I am not an untravelled salesman sitting in a climate controlled head office, flicking through a glossy brochure of distant & exotic locations selling holiday packages in an attempt to meet a monthly sales quota prescribed by my overbearing superior…
Rather, I am a professionally qualified safari guide with first-hand experience as a host; a camp manager, a tour organizer and leader, a booking liaison and a bush pilot. Therefore my strength and advantage lies in knowing and having an all encompassing understanding, from all vantage points; both as consumer and provider of what it takes to turn a great safari into a brilliant once in a lifetime experience.
I also would rather recommend safari camps and lodge operations that are personally known to me to ensure quality prevails.
It is therefore important to understand all facets of the experience. From the conceptual and planning stages right through to the last supper and bon voyage back home.
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 attend 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 adjacent to the Kruger Park 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 in Kenya I had been leading foot safaris & fly camping in the little known yet massive expanse of the Selous Game Reserve where I honed my passion for conservation.
Why Choose Kieran Barnard Safaris
Having lived and worked as a professional safari guide in Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa and Namibia; and having lead tours and been on safari in Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Uganda I have gained a certain degree of first-hand knowledge which is backed up by recognized professional guiding qualifications in South Africa and Kenya.
When arranging a safari to a particular destination I prefer to hand-pick and carefully select camps or intimate lodges based on prior experience, which I know will be specifically suited to each of my client’s individual needs and interests. I take pride in spending time to get to know each of my clientele’s individual interests and what they wish to gain out of a safari. Each day on safari holds unique moments and so each group on safari is equally as different.
From Walking safaris to horse safaris, hot air balloons to helicopter flips, spicy prawn curry with coconut rice and tumeric in Zanzibar to Springbok fillet and Kudu biltong in Etosha… I enjoy sharing my perspective on Africa & travelling with fun open minded individuals, who have a thirst for new experiences.
I believe that the best way to experience and extract maximum value from a holiday is to relinquish all the day-to-day stresses of foreign travel by having someone on the ground and at hand to facilitate and organize the detail. My role is not only to plan your safari from start to finish, but also to be your guide who can lead, translate and add value. Making a truly seamless once in a lifetime experience… everyday.
Nobody can ever with any conviction, say that they know everything. The path to knowledge or intellectual wealth is a steep learning curve; one that will never plateau out as a horizontal line on a graph. I therefore do not profess or claim to know everything about every region or each intimate detail therein – but what I do endeavour to do is to employ a local specialist if a client has a specific area or aspect of intrigue beyond that of my skills set, perhaps geology in Namibia; religious culture in Ethiopia or human genetics in the upper reaches of the Rift Valley.
In this way my goal is to deliver a personalized service as a guide, a host, a facilitator through tailor made private flying safaris.
My Family History in Africa
Around the time that the Dutch East India Company established the Cape Colony (circa 1652) my paternal forebears arrived in Africa. Over the course of the 1830’s the Afrikaner Voortrekker’s began to move further North; a small minority ventured farther afield…
In the spirit of adventure my great great grandmother’s family shipped their worldly possessions in the late 1890’swhich consisted of oxen, horses and farm implements from the Northern Transvaal via Beira, Mozambique to Mombasa, Kenya. No easy feat in the days prior to prophylactics or lightweight breathableclothing…
After much trekking and camping through the wild plains of former British East Africa they finally settled on the Western Highlands of Kenya in the vicinity of Mt Elgon. Here they ploughed virgin soil in the Uashin Guishu (now Eldoret) and the surrounds of Western Kenya to make way for what are still today very productive farmlands.
My grandmother told tales of an uncle who went AWOL in Uganda for a number of years hunting as a commercial ivory hunter; to her belief he may have cached a large number of tusks all over Uganda in anticipation of a lucrative retirement fund.
Upon commencing a job as a walking guide in Tanzania’s little explored Selous Game Reserve I found out from my “Ouma” that an Italian relative of hers was in fact killed in the area whilst fighting for the allied forces in World War 1. Arnoldi tragically fell from his horse and banged his head against a rock whilst trailing behind his stallion in his stirrups.
More recently I have had the fortune to explore Namibia from an aerial perspective whilst conducting flying safaris. During this period I have done some reading on the history of the country. The German influence in South West Africa initially attracted a few settler families, one of which was my mother’s great grandmother. The family emigrated to the German colony as chicken farmers outside of Luderitz. After the discovery of Diamonds in the area the entire colony flourished.
On my safaris I like to cover the cultural, historical and geographical aspects of the particular region. I like spending quality time on any particular aspect of the safari in order to impart an in depth appreciation of the area’s visited. I particularly enjoy spending time with those who have an interest in photography as I too am an avid photographer.
In my spare time I enjoy travelling & sampling local cultures. I enjoy hobbies such as diving, surfing cricket & of course socializing.
Website Photo Credits
Photographs that appear throughout this website have been provided courtesy of:
- Kieran Barnard
- Wilderness Safaris
- Nomad Tanzania
- Asilia Africa
- Africa Born
- Dave Simpson
- Wild Frontiers
- Howard Saunders
- Robin Pope
- Unchartered Africa