Gary Parker, Tswalu’s safari manager, is a qualified and experienced guide who has been immersed in the world of nature-based tourism for over 20 years, working as a guide, head guide and lodge manager in South Africa and Namibia.
Tswalu’s safari manager, Gary Parker, grew up in KwaZulu-Natal and knew from a very early age that he wanted to live and work in the bush. With no ‘plan B’ (much to his mother’s dismay), he turned his singleminded passion for wildlife into carving out a niche for himself in the safari industry. For the past 20 years Gary has been immersed in the world of nature-based tourism, clocking up guiding qualifications while working as a safari guide, head guide and also lodge manager in South Africa and Namibia. Along the way, he has always made time to indulge his passion and talent for wildlife photography. He credits the time he spent in Namibia for deepening his interest in southern Africa’s arid and semi-arid landscapes, and remains in awe of the tenacity of living organisms to adapt and thrive in often unforgiving conditions.
In his new role as Tswalu’s safari manager, Gary curates and coordinates all the experiences that make a safari at Tswalu unique, including habituated meerkat encounters, horse riding, nature walks, stargazing, sleep-outs, photography lessons, and meeting visiting scientific researchers and resident artists. Bucket-list wishes or special requests from guests? It’s all in a day’s work for Tswalu’s safari manager, who works closely with the guides and trackers to make every safari the action-packed stuff of dreams. Gary is no stranger to Tswalu, having visited the reserve frequently over the years as a private and freelance guide – a huge advantage when it comes to planning activities in tune with the seasons for all our guests.
Images by Barry Peiser
MORE FROM OUR GUIDES
Read our latest Wildlife Journal, documenting what’s been happening on the reserve.