Our resident couple, Nat and Ewan were both raised in Africa and were exposed to the African bush from an early age. Their respective parents shared a love of wildlife and as such, most holidays were spent camping in various surrounding countries and visiting their National Parks. Their engaging personalities endear them to friends and visitors alike. Together they make a formidable team which is reflected in the atmosphere at the Lodge and the pleasure it brings to so many guests.
After their African childhood, they both graduated from universities in the UK after which they each decided to make their life back in Africa. Their knowledge and love of the bush is evident as soon as you meet them. They now have three young children, Mana, Max and Sophie, who are enjoying a relatively unusual childhood in Lower Zambezi where they learn to recognise the sounds of hippo and hyena instead of sheep and cattle.
The first half of the management couple, Nat’s love of the African bush started early, having been raised on a large farming estate in a then remote part of Zambia. After six years in Kenya, her family moved to Zimbabwe, and she went on to boarding school in the UK where she completed her secondary education. She graduated with a BSc (Hons) Degree in Psychology from the University of Surrey in the UK. After some years working in London (where she developed her fantastic people skills) she decided to leave London, return to her roots and joined Royal Zambezi Lodge in 2010.
When asked about this fairly major decision she replied:
“Africa is where my heart is. I love the way of life, the freedom and the people. It also helps me appreciate what’s important in life.”
For Natalie, the best part of her job is sharing the experience of Africa with people for the first time and providing the best opportunities for them to see it as she has.
“I get to re-live the beauty and the wonder of it all through their eyes again and again”.
The second half of our management couple, Ewan, was born and raised on his parents’ cattle ranch in Zimbabwe where living in the bush was just what one did! He completed his schooling in Zimbabwe. After gaining a BA(Hons) Degree in Adventure Tourism in the UK, he joined his parents in Tanzania and helped them build their game fishing lodge from scratch on a remote coastal peninsula. He designed and supervised all the building, ran the business for three years and became an experienced and popular deep-sea fishing guide. His biggest catch was a 120kg black marlin – or so he says!
Once their lodge was up and running, he decided to look for some different tourism experiences in Africa. When a job at Royal Zambezi Lodge presented itself, Ewan took the plunge. He started as the Maintenance Manager and gradually over three years took responsibility for the maintenance and direct operations and married his boss! As well as keeping everything going smoothly at Royal, he has found time to become a licensed guide. Ewan loves the fact that no two days at Royal are the same. With an infectious smile he says:
“The pleasures and problems are always different. There is never a dull moment – I even find the odd minute to do some fishing!”