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Our guides are highly trained and deeply committed to conserving the Kalahari
and revealing its secrets. Learn more about this talented team:

Juan Venter

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.

Juan Venter

Juan Venter

Kale Otimile

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.

Kale Otimile

Kale Otimile

Kyle Ansell

Kyle wanted to be a field guide from the age of seven, and his dream was realised in 2011 when he completed his guiding course and started as junior guide in the Eastern Cape. Three years later he was made head guide of the guiding team. In 2014 he switched to guide training (including marine guiding) and completed his Level 2 guide qualification (including back-up trails, tracks & signs) before moving to the Kalahari. He loves all things wild and has a particular passion for birding, animal behaviour, wild flowers and the ocean. He loves sharing his experiences through photography.

Kyle Ansell

Kyle Ansell

Moses Maponya

Moses believes that there is more to being a professional guide than simply driving around and showing guests the wildlife. He believes guiding should be a fun-filled and educational experience. Moses has completed a Level 1 guiding and Level 2 tracking qualification and spent seven months working in Shenzhen, China as an entertainer. He loves sharing his African culture with guests and answering questions about the various tribes in South Africa. Since starting work at Tswalu he has developed a special fondness for meerkats.

Moses Maponya

Moses Maponya

Nelson Siboza

Nelson was born in Mozambique but fled his country of birth due to civil war. He was raised in South Africa as a Seswati boy and practiced tracking which later became his career. He studied Tourism in Fanshawe Canada and when he returned, he pursued his love for the bush by studying field guiding in Kwa-Zulu Natal. He is fascinated by the diversity of African cultures, languages (of which he speaks nine), and wildlife.

Nelson Siboza

Nelson Siboza

Chris Erasmus

With 16 years of professional nature guiding experience, shaped in the Greater Kruger Park region, Chris sees Tswalu as his own "new beginning". Chris holds a Level II Guiding qualification and, as fully qualified Trails Guide, he particularly loves walking safaris. He strongly identifies with the conservation ethos at Tswalu and, tasked with the management of the guiding team, he strives to lead by example. Although walking safaris are his specialty, Chris loves to study all aspects of nature, and believes no organism is less important than another. He has a particular interest in wilderness survival and tracking has a Track & Sign Level III qualification.

Chris Erasmus

Chris Erasmus

Claire Erasmus

With her extensive equine experience and strong guiding background, Claire is the perfect person to manage Tswalu’s horseback safaris, and provide our guests with one of the most exciting experiences of nature and wildlife in the Kalahari wilderness. Claire grew up in Swaziland, where her father ran his own medical practice. She represented Swaziland in eventing and show jumping, and after high school went to the UK where she obtained her BHS (British Horse Society) Instructor ratings. Claire then managed a well-known horseback safari destination, where she met her husband Chris.

Claire Erasmus

Claire Erasmus

Barry Peiser

After completing a degree in conservation management along with qualifying as a field guide through FGASA, Barry started at Tswalu as a student in 2010 and worked his way up to a field guide. After a couple of years he decided to broaden his knowledge and join another experienced team in the Greater Kruger park until 2017. Early in 2018, the team at Tswalu was happy to welcome Barry back after he has been fortunate to travel throughout Southern Africa to explore wilderness areas, cultures and wildlife. Apart from being an passionate wildlife photographer, his dream is to one day climb Mount Everest to raise funds for endangered species and travel abroad.

Barry Peiser

Barry Peiser


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