Highly Trained Guides
Backed by Wildlife Biologists
One of our clients said it best: “The Wild Source is a niche provider for those that want a deeper wildlife experience in a market dominated by mainstream providers.” Guiding is the heart of The Wild Source operation. Our founder and managing partners started their safari careers as guides, and continue to guide in Tanzania, Kenya, and Botswana. Guiding is what we love, and we know it is the most important factor when it comes to delivering a superior safari. As a safari operator, this emphasis on high quality guiding is our biggest differentiator.
Tanzania Safari Guides
Deo’s guiding skills are well known, making him the guide selected by many film crews and professional photographers. He was the head guide for a National Geographic film crew for 4 months making a film of the Serengeti migration, and he has guided for BBC filmmakers as well. Legendary wildlife photographer Tom Mangelsen was guided by Deo for his East Africa shoots, as were Boyd Norton and Joe McDonald who have contributed to the Audubon Field Guide for African Mammals as well as created their own books.
While it is clear that Deo is the experts’ choice, he is also perfect for anyone who is simply excited to go on safari. When preparing such a resume of highlights, it was Deo who said, “It is hard to single anyone out because all my clients are VIP to me.” The skills to find animals and position a vehicle are only a small part of what makes Deo a special guide. His laid back but confident manner and vivid personality make him a joy with whom to spend your time. With more than 25 years of guiding, Deo knows Tanzania like few others. Deo is an owner and Managing Director of The Wild Source Tanzania.
With guiding, Fadhil is able to combine his wildlife and conservation interests. Amazingly, Fadhil’s first guiding job was with Asilia Africa as a resident guide at Olakira Camp. The annual hiring process starts with 150 applicants invited in, which narrows to 30 candidates for a 3-day intensive testing process, resulting in just 10 guides being selected for an impressive 6-week training session. Fadhil served as a resident guide at Olakira for 2 ½ years learning both the Ndutu and Northern Serengeti areas intimately, gaining remarkable knowledge of individual big cats and the events in their lives.
In addition to guiding, Fadhil is putting his wildlife studies to work as he is heading up our Serengeti big cat research project.
Sosy has been the principal investigator of The Wild Source big cat research in the Ndutu/Serengeti region. He has been working to identify individual cheetah, leopard, and prides of lions. Through his daily studies of the cats in the region, Sosy has an unmatched knowledge of many of the individual cats that we encounter on safari and serves as an invaluable tool for our guiding team.
Sosy has guided side-by-side with head guide and co-owner of The Wild Source, Deo Magoye, and has served as lead guide for The Wild Source group safaris, in addition to guiding hundreds of his own private clients over the last several years. Sosy has been able to pass the torch to the next generation of biologists-in-training, in order to pursue guiding full time with an unmatched background and depth of expertise in big cats.
It is with terrible sadness and an essential need to celebrate an exceptional life led that we have to share that in April 2021 we lost an incredible member of The Wild Source family, Joshua Kumbi. He passed due to liver cancer. Josh was a remarkable guide and photographer, he was dedicated to his family (so proud of his kids), a man of great faith, and of deep love for his village of Makao. Super intelligent, a clever entrepreneur and consummate professional with a surprise sense of humor that hit when you didn’t expect it. An extremely kind and caring man. Josh was also a traveling adventurer, taking cherished trips to Europe and Southern Africa. Basically, Josh is a model for the kind of person we all hope our kids will be like when they grow up!
We can only suspect that there was a demand in heaven for a safari guide who actually knew every blade of grass in the Serengeti, no other way to understand why Josh was snatched so early from us. We will do our best to finish the business that was started with Josh but more than a lost colleague we have lost a loyal friend and tremendous brother that will forever be missed and celebrated. Josh you honored us when you chose to join The Wild Source, we will never forget it and love you always.
Please Enjoy this 5 minute Armchair Safari
Guided by Josh and filmed by Nathan Rolls
George is a natural fit for The Wild Source’s specialty of catering to very keen wildlife enthusiasts with serious game drives not limited by time or distance, in an effort to always go the extra mile (or ten) to find the best quality wildlife viewing. George has a few decades of experience exploring the back roads of the Northern Circuit to find the best wildlife sightings and to avoid crowds in favor of a high quality wilderness experience.
His passion and love of the bush is infectious, and his gentle nature and laid back manner make him a pleasure to spend time with as he shares Tanzania’s treasures with his guests. George is thoughtful and meticulous, and considers factors such as where the sun will be so that you drive in the best direction and have ideal positioning for photography. George brings all his experience and knowledge to the table, but still has that burning excitement to guide, leading to wonderful safaris for his guests.
