Guides & Vehicles

Guides

Your choice of guide is the most important decision you’ll make when planning your African safari.

It may also determine the type of safari that you end up taking as most top guides prefer to plan the whole itinerary
themselves and host their guests throughout their safari. In many cases top guides and their guests often become life
long friends and guests sometimes return for safaris with the same guide in a number of different African countries.

If you choose a traditional camping safari your guide will go much further than just taking you places and pointing
out animals. We are also your hosts from dawn till dusk every day and can turn your safari into a truly memorable
experience in many ways. Top guides are usually well travelled and educated and have many interests outside the
safari business, and are generally good company on safari.  We pride ourselves in looking after everyone who comes
with us – treating you as an individual rather than just one of a group. If you have a particular interest or something
that you particularly want to see, we will do whatever we can to ensure that you are satisfied.

Even amongst top guides there are significant differences. Some know one area particularly well, whereas others
have a particular speciality such as birds, or photography. A well planned safari will take every factor into consideration
and choose the right guide for each individual group.

Hamish Grant

Hamish Grant

Hamish Grant – the founder of Grant & Cameron Safaris – though retired from day to day guiding I do still lead the occasional safari.

I grew up on my parent’s farm on the Western slopes of the Rift Valley. The magnificent Queen Anne style house was surrounded by acres of lawn and a large walled kitchen garden. A short distance from the house the orderly paddocks with our pedigree Aberdeen Angus beef stud gave way to virgin forest alive with a myraid of colourful birds and monkeys. As a youngster I spent many hours with my friends collecting butterflies and chasing any fruit eating birds that strayed near the garden with our air rifles. This farm was sold in 1980. Since then I have lived a short distance away on Gogar which belonged to my maternal grandparents.

I went to Prep School in Kenya, moving to Britain to attend Public School and later University. After University I hitchhiked from Britain out to Kenya, then worked on our farm for a few months before starting an agricultural contracting business. After a few years working in agriculture for most of the year in order to spend my holidays on various safaris I decided to sell my machines and go into the safari business full time.

I started Grant and Cameron Safaris in 1987 with Vanessa Kingsford. We were married two years later. Together we built up our company from simple beginnings into a top safari operation. We  took over the management of Gogar Farm in 1991 and started a dairy processing business which became one of Kenya’s largest privatised milk processors in 1994. We had a son Alex in the same year but tragically Vanessa died during the birth of our daughter Seiya in 1997.  In 2003 I married again to Lenka Kurk. We now have another child, Kristina. Lenka and the children often join us for a part of our safaris.

I have taken over 200 safaris to various parts of East Africa in over two decades as a professional guide. I am interested in all aspects of wildlife, flora and fauna. I do not have any particular area of speciality though I have a keen interest in animals and birds. I like to see local communities benefit from tourism revenues and become involved in conservation efforts. I was appointed an Honorary Game Warden for the Kenya Wildlife Services in 2004 until I resigned from this in 2011.

I also manage Gogar Farm, Rongai which has been in our family for more than 100 years and I am proud to be able to continue that tradition. (see  www.gogar.co.ke) I am also involved with the Vanessa Grant School Trust (www.vanessagranttrust.org) which aims to provide funds and assistance for education related projects.

As a family we enjoy skiing holidays and I enjoy fly fishing and scuba diving when I get the chance.

Kieran Barnard – has been a G&C guide since 2006.

Kieran was born outside of Cape Town and brought up in the South western region of the Cape Winelands. His interest for wild areas developed early on as a child during family camping trips in & around Southern Africa.

In Kieran’s own words…
After matriculating from boarding school in the UK, I attained a MA in Sociology & Economics from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. Immediately after my final exams (& shortly after two celebratory beers at the pub) I boarded a plane in lieu of the pomp & ceremony of a graduation so that I could atteneded a Wildlife Management course hosted through the University of Pretoria, which started the ball rolling.

Thereafter to bolster the wildlife skills gained I attained a license to guide through the Field Guides Association of SA. I started my career at Thornybush Game Reserve in South Africa. However, a lust for authenticity & adventure led me to East Africa where my paternal branch of the family had been farming, hunting & exploring a new life from as early the 1900’s.

I have supervised the construction & management of a couple of well known safari camps in Kenya & Tanzania.  Whilst not guiding seasonally with Hamish I had been leading foot safaris & fly camping in the little known yet massive expanse of the Selous GR where I honed my passion for conservation.

I hold a Commercial Pilots license. My view is to marry aviation with tourism in the near future to solidify an operating niche by providing privately guided & flown safaris.

My most memorable ‘life experience’ has been a 4 month pioneering dhow safari in the wake of 1000 yr old Arab trading vessels along the length of the Tanzanian coast.”

On my safaris I like to cover the cultural, historical and geographical aspects of the East African region. I like spending quality time with those who have an interest in photography as I too am an avid photographer.

 

Vehicles

Our extended chassis Land-Rovers or Land Cruisers provide the best all-round performance and reliability essential for adventure safaris. We modify the suspensions to be comfortable in rough conditions and have the bodies coach-built to our specifications to provide excellent all-round visibility and large roof hatches for game viewing.

Three spacious rows of seats ensures that everyone has plenty of room. Our home-made “munchies” are always a big hit with those who feel peckish on game-drives and any time you feel thirsty there is a fridge full of cold drinks. In the vehicles you will also find a range of reference books, as well as rice “sandbags” to enable you to steady your camera for that perfect shot.

Every vehicle has two spare wheels, a winch, hi-lift jack, full recovery gear to cope with the worst conditions and if that fails there’s a two-way radio between vehicle and camp!

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