Our Story

30 Years Young! In 1986 Safari & Guide Services (SGS) starting running safaris into the Botswana wilderness from its base in the frontier town of Maun. In 1990 the Company relocated to the town of Kasane on the border of the famous Chobe National Park and continued its march to becoming one of the best known tailor made mobile safari operators in Botswana. We have explored and taken adventures all over Botswana as well as further afield and the search for new places and experiences continues unabated!

In 2009 the Company welcomed Phil, Jen and Clive to spearhead the expansion and modernisation of Management and Operations. The safari industry has grown and evolved over the years but the ethos of the company remains the same: to provide an outstanding wilderness experience in a country that remains a haven for flora and fauna. Although the company has kept an emphasis on providing an “old world” safari experience, in the background we have moved with the times and your safari is designed and supported by a modern vehicle fleet, camp management and satellite communications.

Most recently in 2015 and 2016 SGS has been recognised by the Safari Awards as being one of the leading mobile safari operators in Botswana.

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Clive grew up in the Highlands of Scotland and has been running around in the outdoors for as long as he can remember. After graduating from university he has lived in Ecuador, the UK, Spain and Zimbabwe. In a varied career which has taken him from being a chartered surveyor to running canoe safaris, he has learnt to speak fluent Spanish and was recently elected as a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. Clive is the safari industry representative for Chobe, an Honorary Wildlife Officer and is at home anywhere he can play his bagpipes and guitar.

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Jen is SGS’s Reservations Director. She grew up in Scotland and has always had a passion for Africa, going on several trips to the Zambezi valley as a child and canoeing the Zambezi for the first time age 13. After studying International Development with a focus on community development strategies at a combination of University of Leeds and University of Ghana, Accra her desire to live/work in Africa was cemented and she moved permanently to Botswana in 2009. From her base in Kasane, with husband Phil and 2 year old twins, she runs SGS’s reservations department and is passionate about creating itineraries that provide lasting memories for our guests. Jen is also Vice Chairman of Kasane SPCA and an active member of Enviro 911 and Birdlife Botswana.


Originally from Sydney, Australia, Phil Zappala, our operations director, has always had a keen interest in birds and wildlife and would take every opportunity as a young boy to leave his suburban jungle in pursuit of being surrounded by nature. Phil entered the nursing medical profession specialising in resuscitation and life support for trauma and intensive care, but when the travel bug bit, Phil took his profession to the UK where he met his wife Jen and together they explored Europe, Australasia, Central America, and most extensively Africa. It was his trip through Zimbabwe that made him want to pursue working in the safari industry. In 2007 Phil and Jen left the UK to work in Zimbabwe running canoe safaris through the Mana Pools World Heritage site on the Zambezi River. In 2009 the family made Botswana their permanent home and Phil lives in Kasane and enjoys getting into the bush whenever he gets a spare minute. Phil is the Chairman for BirdLife Kasane branch, an Honourary Wildlife Officer for the Department of Wildlife and National Parks, a member of Enviro 911, volunteer with the Kasane SPCA, a keen photographer and mountain biker.

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