Zane Volker

Zane Volker

A childhood growing up in game reserves and game parks, it’s no surprise he’s always on the lookout for the next great adventure and hopefully that’s tour with you.

Born in Durban in South Africa, his father a ranger of the Natal Parks Board, Zane spent much of his time growing up in the bush of the Hluluwe/ Umfolozi Game Reserve. The oldest proclaimed reserve in Africa. Ahem. Talk about an introduction to the industry.

Zane studied Travel and Tourism in South Africa before he went off to explore more of what makes Africa so wild and special. He started off as a fly fishing guide on the Zambezi River in Zimbabwe and then went on to working in the private Selinda Concession in Botswana.One of his best memories was spent in Botswana, re-opening the channel that fed the Zibadianja Lagoon (ultimately into the Savuti Channel), which had grown completely closed by water hyacinth. After months of gruel under the hot African sun, the Savuti Channel flooded for the first time in years. Rewarding and right up Zane’s alley. Just one of many such interesting escapades he’s been on.

From one thing to the next, Zane found himself as a lodge and concession manager in Botswana before he ventured off to Malawi where he built a lodge in Nkhotakota Game Reserve and formed an anti-poaching unit that worked closely with surrounding National Parks. When we said Zane, has some impressive tales, we meant it. He even worked with Dr. Anthony Hall Martin from African Parks on the largest elephant relocation project ever conducted in the reserve he then called home.

With 20 plus years in the field across six different African countries, from tracking, advanced weapons handling,basic astronomy and reptile handling, to name but a few, it’s evident that this guy has done a lot and seen a lot and as a freelance guide, his favourite thing to do is to share it with you.

His entire career and love for the frican bush started at a young age being rooted in the very heart of what makes a great guide. Nature. Conservation and wildlife. Zane will tell you it’s all about understanding nature. Something experienced that cannot be taught. It’s about the finer things out there. Your first sighting of an animal, that incredible African sunset or the smell of an approaching storm over a dry and dusty savannah.

Zane lives according to the wise words of Richard Mullin who said “The only man I envy is the man who has not yet been to Africa, for he has much to look forward to…” and that has to mean a lot since Zane has been to many places in Africa and still falls in love with her untamed beauty every time he’s out and about exploring.

Of his favourite memories, Zane will never forget the incredible game drives he has done in the Okavango Delta,crossing the great Serengeti or canoeing down the Bua River in Malawi, but tracking the desert adapted wildlife in the Kunene is and always will be one of his top ranked all-time favourites. Makes sense since this is what he does these days, when he is isn’t on a private tour throughout Namibia. He does sleep out/ wild camping expeditions and elephant tracking safaris in the Damaraland and Kaokoland areas. An area untouched and off the grid which makes it so special.

Of all the places he’s been, Zane says he can’t pick a favourite but if there’s a spectacular sundowner, a meal cooked over an open fire and a tree or rocky overhang to call shelter for the night to sleep under the stars, that’s where you will find him. An adventure worth having.

From photographic safaris, to tracking and astronomy or even fishing, Zane is an asset to have on tour. He’s a desert elephant specialist and a bush lover through and through. Conservation and community are always central to his endeavors. He loves people and sharing in experiences, especially if it’s a first time experience for you.  No matter the destination, with Zane as your guide you are bound to have the experience of a lifetime.

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