Our guides are highly trained and deeply committed to conserving the Kalahari
and revealing its secrets. Learn more about this talented team:
As a child, Marelize heard stories of the Kalahari from her father and grandfather. Now, after training in the Limpopo Province and exploring Madikwe, she can add her own adventures to theirs.
Marelize loves the vastness here, and the variety of wildlife, though she has a special passion for the elusive aardvark. She also has a Level II tracker accreditation and loves to include tracking in her guests’ experience, “thinking like an animal.”
Born in Kimberley, Juan feels a strong local connection to the desert - he’s a true “Kalahari lion.” Juan’s family are farmers - perhaps that explains his fascination for grasses and grassland ecology. He reads extensively on conservation and loves to uncover new facts for his guests.
Juan is fascinated by the wild dogs, with their endless activity and team spirit, and is deeply concerned about their protection globally.
Sian began his guiding career on the East Coast of South Africa, where he guided on foot, from a canoe, and even whilst snorkelling! He is a true outdoorsman and came to Tswalu for the vastness of its open spaces.
Sian is an excellent birder and thinks of this as a real strength. He also has a fascination for reptiles and enjoys searching for the whole variety of lizards and snakes which live in this remarkable eco-system.
Francois joined Tswalu with a strong walking background, qualifying as a “Full Trails” Guide. He is currently studying for his degree in Nature Conservation through UNISA but still finds time for moto-cross when on leave.
Recently Francois and his guests were enjoying a sighting of springbok, with their characteristic “pronking”, when “out of nowhere” a female cheetah exploded into the scene and chased one antelope down. But his favourite predator has to be the magnificent Kalahari lion, drawn to its absolute power.
Kale studied tourism management at Tswane University before joining North West Parks as a researcher. Seven years ago, he chose to become a Field Guide and now holds a Level III Guiding qualification.
Kale thinks that astronomy is one of his particular strengths - he loves to introduce the “diamond skies” to guests from the Northern Hemisphere. Kale is also working hard to expand his knowledge of the flowering plants of the Kalahari even further.
Liam joined Tswalu from the Marekel National Park. He has huge experience in walking trails and is also a birding specialist. Liam is constantly on the look-out for new species, and still has just one or two birds yet to see here as he works towards his National Bird Guide qualification.
Liam says he came to the Kalahari simply because it is “so distinctly different” from all the other places in Africa he has been and seen.