AFRICA INSCRIBED..FREELANCE GUIDES
AFRICA INSCRIBED PRIVATE TRAVEL continues to expand operations and destinations, and so Dylan and I have taken a cautious step to recruit some mature and very experienced guides who have been known to us for most of there careers to conduct escorted safaris for us. These are a selection of family men or seasoned bachelors who have guided safaris in Africa for decades now and these men we trust to care for our guests as we do when we are out in the field, whether here in Southern or ‘up there’ in East Africa.
“This man is one of the finest in the business”
Gavin has guided customized safaris around sub-Saharan Africa for the last 31 years, and lived in Maun, Botswana for 7 years working in and around the Okavango Delta. Passionate about his vocation, he shares his enthusiasm and knowledge with his guests as freely as birds fly the skies in Africa. He is an educator, companion, and guide with a huge reserve of experiences which he uses to ensure that your safari with him is a life-changing and unforgettable journey.
He has won international acclaim for his expertise in the field and in 2002, was voted “Guide of the Year” at the Harpers & Queen, Travel Awards. He has also been shortlisted for the Paul Morrison Award for “One of The Best Guides in the Travel Industry” – May 2006. Several other well-placed magazines regularly rate him in the “Top Ten” guides to go on safari with in Africa. His reputation has remained intact for his entire career, and he continues to produce outstanding results in his chosen field.
He has traveled and guided extensively in the sub-region (south of the Cunene / Zambezi) and in recent years has conducted safaris into East and Central Africa too. Some of the mammals and birds that occur there are unique to those areas of Africa and therefore he takes his guests on their subsequent trips to ‘new’ areas to find different animals and birds.
Gavin is an accomplished photographer too, and happily shares his techniques and knowledge with his guests who invariably become camera enthusiasts before the end of the trip!
Considered by his peers to be a very competent naturalist with a recognized ability to find and share those extra-special bird and mammal species for specialist groups, his skills are often sought by professional photographers and film crews. However, he considers it a great privilege to take folk on their very first safari, and tries to show his guests the world through his eyes. He includes the grasses, plants and trees in his interests, as there would be none without the other!
Many of his guests are second and third-timers who request him to set up specific trips to different parts of Africa, customized to fit their abilities and perceptions. (One of his guests has done 12 safaris with him)
He qualified as a professional guide in Zimbabwe in 1983, and has guided safaris since then. He was directly involved in setting the standards and procedures for the next decade for qualifying guides and hunters, and training people is one of his strengths which he is known for. He was also heavily involved in the Zimbabwe Professional Hunters and Guides Association, and served on the executive committee for several years.
With an Honours degree in Biological Sciences, Gavin has a fine blend of practical and academic skills. He also found time to establish a training school in Zimbabwe, in the 1990’s, specifically for the safari industry.
He now lives in Johannesburg, South Africa from where he can travel and rendezvous’ with guests anywhere they choose, from Entebbe to Cape Town.
Dave is a true Zimbabwean, being born and schooled in Bulawayo, the western capital of that lovely country. He decided at a very early age that he wanted to be a Professional Guide and after attending a few educational courses, managed to get himself apprenticed to the late Gavin Best, an ex-Zimbabwean National Parks warden in Matabeleland. Dave had a very good training and learnt at the start that guiding required commitment, hard work and a tenacity of mind in fairly arduous conditions! He served a four year apprenticeship, covering every aspect of Professional Guiding in Zimbabwe, which is the most rigorous and thorough system in tourism in Africa. Dave passed well.
Dave spent many years running mobile safaris in Hwange, Mana, Chizarira, and Matusadona National Parks, gaining even more experience in handling dangerous game both on foot , by canoe and driving safari vehicles.
He also put aside three months to paddle with a group of like-minded friends down the Zambezi from source to sea, to raise money for land mine victims in Mozambique. They created many a tale of adventure!
He has lead safaris now in East and Southern Africa broadening his experience and knowledge base considerably as well as adding a host of funny anecdotes to his repertoire! He is considered one of the most experienced and safe guides to walk with in Zimbabwe, and his favorite time is spent on foot tracking rhino or lion through the teak forests and grasslands of the bush. Victoria Falls is home for them and they live with a couple of Staffordshire terriers, in a wonderful home beneath a teak tree surrounded by lawns and peace.
Gavin is a son of the ‘Cape’, being raised in the winelands there and lived there for most of his working life. He is thus considered one of the best Western Cape Specialist Guides, which he decided to follow after initially training and working as a chef! 18 years as a guide have allowed him to touch the lives of countless foreign guests who have remained firm friends with him even from across many seas!
His passion for history, wine, the cultures and of course the food styles is clearly apparent after spending time with Gavin on one of his tours. He travelled and worked in several European countries and the USA as a chef, giving him a good understanding of the importance of the history of cuisines and wines, and of course perspectives on cultures too. Gavin brought this home with him when he decided to become a Specialist Wine and Historical guide, showcasing this passion for people and the ‘things’ that make us all different.
He is a trusted and well-liked guide by the locals and has therefore been privy to a number of local ‘gem’ experiences which he brings to all of our Africa Inscribed guests as well! Naturally these are not available to the general travellers and so we count this relationship one of most important here in South Africa. His forte is story-telling and so he brings these experiences alive through this medium very successfully. He has made life-long friends with our guests and we count him a most valuable and able member of our team.
