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 animals 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. They now live permanently in Botswana; the wilderness with all its animals and birds is literally on Phil’s doorstep
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 has a broad and holistic understanding of ecosystems and their inhabitants. Strong interpretive and communicative skills enables him to share this knowledge in a manner that is both educational and enjoyable.
Phil and Grant 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 both being Honorary Wildlife Officers with the national parks authority, Phil has been involved in bird conservation for many years with a particular interest in the plight of vultures. Grant and Phil are active members of the environmental watchdog organisation, Enviro911, and Grant sits on the board of CARACAL, a Botswana based NGO involved in multiple research projects and home to a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation centre. Their involvement in grass-root conservation, and the challenges facing these frontline organisations, 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.