At Wild4 African Photo Safaris, we only make use of professional photo tour leaders/hosts/safari guides that have the same kind of work ethic as we do. They possess professional respect for our clients, the animals we photograph, and the wilderness areas in which they live.
Our tour leaders come from a safari guiding background and are highly qualified in the field of tourism ethics and nature guiding. They hold all relevant guiding qualifications and driving licences which are required by law for anyone to be a safari guide.
Photo safari guiding is more than just getting into the right position and knowing how to use a camera. Knowledge of animal behaviour, the many different species and landscapes of an area and local knowledge of places and cultures are just some of the many attributes that make a great Photo Safari guide.
Having been born and raised in Africa, I was fortunate to have been introduced to an astounding diversity of wildlife and wild places. As a family, we have lived in Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia, and South Africa. In 2020 we emigrated to the Australian island state of Tasmania, where we continue to organize small group specialist photographic safaris to Africa's most photo productive locations.
In 1999, I became a qualified Field Guide with the Field Guides Association of Southern Africa (FGASA). In 2003, I obtained a BA (Hons) Degree in Wildlife Photography at Blackpool and The Fylde College, an associate college of Lancaster University in the United Kingdom.
The combination of these two passions helped me to achieve my long-held dream of operating my own wildlife photographic safari tour company.
My images & videos have been featured on various TV shows including Nat Geo Wild's "Caught in the Act". I am a previous winner of the "African Wildlife" Category in the Natures Best photo competition and my images have been published in numerous newspapers and magazines around the world. They are also for sale through FINE ART AMERICA, my own Photoshelter Website and a number of image stock libraries.
Mamai was born and raised in the northern frontier of Kenya and is a member of one of the most famous of Kenya's tribal groups, the Maasai. Not only will you have wonderful wildlife experiences with Mamai, but he also loves to share and interpret his personal insight into his fascinating Maasai culture.
Mamai is married with four children and they live on a group ranch in the Laikipia area.
After completing secondary school, Mamai graduated with a Diploma in Tour guiding and administration. For the past 17 years, Mamai has been involved in wildlife projects and tourism. He has worked with the Laikipia Predator Project, which focuses on the ecology and conservation of African Predators and the growing issue of Human & Wildlife Conflict. He also worked as a safari guide in the Loisaba Wilderness area for 5 and a half years, after which he moved to the famous Maasai Mara - Kenya's finest game-viewing area. Here he worked as a guide at Kicheche Mara Camp. During his time in the Mara Mamai built up an amazing knowledge of the Reserve and knows it like the back of his hand.
After working with Mamai, I immediately noticed how in tune he was with predicting animal behaviour and how good he was at positioning the safari vehicle for photographers, taking into account the light, distance from the subject and the background. He is an absolute pleasure to work with, always punctual, always smiling, soft-spoken and has an amazing knowledge of the wildlife, the reserves and his country.
Mamai is also an excellent birding guide and has participated in various ornithological courses and has led many birding specific safaris.
A keen photographer himself, Mamai loves photographing the amazing diversity of Kenya's Wildlife. Having a guide like Mamai who is patient, considerate, knowledgeable and who knows where to go and what makes a good photograph is extremely valuable on a photographic safari.
Mamai is a certified member of the KENYA PROFESSIONAL SAFARI GUIDES ASSOCIATION (KPSGA) and a licensed safari guide through the Tourism Regulatory Authority of Kenya.
"Through my experiences, I have learned that guiding is about an honest enjoyment of the bush and all the facets of nature. It's also about a genuine enjoyment of people and communication; it's about teaching people about the bush and creating an experience and a holiday that they will never forget."
Leon grew up in Johannesburg in a family keen on natural history. His father had a veterinary practice and his mom was excellent at organizing amazing holidays out in the wilds of Southern Africa. It was on these trips that Leon first got to play with his parents Canon SLR camera.
After successfully achieving a B Soc Sc (Hons) Degree in Geography and Environmental Science at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, he took up a temporary job running the bar at a safari lodge in the well known Sabi Sands Game Reserve. This is where his interest in guiding was born. Leon soon worked his way into a guiding position at the lodge and surrounded by amazing wildlife, he soon learned the art of photography "the old way", using light meters, manual metering and 36 exposure slide film!
Leon gained further experience in guiding by working at several other top lodges around South Africa and continued pursuing his love for photography and acquired new equipment.
After a break from guiding to live and work in London, Leon realized that his true passion lay in field guiding and photography so he returned to live in South Africa and has now found his niche in being a specialist birding and photographic guide. He lives in Nelspruit with his wife and two children.
Leon is one of the Directors and also a THETA/FGASA (Level 3) and SKS Birding Specialist Guide for LAWSON'S BIRDING, WILDLIFE and CUSTOM Safaris, who we have partnered with to fulfil our Kruger National Park Photo Safaris. Leon views Kruger as his "home-patch" and it remains one of his favourite destinations in Africa.
Having known Leon for a number of years, I know his guiding ethics and principles match ours, he has extensive knowledge of Kruger, it's wildlife and its photo hotspots, he is the perfect person to guide our Kruger National Park Photographic Safaris.