Abeduico "Shaka" Masuku
Abeduico “Shaka” Masuku was born in a small village called Mosojane close to Francistown in 1969. After completing high school he joined the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP) where he worked for 10 years – it was this time spent with DWNP that instilled Shaka’s love of the bush and he decided that he wanted to fully immerse himself in the bush and proceeded to study to become a guide.
He spent 3 years in the mobile sector and then moved to the lodge sector where he soon became head guide for Wilderness Safaris at Vumbura Camp. After a few years here he moved to Orient Express as a lodge manager and spent a year in South Africa having extensive management training. On returning to Botswana he continued in the lodges as a camp manager and realised that his passion was guiding and sharing his love and knowledge of the bush directly with clients so he returned to guiding and the mobile sector, where he has been working again for the last 6 years.
His favourite animal is a Vervet monkey because it is cheeky and clean. Shaka is married with 4 children – 3 daughters and 1 son who he is proud to say is following in his footstep’s with his love of all aspects of the bush.
Shadreck 'Shadow' Tshegane
Shadreck was born in Maun but grew up in the small village of Kachikau in the northern Chobe region about 100km west of Kasane. He completed his schooling in Kachikau before going on to complete his guides license with the Department of Wildlife and National Parks in 1996. After a few years of guiding up in the Chobe Shadreck decided it was time to return to the Okavango and in 1998 he moved to Maun where he worked with Brent in another safari company for several years. Shadreck became a well-known fixture in our parks and is know to his fellow guides as ‘Shadow’.
Shadow joined Letaka Safaris in 2012 and has a growing list of past guests who return to travel with him again and again. He lives in Maun with his wife Keloreng and his three children, Ikageng, Mighty and Tefo.
Stu and his wife, Justyna are the owners of WILD4 African Photographic Safaris. Since 2004 they have been successfully organising and leading photographic safaris to different parts of the African Continent. WILD4 is a family – run photo safari business and you can be assured that Stu & Justyna will take care of your every need from your first enquiry to the end of a memorable safari. They are passionate about their business and their clients and have very clear principles on how to run and operate their tours.
Kabo "KB" Kgopa
Kabo was born in Francistown in November 1979. Growing up in Francistown didn’t give Kabo much of a chance to get any exposure to the bush as Francistown is one of the bigger cities of Botswana. However, after completing his schooling in 1997, he did one year of national service, part of which was with the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP), where he was inspired by the wild areas of Botswana and decided to pursue a career in guiding. In 2001 after some self studying he successfully obtained his Botswana Assistant guides License, and got his first job as a guide in Chobe where he was first exposed to what life would be like as a guide. In 2002 he took what experience he had gained from the Chobe and joined Okavango Wilderness Safaris, where he was based in the Linyanti. During his two years at Wilderness Safaris he did some internal training with the company and got a chance to work in some of the top Wilderness camps. After spending his time with Wilderness he decided to make a move to another company, namely Kwando Safaris, where he spent a further 4 years guiding between the 4 camps that they operated. In the beginning of 2008 he joined Ngamiland Adventure Safaris for the true Okavango Delta experience, as most of his guiding career was based on the out-skirts of the Okavango. He was mainly based at Jao Camp and was one of the top guides in the Jao Concession! We have been blessed to have Kabo join our team in March of 2015 where his interest in photography, birding and furthering his knowledge in nature make him a very valuable part of our team.
Nkosi Sibanda was born in Gwanda, Zimbabwe in 1970, a town in the south of the Matabeleland province. He attended Manama High School in Gwanda where he did his A-levels before going on to attain a Diploma in Tourism and Travel Agency Management.
His love of the bush drove him to obtain his Zimbabwe Pro Guide’s license in 1992, and he continued to guide in Zimbabwe for the next 6 years.
At the age of 28 he moved to Botswana where he obtained his Botswana Professional Guides license and has been guiding in Botswana ever since. Nkosi joined Letaka Safaris in 2010 as a Senior Pro guide, and his passion of the bush means he usually tends to guide safaris that have a desert component in them. He lives in Maun with his wife Ludo and their two children.
Gaeboelwe "Gee" Mange
Gee was born on Chinxom Island, a small island in the southern Okavango Delta near the village of Shorobe. As a youngster Gee accompanied his older siblings, father and uncles on many hunting trips which were undertaken on foot and in dug-out canoes (mokoro). These often long excursions taught Gee field craft that would become indispensable in his later career as a professional guide. By the age of 7 he was an adept tracker and quite capable of surviving in the bush on his own!
With the rapid growth of tourism in the region Gee found a way to turn his passion into his work and he began his career as a professional guide in 2002. He has been guiding safaris in Botswana ever since.
