There are many ingredients that make up a perfect African safari. But there is one factor that separates a truly exceptional safari from all others: a dependable, knowledgeable and resourceful guide.
Each of our safaris are either led by us or by one of our hand-picked team of guides who have years of knowledge and experience in the field. As each of us have our own areas of expertise and individual enthusiasms, we take the time to ‘match-make’ our guests with the right guide.
Aside from our core team, we also have guides with niche specialisms, including an incredible walking safari guide and Kenya’s leading expert in flora and medicinal plants.
These are just some of the guides you will might meet on safari with us:
Mikey was raised in the African bush on his family’s 45,000-acre ranch in Laikipia, northern Kenya. He spent his childhood surrounded by local hunters, trackers and trappers, gaining invaluable first-hand knowledge of Africa’s wildlife. Mikey is passionate about Kenya and he loves the spontaneity of being out in the wilderness, the freedom it offers, and the vibrancy of a life lived alongside diverse cultures and wildlife.
John is a third-generation Kenyan and a well-known and respected professional hunter. His knowledge of wildlife and their habitats is extensive. John is also an enthusiastic photographer and is always ready to lend a hand to anyone interested in learning more. His photographic work has been exhibited and sold overseas for various charitable organisations, such as The Tusk Trust and The African Rainforest Conservancy Trust.
Gary is Tanya’s cousin, born and brought up on the Hopcraft family farm on the edge of Lake Naivasha in the Great Rift Valley, Kenya. As a child he was either at home on the farm or on safari with his father. This is where he learnt to love and understand Kenya's wildlife, alongside developing a keen interest in photography. After studying at Bristol University in the UK, Gary returned to Kenya where he splits his time between managing the family farm and being on safari.
Born and raised in Laikipia, northern Kenya, Anne has been guiding for the best part of 17 years. She is one of Kenya’s foremost experts in the indigenous plants of East Africa and their many uses. The Powys family have been in Kenya for several generations. Anne grew up on a working cattle ranch, spending her school holidays in the bush, and it was this outdoor upbringing that cultivated her great passion and respect for the natural world.
Neil was born and bred in Kenya and has been guiding safaris for over 20 years. He is married to Gemma and has two children, Marina and Jake, who have inherited their father’s enthusiasm for Africa’s natural world. Growing up, Neil’s interests were rugby, clay pigeon shooting and collecting reptiles. Today, he loves fishing and butterflies – he even has a species named after him, having found and identified the butterfly in the Rift Valley when he was in his 20s.
The son of one of Kenya's foremost wildlife trappers – John Mara – Francis has turned his hand to almost everything in the safari industry. He started with Specialised Safaris as a room steward, at which he excelled. He then became a truck driver, helping move the mobile camp around the country, and is now a safari guide and wildlife spotter. His desire to please and hunger to learn are the traits of a great guide.
Mark’s father was a game warden in Kenya for 40 years, affording Mark the opportunity to grow up in some of the remotest parts of the country. Mark, a third-generation Kenyan, has guided safaris all over East and Southern Africa and his love for and understanding of Africa’s animals and plant life has led to him being appointed an Honorary Game Warden in Kenya. He is an avid bird hunter who also guides professional shooting safaris.
Sala, Kinna and Tisa
Sala, Kinna and Tisa are the youngest guides you’re likely to meet on one of our safaris (or indeed on any safari). Sala, 14 years old, has spent most of her life sat on the top of the car listening to her father, Mikey, guiding. By the age of 12, she was already giving guests the full guided experience, but from the refreshing perspective of a child. Tisa and Kinna are 10-year-old twins. Kinna is the family clown, a keen fisherman and ever active. His quick wit is always amusing to our guests. Tisa is determined and punchy, more than able to hold her own around her brother. She is full of campfire stories and always laughing, bringing a smile to those around her. All three are arty and have Tanya’s creative streak. They also all love smores and will happily whip some up for you when you join them on safari.