For as long as I can remember, I’ve been passionate about the outdoors. As a boy scout I explored the rugged hills around Wellington, New Zealand. Every free minute was filled with adventure and I lived for holidays and weekends to get lost caving, trout fishing and mountain biking.
After completing my studies as a graphic designer, I left New Zealand to discover the world. It didn’t take my adventurous heart long to find Africa. Once you get a taste for the bush, the people, and the dust, it gets in your blood. It soon became my home. This is where Tribal Tourist was born.
“The Tribe firmly believes that by bringing more travelers to Africa, local communities can benefit which in turn will help protect our wildlife.”
Meet the Tribe
Coming to Africa and not getting to know its people is merely half a holiday. As much as the rich plains abundant with wildlife, challenging mountains and numerous waterways will take your breath away, the continent also has a wealth of cultures and a deep connection with mankind’s evolution and development.
Locals on their land, these humans lead lives incomparable to ours. True African adventures are about connecting with them. It’s shaking their hands not just clicking the camera. It’s learning their ways, not just waving through the window. It’s knowing the names of the joyful children in our pictures. It’s not just passing through but getting involved and making a lasting difference in preserving their age-old customs.
Botswana’s main ethnic groups are Tswana, Kalanga, and Basarwa (or Bushmen).
The Maasai are an indigenous ethnic group who settled in Kenya and northern Tanzania.
Protect our Wildlife
Since childhood, my love for the wilderness and adventure went hand-in-hand with a commitment to protect the animals that roam these wild places. Today in Africa, we are acutely aware that our wildlife doesn’t roam anywhere else in the world and we are driven to use our position in these reserves to ensure a comfortable, safe, and thriving life for them long after we are gone, as they were here long before we came.
Our tribal leaders are passionate and dedicated to conservation and tourism that leaves as little impact as possible. Every partner we have in Africa is in some way connected to a wildlife protection programme.
Photo credit: &Beyond Our safari partners &Beyond do an incredible job working with Rhino Without Borders to help protect our rhinos in Africa.
When you think of Africa, the first thing that probably comes to mind is safari. Although we definitely believe travelers should experience the wildlife of our continent, we do things a little differently. We want you to make memories that will last a lifetime. These memories are so deeply experienced, you won’t be disappointed if your camera’s memory card corrupts, because you’ll have the experience – the kind people plan for their entire lives – embedded in your mind forever.
Rare wildlife sightings, crazy adrenaline inducing activities, or your own villa on stilts with nothing but nature around you are all part of what we offer. Whether it’s adventure or a relaxing family vacation you’re after, we can provide a customized itinerary that ticks off everything on your bucket list. With us, you won’t find anything stock standard. Your trip is crafted so that you get down and dirty with Africa, just the way we like it.
This is our backyard, get off the beaten track and explore Africa the way we do, connect with nature.
“Not until we are lost do we begin to find ourselves”
Henry David Thoreau
Here at Tribal Tourist, every member of our team lives and breathes Africa. We believe in crafting experiences that transcend mere vacations, revealing the symbiotic relationship between you and nature. Step out of the tourist traps and come touring with us.
Travelling is more than just a single trip. It can be transcendent. It can be life changing. It’s a paradigm shift. It grants you the chance to be completely immersed in new cultures, new places and the natural world. It offers escape from the rat race and the solace of getting back to basics. We all yearn for the adventure of a lifetime, but it all begins with one step. Isn’t it time you took it?
Matthew Kearns – The Tribal Leader
MEET OUR TRIBAL FAMILY
Here at Tribal Tourist, every member of our team lives and breathes Africa. Our continent is one of endless beauty, culture, and wildness and our aim is to bring people to Africa in a way that helps to preserve what we hold dear. Step out of the tourist traps and come touring with us.