In just his first full year (2018) at Nasikia Camps, Henry was recognized as their Resident Guide of the Year – an award he won again in his second year (2019). Henry has a contagious enthusiasm for the bush, delighting guests with his laid-back style, providing the thrills that come with knowing how to find the animals and predict their behavior.
Having raised Henry ourselves, we are excited that in 2020 he has returned to The Wild Source where he can fully utilize his skills to deliver the serious wildlife viewing style that we are known for.
The Wild Source Wildlife Biologists
Under David’s leadership, the profile and importance of our Ndutu/Serengeti area big cat research has grown as other research programs have collaborated with us. David has grown our relationship with the Serengeti Cheetah Project, including contributing data to them on the Ndutu population of cheetah as we are the only research team based full-time in the area throughout the calving season. Likewise, David has developed a coordination with Kope Lions (Mama Simba), as we have a near daily presence monitoring lions at Ndutu and are able to inform them of key eve nts.
David leads the only big cat research project in the Northern Serengeti region. In 2020 we added a Kenyan biologist in the adjacent Masai Mara to the research team, allowing for coordination to cover both sides of the border as many cats in that region ran ge in both countries.
David has an unsurpassed knowledge of the individual lion, cheetah, and leopard in our study areas. His keen understanding of cat behavior enhances the safari experience when he joins game drives with guests. Bey ond cats David is passionate about birds and small wildlife, and is a remarkable all-around safari guide.
She excelled immediately and our Tanzania Director, Deo, said he saw her potential to be a future guide. When our wildlife biologist founder, Bill, was at Njozi Camp in July 2019, he invited Winnie to go on a full day game drive as a reward for her great work.
Winnie impressed Bill with her excellent eyes for spotting wildlife coupled with a keen interest to learn with lots of questions. She even called her shot, stating that she wanted to see lions hunt and it happened!
Following that drive, the biologist team provided Winnie with reference books and she plowed through them earning an invite to our end-of-the year Guides Without Borders Workshop.
During 2020 Winnie has maintained some of her camp duties but primarily supervises an outstanding team that she trained up and has begun training with our Biologists and Guides.
Yusuf has not had any formal wildlife studies but as a talented musician he has an artist’s eye for what is happening around him. He has quickly advanced his knowledge by spending time with our biologists and guides.
Observing and understanding big cat behavior has been natural for Yusuf and he has grown to love this role. He has become very efficient at recording behavioral data and ensuring good documentation photographs to track individual cats.
Considering Sarah’s educational background, we saw an opportunity to expand our big cat research program to include Kenya’s Masai Mara. She attended our 2019 Guides Without Borders workshop where she worked with Bill, David, and the biologist team to learn about the data we have been collecting.
Adding Sarah to the research team is a powerful improvement because cats can transit between the Serengeti in Tanzania and the Masai Mara in Kenya.
With Sarah now in place, our team can share cat identifications and data across the borders when needed. In her first season, Sarah has learned a lot being out in the field with legendary guides Ping and Paul.
She is passionate about the Mara’s famed cats, with the leopard Bahati being her favorite.
Kenya Safari Guides
Johnson Ping’ua “Ping” Nkukuu
Ping is a Maasai. Time spent with him is excellent for cultural learning. As a boy, Ping was always interested in the wildlife and the environment around him. His early days included a long stint guiding for CC Africa, which had an outstanding training program including time spent in South Africa and under the tutelage of Kenyan legend, Paul Kirui.
Ping was recruited to help Disney create and open their Animal Kingdom Park in Florida. This allowed him to experience living in America and increase his knowledge of cultures from around the world, which he credits as making him a better guide.
Ping’s reputation took off as he became the head guide at Mara Plains Camp and Mara Plains became widely recognized as the top safari camp experience in Kenya.
In 2015, Ping decided to pursue his dreams to be an entrepreneurial freelance guide, partnering with The Wild Source in the formation of the Lalashe Guide Co-Op.
Paul is well known from his outstanding work guiding film crews. Since 2006, Paul has worked with the BBC Natural History unit as a consultant for the leopard filming crew during the Big Cat Week and Big Cat Live programs. He also guided film crews for the BBC’s documentary, “The Truth About Lions” in 2009 and Disney Nature during the filming of “African Cats” in 2009/10.
In addition to guiding, Paul conducts research on vultures in the Masai Mara in association with the National Museum and the Peregrine Fund. He is also assisting with training and developing a guide grading system in Rwanda.
There’s no doubt the Masai Mara is Paul’s home, and he knows it as well as anyone, but he also has great experience guiding in Northern Tanzania, Rwanda, and Uganda. Guiding and wildlife photography are Paul’s passions, and he is always keen to share these magical places with his guests.
