Who are we?
We're largely born and bred Africans – we’ve experienced most of the very best and worst that Africa offers from apartheid to democracy and Mandela in South Africa, dark days in Zimbabwe and the return to positive growth in Zambia. Together with our English colleagues who've taught us a bit of perspective, we've formed a strong, knowledgeable team.
- We have an intimate and current knowledge of what's happening on the ground wherever we operate.
- We work exceptionally hard at building and maintaining strong relationships with our camps and most particularly our guides.
- We go out of our way to match the needs of our clients and take special pleasure in the many close friendships that have formed over the years.
We're keen photographers and almost all of the photographs on this site are taken by members of our team rather than the publicity shots you see on many African sites ... go here for a collection of older photographs and paintings.
See us every year at these Travel Shows and Exhibitions
Meet the "Friends of Zambezi" our preferred suppliers and partners as well as a list of conservation projects we support.
Meet the Team
With dim and distant heritage stretching back to 1820 English settlers to the Cape Province, John grew up as a free-range all-organic kid in the last British outpost of Natal. With big open skies, wild beaches, loads of friends and lots of space the outdoor bug bit hard and at an early age.
So after a first life in South Africa’s corporate world as an engineer, "collar-and-tie" routines were replaced by "shorts-and-rafters" in Kariba in 1994.
The company was born and John has spent at least some time wearing most of the hats needing to be worn in any fledgling company. Kariba at the start of the internet age was an amazing place until the politicians dimmed the lights.
Hence the move to the UK in 2000. John has since moved away from systems, marketing and technical stuff, serves as our MD and is concentrating on our East African safaris for the next few years.
When not in the UK office John will be found on a mountain bike with mates, walking or swimming the family Labradors, doing consumer shows in the UK or travelling in Uganda and Tanzania. John is cooking up some expeditionary ideas around Lake Natron, the Ruwenzoris and some of the really quiet spots in southern Tanzania for 2009.
"Making opportunities from my difficulties, not difficulties of my opportunities!"
Adapted from Reginald B.Mansell
Development and Finance
Trish was brought up barefoot on an African tobacco and cattle farm (until she was sent to boarding school)! The farm had thousands of acres of bush filled with duiker, bush pigs, guinea fowl, all things small and the occasional elephant that’d strayed too far from the Zambezi!
Trish studied interior architecture for the corporate market but has spent most of her working life in the safari industry one way or the other. Trish is Financial Director and currently acts as our General Manager.
Having lived for 36 years in Africa, Trish has spent time in England since dark days in Zimbabwe after the 2000 election. She returns to Africa as often as possible and sometimes when it’s impossible - even then it’s not enough to satisfy her love of this amazing continent.
Trish is a seasoned traveller in southern Africa and has spent many days seeking out the remoter and less trammelled spots in Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda and Gabon.
When not in the Devon office this year Trish will be looking for every conceivable business reason to be with her teenage children, Ashton and Corrie at Imperial College in London.
Trish was spotted riding her bike from London to Paris for a charity in Zambia and takes part in other sporting activities, yoga and walking on the moors. She has spent time recently on a long adventure revisiting home ground along the length and breadth of the Zambezi and checking out the situation in Zimbabwe.
"Its better to light a candle than to curse the darkness"
Professional safari guide and Senior Consultant
Born in Masvingo near Great Zimbabwe, Chris has lived in remoter spots most of his life. His early interest in wildlife led to a career starting with the Department of National Parks in 1980. Chris qualified as a Professional Guide in 1986.
One of the "old school" guides in Zimbabwe, Chris has led many safaris through Southern African including Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Malawi, and further afield in Uganda, Congo, Gabon and Madagascar.
Chris is credited with a study on the White Faced Owl published in several bird books including the definitive work "Roberts Birds of South Africa". An accomplished photographer, Chris won Zimbabwe's Wildlife Photographic Competition in 1993 and has done several presentations for wildlife charities each year since.
Chris is a company Director and our resident Pro Guide spending most of the year planning specialist itineraries to his favourite destinations in Southern Africa. Chris spends a few months every year conducting private safaris for wildlife photographers and specialist clients.
In his spare time Chris is also our official Hardware and Software Test Engineer and over the years has pushed every element of our office system to its limits ... using two typing fingers!
Chris was found in Gabon, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe last season, he'll be on safari again in Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia during 2009.
If not on safari Chris will be busy managing our new Victoria Falls office and if you're travelling to Vic Falls, you may even have him picking you up from the airport or meeting you for a drink!