Michelle UysIndian Ocean Eco warrior and Bush camp Chef of note!I love the Indian ocean – from a young age hot summers night’s were spent splashing in the waves under the moonlight – wild and free.Growing up in Africa naturally made us explorers and nature lovers, always outdoors and it was the most natural thing to return to our beloved continent after 20 years living abroad!Africa is in our blood, Africa is our playground, we are here to ensure you get to enjoy!#ifollowthetribe
Lydia is an adventurer and avid explorer with a unique deep-rooted passion for off-the-beaten track experiences. This has led her to travel extensively in Uganda as a Travel researcher for an online travel guide – The Uganda Travel Planner. Travel has always been an important aspect of her life and she loves to share her enthusiasm on travel, and really enjoys helping clients to plan the perfect trip. As a trained social worker, Lydia is passionate about sustainable tourism and local community development. She runs the Nkuringo Youth Initiative Foundation a registered community based organization; that supports community initiatives through local skills development in a remote part of Uganda that’s aimed at improving the welfare of communities and enriches the lives of individuals.
Barret Harvey is the owner of Apnea Productions in Durban and creator of The African Spearfishing Diaries series. He has been a specialised sports producer for over 10 years, having produced television shows for SuperSport in the genre of fishing, surf ski, surfing, mountain biking, and beach volleyball, among others.
Today he mainly specialises in the creation of content around the sport of breath hold spearfishing. As one of the top free-diving videographers in the world, he is always travelling the globe filming clients as they chase some of the largest fish to be taken on spear. Barret is an adventurer, sportsman and film maker that tries to share his exciting life with the world through his cinematography.
Keith Connelly is a mad passionate Wildlife Guide, Professional Photographer, Photographic Guide and Travel Addict.
He began his career as a guide working in the exclusive lodges of South Africa where he gained a great love for photography, but an even greater passion for the planet’s wildlife and love for the personal experiences and the pure joy that capturing and sharing nature’s best moments offer.
His 15 years of experience guiding clients and travelling in some of the world’s foremost wild places and has developed a great understanding and knowledge of wildlife behaviours and habits.
Keith is of the firm belief that extraordinary safaris and wildlife experiences are felt more by the heart and soul than seen or heard with eyes and ears. Capturing these wonderful natural moments is all about the experiences themselves leaving an indelible emotional memory that will last a lifetime.
In recent years he has developed a real joy in teaching all of the finer aspects of nature photography to clients and fellow photographers and now plies his trade privately guiding his clients and offering Photographic Safaris across Africa and the globe.
Adél has recently completed her masters degree in sustainable development and believes that travel and sustainability go hand in hand. The more fascinating people you meet and destinations you explore, the more you’re driven to act in a way that benefits, rather than destructs, the planet and the wellbeing of its people.
Adél’s 10 easy ways to tread more lightly in travel:
1. Take a reusable water bottle wherever you go and refill it with drinking water.
2. Travel with a reusable coffee mug instead of using disposal cups.
3. Refuse plastic straws – your cocktail tastes just as good without it – or buy a reusable straw.
4. Stay on the walking paths in protected areas.
5. Be mindful when you open the taps – Africa is a water scarce continent.
6. Enjoy local food – they have much less food miles.
7. Buy local, handmade crafts as souvenirs – it supports the local economy.
8. Don’t encourage begging from kids – rather donate to a local NGO.
9. Always respect nature – it was there long before any of us.
10. Be gentle in your judgements – different people do things differently
Our very own Tribal Tourist Ambassador. A certified snake catcher at just 17-years-old, Uys’ passion for animals has always run wild. Though he models himself on the character of famed conservationist Steve Irwin, he acted on pure instinct during the recent fires earlier this month in Hermanus. Thanks to his tenacity, the tortoises began their second chance at life at the Fernkloof Nature Reserve. “When I released the tortoises I felt quite emotional,” Uys says. “I knew those 33 were not going to make it if I didn’t do anything about it.” His selfless act is a reflection of the courage and compassion of all South Africans, and proof that our creatures are in good hands. “Wildlife deserve to be appreciated and looked after,” Uys says. “Without them, we can’t survive.”
When Kyle isn’t jumping off cliffs and doing crazy things, he is more happy with a camera in hand and editing Tribal Tourist’s outdoor adventure content.
He is an aspiring film maker & photographer. Watch out Hollywood, this guy is good!