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Africa's Best Safari Guides: Follow the Leaders

Kurt Markus

Photo: Kurt Markus


Tor Allan
WHO: The son of lodge owners in Kenya and Tanzania. Born in 1946, in Norway.
WHAT & WHERE: Fly/drive safaris in Kenya, where Allan operates independently, and in Tanzania, where he is affiliated with Sokwe, a local outffiter.
MOTTO: "You've got to be enthusiastic. I give it everything I have."
FAVORITE ANIMAL: "Zebras have more personality than most other wildlife. You could almost sit and talk with one."
CONTACT: Tor Allan Safaris Nairobi, Kenya; 254-2/891-190, fax 254-2/890-142; torallan@africaonline.co.ke .

Richard Bonham
WHO: The son of game warden Jack Bonham, famous for his expeditions in Kenya. Born in 1954, in Kenya.
WHAT & WHERE: A limited number of private safaris yearly in Kenya and Tanzania. Bonham also owns two permanent, luxury camps: Ol Donyo Wuas, in Kenya's Chyulu Hills, and Sand Rivers, in Tanzania's Selous Game Reserve.
MOTTO: "Wilderness should be the main ingredient of a safari. I like to go out for one to three weeks, to places where you won't see another person on the road."
FAVORITE ANIMAL: "Elephants. They are so obviously intelligent. They have a sense of humor, a sense of death."
CONTACT: Richard Bonham Safaris Nairobi, Kenya; 254-2/ 882-521, fax 254-2/882-728; Bonham.Luke@swiftkenya.com; www.richardbonhamsafaris.com.

Gavin Ford
WHO: Former chairman of the renowned Zimbabwe Professional Guides Association. Born in 1956, in Zimbabwe.
WHAT & WHERE: Abercrombie & Kent's mobile safari operation in Botswana, which Ford heads.
MOTTO: "Every day is a highlight."
FAVORITE ANIMAL: "Cape buffalo. They're tremendously imposing, and have a gentle and independent spirit. I've walked among herds of more than one thousand, with no real concern for my safety."
Contact: Abercrombie & Kent 800/323-7308, fax 630/954-3324; www.abercrombiekent.com.

George Mavroudis
WHO: A photographer-naturalist specializing in Tanzania's Northern Circuit. Born in 1966, in Tanzania.
WHAT & WHERE: Customized mobile safaris, from Lake Eyasi through the Serengeti to Lake Victoria.
MOTTO: "It's an experience, not a tour."
FAVORITE ANIMAL: "Leopard. The most adaptable cat—elusive, solitary, successful."
CONTACT: Travel International 310/657-7321, fax 310/659-0920; www.travelintl.com.

Joseph Ndunguru
WHO: Safari guide to the likes of Joe Montana, Bill Gates, and Prince Charles. Born in 1946, in Tanzania.
WHAT & WHERE: Year-round luxury mobile safaris for Abercrombie & Kent, primarily in Tanzania's Northern Circuit. Will also take you into southern Tanzania and Kenya on request.
MOTTO: "You have to get a feel for what clients really want to do and learn."
FAVORITE ANIMAL: Giraffes. Ndunguru himself was known in wildlife college as "Tanzania's smallest giraffe."
CONTACT: Abercrombie & Kent 800/323-7308, fax 630/954-3324; www.abercrombiekent.com.

Rakita Ole Nkere
WHO: Prominent Masai elder who has been guiding with Micato Safaris for 12 years. Born in 1962, in Kenya.
WHAT & WHERE: Bush walks and cultural tours on deluxe tented safaris in the Masai Mara.
MOTTO: "I have the best job in the world."
FAVORITE ANIMAL: "Lions. Masai and lions have respect for one another—we are both warriors of the bush."
CONTACT: Micato Safaris 800/642-2861, fax 212/545-8297; micatony@aol.com; www.micato.com.

Robin Pope
WHO: A protégé of Zambia's trailblazing Norman Carr, who pioneered walking safaris in the South Luangwa Valley. Born in 1951, in Zambia.
WHAT & WHERE: Pope leads walking safaris from three base camps in Zambia's South Luangwa Valley and day walks from a mobile camp.
MOTTO: "I want to change the way people see nature."
FAVORITE ANIMAL: "Elephants. It's as if you can communicate with them telepathically."
CONTACT: Robin Pope Safaris Mfuwe, Zambia; 260-62/45090, fax 260-62/45051; rps@super-hub.com; www.robinpopesafaris.net.

John Stevens
WHO: A founding member of the Zimbabwe Professional Guides Association. Born in 1948, in Zimbabwe. WHAT & WHERE: Traditional tented safaris in Matusadona and Mana Pools National Parks in Zimbabwe's Zambezi Valley. Year-round custom safaris throughout southern Africa.
MOTTO: "The only way to feel part of the environment when you're on safari is to get out of the jeep and walk."
FAVORITE ANIMAL: "Black rhino. It's extremely agile and very alert, shy, and unpredictable. Tracking it is always a challenge— and a privilege, since this magnificent creature is on the endangered species list."
CONTACT: John Stevens Safaris Harare, Zimbabwe; 263-4/495-650, fax 263-4/496-113; jsshome@mweb.co.zw; www.jssafari.com.


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