Gavin and his wife Joanne, live on the slopes of Table Mountain, and have two lovely children Oliver and Isabella.
I always knew that my purpose in life was to inspire people using nature as my storyboard and canvas.
Straight after finishing my schooling I was conscripted into the South African Defense Force for 18 months, after which I studied Nature Conservation for 3 years. It was during this period that I knew that I had found what I wanted to do for the rest of life. I began my game ranging career in 1993 and was incredibly fortunate to be selected for a position at the world famous Londolozi game reserve in January 1994. At the time Londolozi ran the only in-depth and practical game ranging course in South Africa and most of the legendary rangers from the 1980’s and 90’s passed through that famous course.
I worked with a plethora of exceptional guides at Londolozi, characters like Map Ives, Mike Myers and Lex Hes, but the time spent with Lex the ex- Londolozi ranger turned photographer, had a significant impact on me. Lex had just published a book called “The leopards of Londolozi”; a fantastic piece of work describing his observations and relationship with leopards, and was accompanied by incredible images. The embers of a photographer and specialist private guide were born.
I continued to work as a ranger and then lodge manager until 2005 at some of Southern Africa’s most beautiful reserves and lodges including; Mombo and Xigera in the Okavango Delta, Botswana, Paperbark Lodge in Welgevonden Game Reserve and Madikwe Safari Lodge in the Madikwe Game Reserve. My special interest projects at the time included the rehabilitation and release of several birds of prey back into the wild.
From 2005 until present Jurgen has used Johannesburg as a base to continue his specialist wildlife guiding and photographic safaris. He has had the privilege of leading trips to some of the most beautiful game and nature reserves in East, West, Central and Southern Africa including: the Masai Mara (Kenya), Mt Kenya national park (Kenya); Serengeti (Tanzania), Ngorongoro Crater (Tanzania); Volcanoes National Park (Rwanda); South Luangwa National Park (Zambia), Lower Zambezi National Park (Zambia), Victoria Falls (Both Zimbabwe and Zambian sides); Chobe, Linyanti and Savute, (Botswana), The Okavango Delta (Botswana), The Kgalagadi trans-frontier park and the greater Kruger National Park Region (South Africa), and a multitude of destinations in Namibia.
Jurgen has been working alongside Dr Quinton Martins, the founding member of the Cape Leopard Trust, over a number of years and was privileged to be involved in the advancing capture techniques of wild animal species for the purposes of scientific study. Notably was the capture and GPS collaring of elusive Cape Mountain Leopards in the Western Cape region of South Africa.
Based on this intimate knowledge and unending passion, Jurgen has evolved into a sought after private guide through his excellent bush and guiding skills and his sense of humor and ability to captivate and inspire you through the world of storytelling that Africa is so famous for.
Jurgens images and articles have been featured in several wildlife magazine (Africa Geographic; Go; Out There; Do It Now), and his wildlife footage and opinions has been featured on Animal Planet and Nat Geo Wild through a program called “Caught in the Act”.
His wildlife images are sold throughout the world. Samples can be viewed here.
Warren was born and raised in South Africa, and started his guiding career with Drifters as an overland guide, in 1997. After obtaining his South African Field Guiding qualification he traveled extensively through all the neighboring countries driving the overland trucks from Cape Town to Nairobi and Zanzibar, stopping along the way at various camps and locations. During this time he really developed great inter-personal skills, learnt to be self motivated and independent carrying out his tours with great humour and skill.
Drivers on these trips had to be able to assist the travelers with their tents and bedding, prepare and cook a meal for up to 16 foreign travelers every night AND deal with any issues emanating from the mix of people travelling together. To do it well was a major training ground for any guide! However, after seven years on the road he decided to try a ‘normal lifestyle’ to be in touch with family and friends in Johannesburg. His job here fulfilled only a small piece of his soul, and involved He didn’t know it would not last, and after three years he decided to return to full time guiding, and Africa Inscribed Private Travel were fortunate to be approached by Warren.
He has proved to be very popular with family groups. He has lead several private trips through Southern and East Africa.
Andrew was born and spent his childhood in Zambia, before moving to Zimbabwe where essentially he grew up and completed all his schooling.
He had developed a passion for the bush and started his guiding career in 1989 as a Canoe Guide on the Lower Zambezi, working the river from Kariba to Kanyemba for two years. He then moved to the Victoria Falls and became a rafting guide for a spell, before getting serious about guiding as a career and in 1995 he was licensed as a Full Professional Guide.
He conducted mobile safaris in the Hwange, Chizarira, Kazuma Pan, Matusadona and Zambezi National Parks for three years, before moving to Zambia to continue guiding in the major parks there. He acquired a wealth of experience during this time dealing with a wide spectrum of clients and of course the big game species in these countries.
Andrew then moved to Tanzania and Botswana for a short spells expanding his experience and knowledge base for those countries as well. Finally he returned to Zambia, the Lower Zambezi in 2006 and managed Chongwe Camp for a while and did various freelance guiding jobs as well.
Andrew now lives in Victoria Falls with his life-partner Kari, and freelances as a guide from his favourite town.
We have recruited Andrew to do several safaris for our guests and he has proved a reliable and mature fellow who is very popular with his groups, spicing his safaris with a quiet and dry wit, as well as being a superb host at camps or upmarket lodges. He is best when on foot in dangerous game country or at the wheel of a game viewing vehicle out of the way somewhere in the bush.