"There are many paths to the top of the mountain, but the view is always the same"
Based in a satellite office on the edge of Dartmoor National Park with two furry co-workers, Debbie is fortunate to have glorious views and wonderful moor land walks on her doorstep.
Two post graduate daughters are now ‘independant’ - one living in Devon working in habitat management and the other was last sighted in travelling back from the South Luangwa, Zambia (her middle name should have been ‘walkabout’ as she has the travel bug).
Debbie has worked in the safari industry since 2000 - first with one of the UK's best safari marketing and representation companies and since 2004 as our Sales Team Manager.
The Africa bug bit hard during Debbie's first safari experience - the sights, smells and sounds of Africa have had her hankering after the continent since.
Within Africa Debbie has travelled through Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana but regularly hears the next trip calling and is ever ready to answer! Debbie was most recently seen in Namibia, Zimbabwe and Zambia with a long wait at Johannesburg airport in between. She's even tried out the new Yotel "coffins" at Heathrow airport for us with a healthy dose of whisky to get her through the night!
"Only he that has traveled the road knows where the holes are deep"
Safari specialist (Southern Africa)
Liz was born in England and moved at the young age of 2 to Africa; she grew up in Zimbabwe. Based in our Zambezi valley office she lives with her husband and young son in a wonderful house perched atop Kariba Heights with a stunning view overlooking Lake Kariba.
Liz regularly sees baboons, buffalo and elephant on trips to the local supermarket and is passionate about Kariba, sunny days at the pool and "big town big time" shopping whenever she's near a real city!
As a part of the original team in the Kariba office, Liz initially managed products for the company and is now a mainstay of our consulting team.
Liz has travelled throughout Botswana, Zambia, Namibia and South Africa and much of Zimbabwe and continues to work with a strong following of old and new clients travelling to Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
When not in the Zambezi valley office this year Liz will be visiting the UK to attend her daughter's wedding, travelling in Zimbabwe and trying her best to keep the baboons from running off with her satellite broadband dish!
Safari specialist (Victoria Falls)
Delene is one of the busiest people in the company. Always an excellent ambassador, Delene used to be the first voice you'd hear in our Kariba office before moving to an even remoter haunt in the Luangwa Valley. Delene is still very fond of her phone but unfortunately lives in an area where there are none!
Part of our original Zambezi team responsible for managing flowcharts and client movements, Delene is now based in Mfuwe, Zambia and serves as one of our specialist consultants taking care of clients travelling on the Zambezi and Luangwa valleys.
Delene has a closely knit family life with two grown sons and a husband who manages a fleet of safari vehicles. Delene is always keen to test a new camp, attend a trade show or just go on safari!
When not in the Luangwa valley, Delene can be found in the UK visiting her son and Zimbabwe visiting the rest of her family.
'Tomorrow brings many things'
Safari specialist (Southern and East Africa)
Born in Harare, Zimbabwe, Jackie finished her schooling, earned a Diploma in Tourism and worked for 9 years in sales and marketing for two leading safari operators in Zimbabwe and Zambia. Her speciality then was adventure travel and canoe safaris in Victoria Falls and the lower Zambezi. During the 1990's Jackie worked closely with our team in the Kariba offices.
It took a few years of badgering her to join us before she relented - Jackie emigrated from Zimbabwe in 2002 and joined the UK team.
Jackie has travelled extensively through Malawi, South Africa, Zambia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Zanzibar and regularly visits her family living in Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Jackie specialises in tailor made safaris to East and Southern Africa and works with many of our returning clients.
With a young son and a busy husband who is also on our team, Jackie works from her home office in Lincoln - always ready and enthusiastic to help in whatever way!
When not in her office this year Jackie will be found in Zimbabwe - attending her sister's wedding followed by a trip to somewhere yet to be decided!
"I can do everything through him who gives me strength"
Safari specialist (Southern Africa)
Based in our UK Head Office, Jools is a born and bred Devonian who joined us after graduating from the University of Plymouth and University of Kansas with a BA Geography degree. He is currently studying towards his Msc Tourism & Hospitality Management at the University of Plymouth.
Although Jools is the youngest member of the team he's already travelled throughout much of Southern Africa over the past six years especially comparing the standard of Gin & Tonics en route!
Diagnosed with "itchy feet" at an early age, Jools has travelled much of continental Europe and spends the majority of his leave skiing in the Alps or travelling around the USA.
Jools has done every possible Zambezi adventure activity, from bungee, microlight, canoe to quad bike in an effort to avoid having to raft the mighty Zambezi River.
