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Phil & Luca Zappala

Phil may hail from Australia, but from a young age his interest in birds and wildlife was surely an indication that he would probably find his way to Africa. At every opportunity he sought wild places to be surrounded by nature, and at home he gained a reputation for rescuing injured wildlife and birds in the neighbourhood. This strong nursing instinct saw Phil enter the medical profession specialising in resuscitation and life support for trauma and intensive care. When the travel bug bit, Phil took his profession to the UK where he met his wife Jen and together they explored Europe, Australasia, Central America, and…… Africa. And so the ‘dark’ continent beckoned! In 2007 Phil and Jen left the UK to work in Zimbabwe running canoe safaris through the Mana Pools World Heritage site on the Zambezi River. By now Africa had Phil and Jen firmly in its grasp and making the bush their permanent home became imperative. In 2009 they invested in a well established Botswana mobile safari company, ultimately taking over full ownership in 2010. In 2020, Phil and family relocated to the UK, but he still has one one mud-encrusted boot firmly planted on African soil and, using his past safari experiences, will head up Last Chance Safaris' adventure Expeditions.

With a heritage dating back to the arrival of the French Huguenots at the Cape in the 17th century, Africa truly pulses in Grant’s veins. Having the fortune to spend his youth in the wild places of Zimbabwe and Namibia, it is unsurprising that he pursued a career in wildlife. After completing a post graduate degree in Zoology, Grant underwent ranger training at the world renown Mala Mala Game Reserve. After a successful career in eco-tourism spanning thirty years, and taking him from ranger to Safari Company CEO, Grant has returned to his first love as a professional wildlife guide. For the past two decades Grant and his wife Sharon have been living in Botswana on the banks of the Chobe and Zambezi rivers where wildlife abounds and Africa’s last mega herd of elephant roams. As an experienced field naturalist with a scientific grounding, Grant's broad and holistic understanding of ecosystems and their inhabitants makes him an exceptional private guide; his strong interpretive and communicative skills enables him to share this knowledge in a manner that is both educational and fun.

Grant and Phil share a deep passion and concern for the future of Africa’s wildlife and its unique ecosystems; this has driven them to get out the ‘armchair’ to become hands-on conservationists. Apart from the many organisations and projects they support or are actively involved in, they also endeavour to create awareness in grass-root conservation. The people manning this frontline of species and wilderness conservation face a multitude of challenges. They do not seek the spotlight and often go unnoticed, yet they tackle the hardest tasks with the least resources. It is their selfless commitment that stimulated the idea behind Last Chance Safaris - marrying the classic safari experience with serious conservation to give Africa’s wildlife a fighting chance for the future.

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