The first of our Safari Guides is Victor. He grew up in Mugurameno village in Chiawa and always had an interest in wildlife, nature and conservation. Naturally, becoming a guide had been a dream from when he was a young boy. Starting in the industry to gain experience, he worked as a cook and a waiter, however, he was soon given the opportunity to begin training as a spotter and a guide which he did for two seasons before fully qualifying as a guide in 2008. He then joined Royal in 2014. Victor indulges in his passion for wildlife every chance he gets and ensures he keeps himself busy. Every guest is unique to him, and when a guest leaves having learnt something from him he is truly satisfied with his guiding approach.
Chris grew up on the outskirts of Lusaka and always dreamed of working with wildlife and nature but living in the city gave him little opportunity to do this. After completing school he started working in retail while studying accountancy at the same time. During this time Chris met a friend who went to work in the bush and gave him the opportunity to experience it. Through these visits to the bush he realised that he had a passion for it and wanted to forge a career in it. Having accepted a position as a storeman in the Lower Zambezi, Chris borrowed his friend’s books to study and raised the money needed to write the guiding exams. He passed with flying colours and went on to train in the bush alongside an experienced guide. Chris became a qualified guide in 2013 and joined Royal in 2017.
Leo was born and raised in the Chiawa chiefdom, and his first position working in the valley was as a waiter/bartender at one of the local safari lodges. However, he had always had an interest in conservation and guiding and took every opportunity he could to listen to the guides and learn about identifying birds, mammals, insects and reptiles. From there, he pursued a trainee guiding course in which he excelled, achieving top results. Leo did his training at Royal Zambezi and began his career at the lodge in 2014 as a barman, then boatman and then safari guide. His favourite and strongest subject was birding, and now as a fully qualified guide, bird watching is the activity that he enjoys most.
Wallace grew up in a village called Kabwadu which is not far from the Lower Zambezi National Park. He developed an interest in wildlife while at school, where he was part of the Chongololo club. Wallace joined the tourism industry in 2005 working in the maintenance department. He was privileged enough to be trained by many different guides from around Africa which has helped him gain his wide range of knowledge in all aspects of guiding. In 2009 he became a fully qualified guide and joined the Royal family in 2017. Wallace’s favourite activities are walking safaris and game drives – he also has a keen eye for spotting leopards.
Joseph is a father of 5, which must be where his love for people comes from. Jo is the most enthusiastic guide you will come across on any safari, and he thrives on sharing his wildlife experiences with his guests. He loves canoeing, game drives and fishing and we can guarantee that if you go on any of these activities with him, you will end the day a happier person. Jo qualified as a guide in 2008 after working as a barman at a neighbouring camp. He joined the Royal Zambezi Lodge family in 2016. He is leading the pangolin sightings and also has an excellent eye for aardvark.
Last but definitely not least of our Safari Guides is Mainza born in the Luangwa district in the chief Mbuluma tribal area in the eastern part of the Lower Zambezi National Park. His passion for nature grew from a young age, being inspired by his father, Mr Solomon Chidunuka, an award-winning Tuskers conservationist. Solomon imparted vast knowledge to Mainza and has continuously guided him through his career in tourism. Being an ambassador for nature was always his dream, and this turned to reality when Mainza joined Royal Zambezi Lodge in 2016 as an intern. He is now a qualified guide and is grateful to the Royal team for believing in him and giving him the support to make his dream a reality. In his spare time, Mainza enjoys expanding his knowledge through reading and learning more about nature.