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Richard's Story

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Matt's Story

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I started out my career as an environmental consultant, conducting environmental impact assessments for various companies. I had always been drawn to the bush and eventually, in 2009, decided to change direction and pursue a career in guiding.

I completed a 6 month live-in safari course with Bushwise and went to work at a lodge in the Kruger National Park for a year before moving on to Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve for the next 5 years.

My passion for the bush extends way past just viewing the animals and is cemented in exploring the connection between the living and non-living elements of the bush. My favourite bushveld creature is without doubt the leopard, followed closely by the termite – which can only be understood after listening to my in-depth explanation of both species.

My love of the bush is matched by my interest in photography and as a former Nikon Ambassador and now I am proudly a Sony Alpha Ambassador, I really want my guests to enjoy taking photos and help them make the most of their camera equipment. It is my goal to have guests leave with a deeper appreciation of all aspects of the bushveld, as well as with memorable photos of their time on safari.

I have spent the last 7 years guiding privately around Africa, seeing some of the most incredible places and experiencing some of the best wildlife activities on the continent. From the gorillas in Uganda and Rwanda, to the lemurs of Madagascar, each place brings with it its own majesty. 

It is my privilege to be able to show people around the most amazing natural areas around the world and help people reconnect with our earth which we have lost touch with.

Born in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, I spent most of my childhood moving back and forth between Durban and the family private game reserve in northern Zululand, where my passion for the outdoors and wildlife was nurtured at a young age. My mum would always struggle to get me inside the house at the end of the day, when all I wanted to do was be in the in the outdoors, exploring and learning.
 

After high school I gained practical knowledge to support my passion for nature at the University of KwaZulu Natal, where I earned a bachelor’s degree in ecological sciences with a focus on wildlife management and conservation. Field trips into the bush occupied much of my studies and during school holidays I often assisted post-graduate students with research and field work. Following graduation, I trained as a game ranger at the world-famous MalaMala Game Reserve adjacent to Kruger National Park. This spectacular reserve is where I was based for almost a decade and where my guiding career began, ultimately holding the positions of head ranger and head photographic ranger.

 

In 2016 it was time for me to leave MalaMala and begin my career as a private guide, but not until I’d done something completely insane.. Cycling down the entire west coast of the USA while pulling a life sized replica of a Black Rhino named “Lunar” to raise money for Rhino conservation. The initiative was named, The Long Ride to Free Them, or Rhino Ride for short. Rhino Ride was not only a fundraising campaign for my favourite creatures, the Rhino, but an awareness pilgrimage to tell the unfortunate story of our poor rhinos and to try shed some light on how we can save them. It took me along some 2000 miles of hilly coastline and 2 months to complete and it ultimately led to me meeting (and marrying) my now wife who was the rhino keeper at one of the zoos I presented at.
 

Over the course of my career I have had the privilege of traveling Africa extensively and have visited many of the regions “bucket list” destinations, from Madagascar to Uganda, the Namib desert to the Okavango delta, the Masai Mara to the MalaMala, and beyond! I have been incredibly fortunate to work with some of the best companies and conservation organisations in the world and consider myself one of the lucky few who truly love what I do and can’t wait to go to work on a Monday.