gold guides in Kenya, highest qualification level possible).
  • FGASA FIELD GUIDE NQF4 LEVEL 2
  • BACK UP TRAILS GUIDE
  • CYBERTRACKER TRACK & SIGN LEVEL 3
  • AFRICAN FIELD GUIDE ASSOCIATION (AFGA) TRAINER & ASSESSOR
EXPERIENCE
  • 2009 TO PRESENT: Guiding across Kenya, with occasional trips into Northern Tanzania, Rwanda (Volcanoes National Park), and Chad (Zakouma National Park).
    I pride myself on safaris that visit lesser-known destinations in Kenya for experiences away from the beaten track. I also provide customised guide training programmes for camps & lodges around East Africa.

WHY AND HOW DID YOU BECOME A SAFARI GUIDE?

I was born in Kenya and grew up here, and after studying Engineering Drafting in University, I realized what I actually wanted was to spend my life on safari, learning, and exploring the natural world, rather than sitting at a computer. Having spent my childhood going on safari, family camping trips, and bush adventures with friends, this was a natural progression – a continuation of my love for wildlife and being out in the bush.

I signed up for a field guide training course in South Africa, where I gained my first FGASA qualification, and realized that this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Once back in Kenya, I started work in the safari industry, doing everything from overland truck safaris to high-end safari camp construction; from guiding key clients, to surveying conservancy boreholes and water lines.

Having struck out on my own, I now run privately guided safaris for guests with a curiosity to learn more and explore deeper than the average safari might offer.

WHAT MAKES A GOOD SAFARI GUIDE?

A good safari guide must be an affable host, a logistician, an ambassador, a story-teller, and an expert interpreter of the natural world. An inquiring mind, a thirst for more knowledge, a love for all facets of nature, a good sense of humour, an ability to adapt, and strong troubleshooting skills are all marks of a good safari guide.

Also of great importance are social and communication skills, as well as high sense of responsibility and work ethic in looking after your guests.

FAVOURITE ANIMAL?

The one I probably get most excited about seeing is Honey Badger/Ratel, but if I had to choose an animal to spend the most time with, the choice is easy. Elephants. I never get tired of them and can spend hours in their presence.

I like nothing better than sitting quietly in amongst these awe-inspiring animals.

MOST MEMORABLE SIGHTING?

This is a particularly difficult question to answer. There are so many memorable sightings in a career. Many of the kills I’ve witnessed have been very memorable, but sometimes it’s also just a sighting of a rarer species like a Caracal, Honey Badger, or Zorilla that gets my blood pumping.

BEST EXPERIENCE OF YOUR GUIDING CAREER?

Possibly a 30 day safari around Kenya with 2 older clients, visiting some very remote areas, seeing places I’d probably otherwise never see. Or maybe a 14 day birding intensive with Arjan Dwarshuis, who set the world record for the highest number of bird species seen in a calendar year in 2016. I racked up a huge number of lifers on that trip and learned so much.

INTERESTING ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR?

I always enjoy watching Wild Dog behaviour, and the way they interact with other predators. One small pack I’ve seen a few times, always has a big, fat spotted hyena that follows close behind. They don’t seem to mind until the hyena steals their kill.

I always also find it fascinating to watch how various species react to human presence in an area. The same species will have completely different reactions depending on what their previous experience has been with humans. In some of the community areas here in Kenya, cheetah won’t bat an eyelid as they feed on an impala kill and a Maasai herder stands 20m away taking photos with his smartphone!

MOST EMBARRASSING GUIDING MOMENT?

Getting badly dehydrated to the point of serious sickness on a long morning out after having gone on at length to my guests about drinking lots of water.

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