Gee’s favourite animal is a tie between red lechwe and leopard, his favourite bird is the elusive Rosy-throated Longclaw. He lives in Maun with his wife Totang and his 5 children.
Born in the Magaliesburg mountains in 1974, Grant was raised with a love for birds, snakes and all things African, a passion passed on from his paternal grandfather and father. Grant’s run-in with snakes came earlier in life on his eighteenth birthday when he was bitten by a puff-adder and ended up spending six months in and out of hospital. Having survived hospital and the puff-adder bite Grant continues to be passionate about snakes and to this day Grant still lectures interested parties on snakes and snakebite. A consummate naturalist, Grant’s interests include such diverse subjects as dragonflies, birds, butterflies and wildflowers. He is widely considered to be one of Botswana’s top guides and holds two post-graduate degrees in Nature Conservation as well as the FGASA (Field Guides Association of Southern Africa) Level III certificate and a number of specialist qualifications. He is also a founding director of Letaka Safaris and of Okavango Guiding School and a large portion of his passionate energy is directed towards the training and development of guides in Botswana. Grant lives outside Maun on the banks of the Thamalakane River with his wife Trudi and his sons, Merrick and Ross.
James Gifford was raised in the United Kingdom and worked in The City before giving up the bright lights of London to work at Jacks Camp in the Makgadikgadi pans. His love for photography blossomed in Botswana’s wilderness where never-ending sunshine and bountiful wildlife gave him ample opportunity to hone his skills. After his initial stint in the safari industry he devoted himself to photography and writing full-time. His articles and photographs have appeared in numerous magazines including CNN Traveller, Africa Geographic, Travel Africa and the Eureka supplement to the UK’s Times newspaper. He also recently reached the semi-finals of the 2011 Africa Photographic Awards. His first book: “Wildlife Photography in Botswana: A Practical Guide”, co- authored with Steven Stockhall, was published earlier this year. Examples of his photography can be found at www.jamesgifford.co.uk as well as in his gallery on our website.
Lucas was born in the northern border town of Kasane on the banks of the Chobe River in 1989. Back then Kasane was a pretty wild place as it bordered on the Chobe National Park as it still does today but in those days there was a lot more human / wildlife interaction as Kasane was still a dusty little village with little development.
From a young age Lucas developed a fascination for the creatures that surrounded him even though he and his family had to deal with lions eating their livestock and elephants raiding their crops on an almost daily basis.
Lucas first qualified as a guide in 2010 and has been guiding safaris in Botswana ever since. His favourite animal remains the pesky elephants that used to raid his corn fields and his favourite bird is the Lilac-breasted Roller.
Joseph J. Ramsden was born in the village of Maun in August 1975 long before Maun became renowned as the gateway to the Okavango Delta. His first introduction to the wilderness was through his father, Jack Ramsden, who was one of Moremi Game Reserve’s first Game Wardens. Stationed in the Khwai Village, Jack would take his entire family on game drives in remote wilderness areas and Joe’s early memories are of numerous elephant, lion and other wildlife encounters at his father’s side. Throughout his childhood and teenage years Joe continued to visit Moremi Game Reserve and other parts of the Okavango Delta with his older brothers. He developed a keen interest in the wildlife and birdlife in particular. Once he had finished his National Service with the Botswana Defence Force, Joe focused his energies on obtaining his Professional Guide’s license and has been guiding full-time since 1997. After working full-time for Letaka Safaris for several years Joe now guides on for us on a freelance basis as he pursues his own business interests.
Brent was born in the foothills of the Magaliesberg mountains in South Africa where he was raised with an abiding love of nature and all things African. After a fairly brief career in the IT field, his abiding love of nature led him to the slightly less lucrative but infinitely more rewarding career as a professional guide. A passion for both birds and snakes changed focus more towards birds after Brent was near-fatally bitten by a Black Mamba in February 2004. He is a founding director of Letaka Safaris and has been guiding full-time for sixteen years. Although he is permanently based in the Okavango Delta in Botswana he has led trips to Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Mocambique and Madagascar as well as his native South Africa. Brent is also a director of Okavango Guiding School which aims to train local guides to benefit from the eco-tourism industry in Botswana, Okavango Guiding School is the first privately operated guide training school in Botswana. Brent lives outside Maun on the banks of the Thamalakane River with his wife Ashleigh and his two sons, Jarryd and Troy.
Canadian-born Tyler Garnham is a professional photographer based out of Vancouver in Canada. Tyler’s passion for photography shines through in his unique photographic style and his enthusiasm for all things photographic. He also works as a rafting and expedition guide in the northern reaches of British Columbia and Alaska during the Arctic summer. Tyler now leads an annual African photographic safari to share his wealth of knowledge with other photographers.