Josh Duffus was born in the Masai Mara, and grew up in game reserves across Africa. His parents spent a lot of time teaching him about the bush and how everything in nature is connected. Guiding as a career became a natural choice. Josh studied at Campfire Academy in South Africa, and guided and managed lodges in the Greater Kruger area and Madikwe Game Reserve before coming to Tswalu Kalahari.Tswalu presented a new challenge, as he had to learn about the southern Kalahari’s complex and fascinating ecosystem.
With a passionate interest in walking safaris as well as photography, Josh says Tswalu allows the guiding team a level of freedom to create magical one-of-a-kind guest experiences, depending on the interests of the guests and the time of year. ‘The reserve is vast and there are very few vehicles traversing all this open space. Better still, guests have their own vehicle, private guide and tracker for the duration of their safari. From tracking to photography and astronomy, there is so much to do. Tswalu’s beauty, unique species and sheer size often takes my breathe away and leaves me speechless!’
Helping guests to improve their photography skills is always rewarding, because of the contrasting landscapes and opportunities to capture unique or elusive species not commonly seen in other reserves. ‘Walking is the best way to search out the smaller animals that are typical of the green Kalahari,’ says Josh. ‘The Kalahari is a harsh, untempered, arid region. For most species it’s a matter of survival – adapt or die. Sharing what I’ve learnt about these adaptations and survival skills is what I really enjoy about my job.’
Josh is currently completing his FGASA Level 3 or Specialist Guide qualification. Once he’s done that, he’d like to specialise in wild flowers and walking trails.
All images by Josh Duffus