Jools is seasoned in Swaziland and Malawi, Mozambique and South Africa but his special interest areas include Victoria Falls, Chobe National Park, Botswana and Zambia. Jools dreams of exploring further afield (but we won't let him until he's been rafting)!
"The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page”.
Safari specialist (Southern and East Africa)
Sam was born in Hertfordshire and spent her informative years growing up in the valleys of South Wales, where she developed her passion for the great outdoors. An avid traveller from a tender age, she came to Africa via Australasia, having done time in Australia and New Zealand followed by a stint with a London based travel PR company.
Sam moved to Devon in 2004, joining one of the UK's leading Africa specialist marketing and representation companies. Her African odyssey began with trips to South Africa, Botswana and Kenya.
Sam commutes between her Tavistock home office and our head office near Dartmoor. She loves wandering the moor with her ever-faithful companion, Boogie, the chocolate Labrador, messing about by the sea and falling over in the snow. Aspirations include acquiring a canoe for her and Boogie (and maybe husband Will too).
Her travels to Africa have included Southern and East African countries but deep at heart Sam has the greatest passion for Kenya!
'Seeing is different to being told’
Safari specialist (Southern and Eastern Africa)
Mark comes into the travel industry from an unusual angle having been a professionally qualified horticulturist and nurseryman with over 20yrs experience. He is very well travelled and has visited most of Africa, Asia and Europe.
His recent forays into Africa have led him to Zanzibar, North Tanzania, Livingstone, Botswana, Victoria Falls, Nyanga and Harare. He has a great love for photography, walking and is very interested in the cultural side of countries he visits. Recently he's had to learn how to spend his time at a computer instead of outdoors although he's sure to dash off whenever he gets the opportunity!
Mark met another member of our team, Jackie (otherwise known as Misi), and married her in 2003. Together they make our second husband and wife couple with a great strength of experience between them.
Jackie and Mark travel to Zimbabwe this year to attend Jackie's sister's wedding followed by a trip to somewhere as yet undecided!
Born in Germany, Jane spent most of her childhood on the move around the UK and a few years in Singapore, long before it was all tidied-up!
She's worked in Norway and Scotland before moving to Devon and has since travelled to a smorgasbord of spots around Europe, Thailand, America, Canada, Scandinavia and a few islands in the Mediterranean. Each year she tries to snatch a week to ski in the Alps and adores the stunning scenery and atmosphere in the mountains.
Her time at home in Devon is spent playing tennis, gardening, reading and just generally trying to keep up with life and four children.
Jane manages our company accounts from the Ermington office. Shell shocked over the last few years worth of dealing with our African suppliers Jane always looks forward to seeing Africa from a different point of view other than the end of an invoice. (Her most recent African forays were into Kenya and Zambia/Namibia/South Africa)
"Tarmac" is Jane's office companion, a blue roan cocker spaniel, intent on proving that he's the real Alpha male at head office...he survives by wits alone...
Team administrator (Africa)
Char hails from Irish stock who arrived in then Rhodesia in the early 1900’s. Born and brought up in Zimbabwe, Char has two children - one pursuing a commercial diving career who has also just had twins, and the other a teacher. There're a few other babies in the family - a "dachsie", a Boxer and a Rhodesian RidgebackxDoberman cross!
Since 1975 Char has lived with her fishing-mad husband in Kariba, enjoying the freedom of living in the bush and having elephants wandering past the house.
As the coordinator of safaris for the Africa based safari consultants, Char takes care of itineraries and back up plans for clients travelling through southern Africa.
Char is a seasoned traveller in Turkey, Spain, the USA and closer to home through South Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Zambia.
Char's an eager participant in Kariba's annual international tiger fishing tournament (KITFT) and can be seen daily running up the road to the Heights, an almost "un-drivable" steep road from the lake to the top of the surrounding hills. Last year Char tested out the Lower Zambezi river both on foot and by canoe. This year who knows where her bike, fishing rod or feet will take her ...
Ashton and Corrie assist with keeping our websites updated and although they're both at university, undertake this role during their holidays and down time.
Both are studying towards their Materials Science Engineering Masters at Imperial College in London. They do intend specialising in different segments of materials science eventually so not everything will be exactly the same for them!
Whilst developing material for the websites Corrie has decided to take up scuba diving to take advantage of the Indian Ocean Islands while Ashton intends climbing every mountain in our range including the Rwenzori's and Mt Kilimanjaro later this year.
Both are well travelled in Africa and have tried out the many family activities especially canoeing the Zambezi, sailing and diving on Lake Malawi and fishing and can vouch Africa is THE PLACE to be if you really want to have some fun!