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.
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.
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.
Mansoon Group from Sweden ( Nov 2016): “ We are home now with a lot of fine memories from our unforgettable safari to Okavango. We really enjoyed everything and we explored a lot of the beauty of nature. About wildlife memories to be mentioned, we really think about all the animal babies we saw as all newly born impalas, young elephants, lions, piglets, and wild dog and hyena cubs.”
Gorman Group from USA (Sep 2016): If I was going to rate our Botswana safari I would say A .We had a grand adventure, “We’ll never forget it. The key was our guide, Nelson. He was fantastic! He was very friendly and affable. He was also extremely knowledgeable. We asked him thousands of questions and he was able to answer them all. He was also patient, capable and professional. The accompanying crew were also excellent. The food was quite gourmet for being in the middle of the bush. We were amazed at the quality of the meals. We got tons of great pictures and saw everything we had our hearts set on, including leopards, lions and cubs and my personal favorite, the honey badger. I would recommend your company without reservation for Botswana travellers.
Brind Surch Photo Safari Sep 2016: “ many many thanks for a wonderful time in Chobe. Great guiding, superb knowledge and a wonderful experience…..the back up team looked after us so well, the tents were lovely and the food delicious. We were made to feel very welcome”
Africa Geographic Group (Sep 2016) : “ Everyone had the trip of a lifetime….well done SGS”
Jasprizza and Gately Group from Australia ( Sep 2016): I am writing to compliment you on the exemplary service that your company provides.
Our 9 day mobile tented safari with SGS and it was beyond all our expectations.
The camp crew (Chef Anthony & Jerry) ensured that we were well looked after and the meals that Anthony produced off a camp fire, continually astonished us.
Our guide/tracker Alex went beyond that normally expected of a guide and made our safari an unqualified success.
Not only is he very knowledgeable in regards to the animals and local flora, but his tracking skills enabled us to see virtually every animal on our wish-list, including the more elusive species such as Wild Dog and Cheetah. We spent 6 weeks in Africa with around 10 or 12 guides throughout our stay, and I would have to say that Alex was hands down, the stand-out of the group.
I would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending SGS to anyone who wants to see the real Africa
Thank you for a wonderful experience.
Reed and George Group from Australia ( Aug 2016): As a first timer to game drives and camping the experience was first class. Arron was amazing in his level of understanding of the game and the bird life. He was informative and engaging. The support crew was equally impressive with nothing being too much trouble to organise We have so many lasting memories and amazing pics. Would highly recommend SGS to anyone.
George Group from Australia ( Aug 2016): ‘we had a fantastic time. Beyond expectations as before’
Constantine family from Switzerland ( July 2016): loved loved loved it!!!! The trip was fantastic, we were so happy with our holiday.
The safari was exceptional! Our guide Nelson and his collegues Gift and Henry were very kind and sympathic. We appreciate a lot
Sattler Family from Germany ( July 2016): They really enjoyed their safari and said it was highly recommendable.
Pippen Family from USA ( June 2016) I must let you know that this was a truly once in a lifetime experience for us. Every day was full of excitement and learning and laughing. We loved Alex. He made every drive and every mealtime just a complete pleasure. His depth of knowledge was always on display and his innate ability to locate and then teach about the animals is extraordinary. The experience your company offers is amazing and one we will not forget, your company is outstanding from the high caliber equipment to amazing service to extraordinary staff. Thank you and we will be traveling again with you.
Dance Group from South Africa ( July 2016):
The week was well organised and your staff on the ground tremendous.
The food was great. We Saw the big 4,and had Lions, hyenas and badgers in the camp, with elephants passing very close by.
Nelson was very knowledgeable on all the birds and plants, and had a great ability to find animals. We were very comfortable. Thank you again.
Bedworth Group from Australia ( June 2016):
We had an absolutely wonderful safari! It exceeded all our expectations.
Leonard was fantastic at spotting animals and then knowing
where to wait so they would quite literally walk right past (and even up to)
our vehicle. I cannot speak highly enough of his skills and he was wonderful
company. Maps, Shakka and Chris also did an amazing job. Food was lovely and they
were a great bunch of blokes. Tents were perfect. We hope to come again!
Pippen group from USA ( June 2016): We had a terrific trip and especially enjoyed the SGS mobile safari camping. Our guide Alex was perfect
Global Gypsies Group from Australia March 2016: “The tour was really fabulous, all the guests loved it, everything went incredibly smoothly & the organisation was impeccable. Many thanks for making it such a success”
BTTE Travel Agent Group from UK/Germany/Switzerland Dec 2015 “what a fantastic time we had in Savuti. Mobile Camping was one of the most exciting experiences I had in Africa …your camp was perfectly organized. Alex was one of the best guides I’ve ever had in Africa.
Buhaj Family from France July 2015 “congratulations and thanks to all SGS team for the high quality of your safari ! BUHAJ family were so enthusiastic ! They have traveled a lot, but they said that it was one of their best trips in all their lives !!
Boshung Group from Austria-Aug 2015 “your safari was difficult to top in all matters…..thank you!!”