It is widely recognised that due to the rigour of the certification process, the safari guides in Zimbabwe are amongst the very best in Africa. The four-year training ensures that our guides can safely lead guests closer to wildlife than most others can. The Bushlife Safari Guiding Team was voted best Safari Guiding Team in 2018 – an accolade we are hugely proud of.
Nick Murray is the lead guide of our award-winning safari team. Nick started his illustrious guiding career in 1988 in Kariba and has extensive guiding experience throughout Zimbabwe, as well as in Tanzania, Namibia, Mozambique, South Africa Zambia and Botswana.
Nick and Desiree Murray and their team of expert guides from Bushlife Safaris, worked for four years from 2014 to 2018 with BBC Earth production crew and world-renowned presenter, Sir David Attenborough to capture the fascinating journey into the lives of the Painted Wolves of Mana Pools in the Dynasties series.
“Keeping up with the painted wolves was down to the tracking skills of our guides. Nick Murray has spent so long tracking the painted wolves that he knew the exact routes they needed to travel in the wet season to get around” Nick Lyon, Executive Episode Producer
Simeon Josia has been working in the safari industry for 24 years now. Growing up in the small town of Kariba, where it is the norm to see wild animals roaming the streets, Simeon learned at an early age to understand and respect wild animals.
He began his career as a canoe guide on the Zambezi River and obtained his canoe licence in 1996 and his Professional Guides licence in 2005. This also makes Simeon one of the few guides licensed to both conduct walking and canoeing safaris in Africa.
Simeon is quiet-spoken and has a confident way as he shares his depth of knowledge on wildlife of Zimbabwe, leaving guests always enlightened after a safari spent with him.
Simeon has been a valuable part of the Bushlife Safari team for 5 years now and contributed to the success of the two-year period over which we filmed the Painted Wolf episode of the Dynasties series with the BBC in 2015 – 2016. He spent endless days working on both the night and day shoots, observing and learning about the painted wolves behaviour and inter-species interactions, making his knowledge inval uable.To top it off he had the opportunity to work with Sir David Attenborough and the executive team of the BBC on the final shoot!
Mitchell Riley is a Zimbabwe Professional Guide. He has lived in Zimbabwe all his life and his unwavering love and passion for the bush first sparked at a young age whilst accompanying his grandparents on birding safaris throughout Zimbabwe. He has been fortunate enough to have travelled the country end to end and visit many of the fine National Park and Wild areas that Zimbabwe has to offer.
From there his dedication drove him to become one of the youngest fully qualified guides in the country, he is now 30 years young, fit and energetic. With over 10 years’ experience in the African bush surrounded by big dangerous game, Mitchell is confident yet respectfully cautious when on guided safaris ensuring guest safety and enjoyment is that the forefront of his mind.
He has an affiliation towards all aspects of the bush and hopes to impart knowledge and give a sense of accomplishment on each and every safari. During his spare time, Mitchell is an accomplished fisherman which lends to his versatility should there be any like-minded fisher people on a safari. Having managed several safari camps he is well equipped for every eventuality and is an asset in a camp. Mitchell is always armed with his Nikon coolpix1000 P and his .458Lott rifle and looks forward to ensuring that every safari is as unique and as memorable as the last.
Jim was born in Nakuru, Kenya. He grew upon a farm up against the Aberdare Forest, where his love for African Wildlife first took root. His family moved to what was then Rhodesia in 1969 to the Glendale farming area.
With Jim’s love for the bush having deepened he joined the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management in 1977. Jim was based at the Gonerezhou and Nyanga National Parks and finally in the Chewore Safari Area as Warden in charge. While with National Parks Jim qualified as a Professional Guide in 1988.
After leaving Parks in 1989, Jim joined Rukomechi Safari Camp as the Resident Professional Guide. For the next three years Jim was involved at Rukomechi and with Leon Varley Safaris, guiding into Chizarira, Victoria Falls and Kazuma National Park. From there Jim then went onto join Natureways with Garth Thompson and John Stevens Safaris as a Freelance Guide. This kept Jim occupied until married life came calling Jim in 1991 and moved down with his family to the Save Valley Conservancy in 1992 for a number of years, where was involved in the day to day management of one of the conservancies comprising ranches.
At the beginning of 2000 Jim went back into Freelance Guiding, during which time he has worked with the following Camps and Safari operators: The Hide, Mwinilunga Safaris in Mana Pools, Goliath Safaris with Stretch Ferreira, Imvelo Safaris at Nehimba in Hwange National Park and The Amalinda Collection at Ivory Lodge.
Jim has a deep love for the bush and all it involves. He regards every day in the bush as a new page in a book and you just have to learn to read it. Jim boasts an extensive knowledge of Central and East African Fauna and Flora. He has an unparalleled passion for the big Cats, especially Leopard. His other specialities are birding and studying animal behavior, he takes great pleasure in sharing these experiences and knowledge with clients. Jim makes the bush come alive for all those who accompany him in the bush. A keen and talented amateur photographer, Jim has a profound appreciation of the difficulty in getting that perfect shot so takes real pleasure in seeing his clients being given the opportunity to get those good photos whilst on safaris.