An itinerary is just the blueprint of a holiday – it takes special individuals working hard to make it a reality. That’s why A&K only works with the very best guides and experts, those with unmatched insight, passion and dedication to delivering client satisfaction.
From our qualified mountain guides helping travellers conquer Kilimanjaro, to our bush-wise safari guides helping them tick off the Big Five, we’re proud to work with such talented people across the world. And we’re not just saying that – the testimonials from our clients reveal just how much the right guide can transform a luxury holiday into a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Meet some of the stars who’ll make your A&K holiday truly exceptional.
Ananda van der Merwe
- Ananda van der Merwe was born in Johannesburg, but it was her years in the Kalahari Desert where she developed an interest in the human history and wildlife of southern Africa. After qualifying as a National Tourist Guide, her dream of sharing the diverse cultures and landscapes of this region with visitors came true. As part of the A&K Southern Africa team, her guiding areas of expertise include photography, history, flora, fauna and viticulture.
- Bhekinkosi Moyo learnt his bush craft growing up on a farm in rural Zimbabwe. As a child, he developed the skills passed down through generations of his family, including animal tracking and plant identification. He built on this knowledge with formal tour guide training, and has been guiding A&K clients across Southern Africa ever since.
- After graduating from university, Cameron Pearce eschewed a career in business management in favour of a life of adventure. He spent years honing his skills as a qualified field guide in reserves across South Africa before joining A&K. As well as showcasing the wild side of Africa, Cameron enjoys cultural guiding – revealing the complex, anthropological side of the continent.
- Born close to two of Kenya’s best National Parks, Cosmas Maluki developed a passion for wildlife at a young age. He studied tourism, graduating with top marks, before joining A&K’s guide training programme. Cosmas has been working with A&K as a professional safari guide since 1994, and his knowledge, language skills and warm disposition make him a favourite with our clients.
- Felix Mugandane has been working with A&K since 1997. He was a detective sergeant in the British South African Police force, but his desire to meet people from different nationalities and backgrounds persuaded him to swap the uniform for khakis and become a guide. Felix loves the cultural exchange which happens with clients during a tour, and enjoys showcasing the best of Zimbabwe and Southern Africa.
- George Phiri grew up in the beautiful Victoria Falls region of Zimbabwe. He worked in many roles within the tourism industry – everything from waiter to sales assistant – before becoming a qualified guide in 1997. He now works with the A&K Southern Africa team as a driver guide, showcasing the best of his homeland to our clients.
- John Niva fell in love with the nature and wildlife of his country during family visits to Nairobi National Park. His education took him to Lake Victoria, the slopes of Mount Kenya and back again, culminating in his graduation in tourism and foreign languages. John has worked with A&K as a safari guide since 1989, drawing on his extensive knowledge of African culture and wildlife. He is especially fond of leading family safaris.
- After a stint teaching crafts at a secondary school, Kebby Arabang decided the tourism and wildlife industry was where his passions lay. He completed courses in both I.T. and tourism before becoming a safari guide, showcasing the wild beauty of his home country to A&K clients from around the world. Kebby is an expert in the Okavango Delta, Moremi and Chobe regions of Botswana, and conducts safari tours in neighbouring Zambia too.
- Maurice Oyamo has worked as a safari guide for more than 20 years. He was born in the Lake Victoria region of Kenya, going on to study archaeology and cultural tourism at university. He enjoys sharing his extensive knowledge of East Africa’s wildlife and culture with clients, and – with many years of travelling under his belt – finds it easy to get along with people from anywhere in the world.
Onalenna "Ali" Tiego
- Initially working in the Botswana Defence Force, Onalenna “Ali” Tiego decided he wanted to pursue a career in the tourism industry. After a series of academic courses, he became a professional safari guide, working at camps across Botswana. This allowed him to go back to his roots – the Okavango Delta – and share the beauty of this region with our clients. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more affable, knowledgeable and professional guide in the Delta.
- Born and raised in South Africa, Pat Hochleutner worked as a hospital nurse before joining A&K as a guide. She’s now been with us for more than 17 years. Initially specialising in tours of the Gauteng province, she later attained her National Tourist Guide certification, enabling her to lead groups around the whole of South Africa and neighbouring countries. Pat cares greatly about the enjoyment and wellbeing of our clients, and it shows in her considerate approach to guiding.
- Poniso Shamakuni has been passionate about nature since childhood, when he joined the wildlife club at his school in Kasane. Today, he’s a qualified safari guide. You can find him conducting private guided safaris for A&K across the wildlife hot spots of Botswana and Zambia, including the Okavango Delta, Chobe and Moremi. Poniso’s calm demeanour and sense of humour always puts our clients at ease.
- Russell Gerber has been conducting marine and land safaris on and off for more than 10 years, travelling everywhere from Mozambique and Botswana to Thailand and the United Arab Emirates. Drawing from his academic background in zoology and marine biology, he loves to share his knowledge and enthusiasm for the natural world with A&K clients.