Peter’s success started early. In college he was awarded the UTC Trophy as the student with the most outstanding professional qualities and the Johnson Wax award as the best student in Environmental Studies.
A leader in conservation, Peter has been the long-time chair of the Il-Ngwesi Community Conservation Trust – a world renowned community wildlife conservation trust. Peter is also an elder of the Council of Elders of the Northern Rangelands Trust. Peter is well traveled, having given conservation talks at McGill University, Queens University in Canada, the Royal Geographic Society in London, and a World Wildlife Fund conference in Windhoek, Namibia. He has visited 19 different states in the USA to speak at zoos on community conservation and tourism. Peter has also trained game wardens of the Tanzania National Parks on outdoor leadership.
Following many years of guiding and managing camps for some of Kenya’s top safari portfolios, Peter has joined the legendary Lalashe Guiding team based out of Enaidura Camp, where emphasis is strong on delivering the ultimate wildlife focused safari with dedicated time to observe wildlife behavior.
Botswana Safari Guides
Diesel is a member of the Bukakwe sect, one of the five groups of the oldest remaining culture on Earth. He was born into a hunter-gatherer society that roamed the northern Okavango Delta east to the Savute area of Chobe National Park. Diesel was born under a tree in an area that is now the Selinda Reserve.
Life changed drastically when Diesel was a school-aged boy and his family clan was settled by the government to Gudigwa Village. Here, Diesel found himself in a school that taught in two languages he did not know – Setswana and English.
Diesel was in the first generation of Bushmen to be formally educated. After secondary school, Diesel worked as an Escort Guide – a representative of the local community who goes on safari activities to ensure care of the community land that is leased to the safari operators. In this role, he would assist the safari guide. Diesel then wanted to explore and experience something different, so he took a job with a mineral exploration company and traveled to Mozambique to manage the logistics of a mining project.
Following time abroad, Diesel had a strong desire to return to his heritage lands and utilize his immense bush skills. He returned to Botswana in 2014 and went to guiding school sponsored by the World Bank through the Wildlife Department.
He trained in Botswana and Zimbabwe, and then gained employment as a tracker for Kwando Safaris. With his engaging personality and previous guide training, it was natural that Diesel advanced into guiding. When Bushman Plains Camp opened, he joined his family in the first majority locally owned camp in the Okavango Delta.
As one of the two camp guides, Diesel’s efforts elevated the Bushman Plains experience to a remarkable level. Utilizing tracking skills, Diesel is well-known for his ability to find predators – especially leopards and African wild dogs. Beyond game drives, Diesel is a licensed walking guide, and a cultural leader. He conducts Bushman walks where he shares ancient Bushman skills and invaluable knowledge with visitors.
After years of consistently receiving the best feedback of any guide in Botswana from guests of The Wild Source, Diesel joined our team of guides. He mostly guides our guests at Bushman Plains, but is also available as a private guide throughout a Botswana itinerary.
Peter is acknowledged as one of Africa’s leading guides. He is particularly recognized for his pioneering spirit and flair for innovation. Peter created one of Botswana’s original safari operations, Safari and Guide Services (SGS), taking intrepid travelers into the wilds on tented safaris. While most operators cashed in on the Okavango boom, Peter kept pushing the boundaries. His mobile safaris ventured into the remotest areas of Namibia, Zambia, and Uganda.
Among his accomplishments, Peter has led gorilla treks in all the countries they are known to inhabit, pioneered canoe safaris down the Batoka Gorge below Victoria Falls, and is believed to be the first white man to have personally poled a mokoro (traditional canoe) from the top to the bottom of the Delta in the first ever trans-Okavango expedition.
Peter’s expertise has found its way into print. His ‘Mammals of Botswana’ and ‘Mammals of Namibia’ are standard works used by safari guides. He has also written a ‘Traveler’s Guide to Botswana’ and the novel ‘Django’, which portrays his own life and experiences in the bush with his remarkable dog. Peter has written numerous articles for wildlife and travel magazines and contributes regular newspaper columns and poetry.
Of all the places he has guided, it is Botswana that has captured Peter’s heart for over 30 years. He is deeply involved in conservation and has hosted the six-nation gathering of park wardens to design the KAZA trans-frontier peace park. He also supports an orphanage in Kasane (Botswana) and with the help of his clients he has built schools in Kasane and in Uganda. Most recently, Peter has served as a Director of Bushman Plains, playing a vital role in creating the first Bushman majority-owned camp in Northern Botswana.