Ade is the figures man and could bore you with a few of his spreadsheets if any of you have an unhealthy interest in Excel! A true believer in ensuring you must be able to do something yourself before you can ask someone else to do it, Ade is a man of many talents. He also spends a lot of time in the kitchen sharing his knowledge and love of food by coming up with new dishes to put on the menu. Some might say he interferes, but not us, of course! He is a great supporter of local produce wherever possible. Ade also has a keen interest in the development of sustainable tourism in Zambia having spent many years representing the safari industry in the Luangwa at National level. Loves rugby, the odd drink and Jess (not in that order obviously).
Jess first arrived in the Luangwa Valley in 1992 in “big yellow”. Having been randomly offered the job of running a couple of bushcamps on arrival in Lusaka, she has postponed her zoology PhD for several (20) years now in favour of the safari world, and has been guiding, running or organising African safaris for people ever since. Usually found in the office (the air-con is required for the computers of course!!) Jess is the one who will help get you to camp, find a bed for you here and then find somewhere else extraordinary for you to head on to if you’d like.
After completing his studies in North and South American literature (notoriously crucial for living in the bush), he moved to Africa and has been working at Flatdogs since 2007. His penchant for nature and animals is only equal to the passion for football and sports in general. Deeply enjoys rainy seasons in the Valley, sipping a Mosi on the banks of the Luangwa, and having his house surrounded by elephants. He shares his abode with the intrepid Marcio.
Harold worked at the cafe in the airport before joining Flatdogs over 17 years ago. He has proved invaluable over the years and was the perfect candidate to be the first Zambian Director of the Company. He is still heavily involved with local churches and is also on the board of Chiyembekezo pre-school. He takes great pride in our community projects, and often takes groups of guests into the local villages to check on progress. He used to have a very sweet tooth, but has now managed to cut right down from 6 to only ½ a spoon of sugar in his tea. He truly leads by example! Tea time is truly a feat of restraint as he tries not to succumb to the delicious sweet treats on offer!
Faith has had over 15 years’ experience in the Zambian tourism industry before joining Flatdogs in 2022 as Camp Manager. She brings a new outlook on things and loves throwing ideas out there for the rest of us to digest! If anyone has a couple of hours to spare, please challenge her to a game of chess - her favourite way to take her mind of the pressures of running a camp with 76 staff and keeping all the guests happy! She keeps surprising us with a new hairdo every few days, keeping it fresh even in the bushes!
Lydia has been working at Flatdogs since 2009 as head of stores. She’s highly efficient and somehow manages to run the whole of our back of house operations as well as making sure we are kept well-stocked with everything we need, from spare parts for our 14 vehicles, to toothpicks! She also knows who grows the best lettuces, whose tomatoes taste the most delicious and which exact shop sells the best value Amarula! In her spare time, she runs a Hair Salon in the village where she attends to both local and international customers. Her other notable attributes are having the most beautiful outfits with entirely matching accessories... one day we will have to get her to Paris!
Braveson joined the Flatdogs Family back in 2011 as an intern. Braveson’s naturally inquisitive mind and friendly character has always pointed him to bigger things, so as soon as management decided that the restaurant area needed one, we knew that Braveson would make a fantastic Maitre D’! He is a keen researcher and loves finding the answers to the kitchen teams’ questions on the internet. It’s amazing what you can learn about food from Youtube – who knew that tomatoes were a natural source of MSG?! All our team are encouraged to ask questions, and I think Braveson can be crowned the winner in that area, good for him!
Israel is now invaluable to Jess in Reservations, taking on the vitally important work of getting all our lovely guests here to experience Flatdogs for themselves! After school Israel trained as a fire fighter (yes we have our very own fireman!) but then decided tourism was for him and went off to the Hotel and Tourism Training Institute of Zambia. He graduated with a diploma in Travel and Tourism and when he heard about the chance at Flatdogs, he jumped at it, lucky for us! He is calm and methodical as well as friendly and welcoming – the ideal person to be a member of the Flatdogs team. His hobby is reading novels, even more than watching football!
Rachel loves giraffes. Luckily, they are regularly visible from her desk at reception, feeding in the dambo behind the camp! She’s highly efficient and sometimes seems a bit strict(!), but does a lot of good work in the community helping the elderly and working at the local clinic. She also sits on the board for Chiyembekezo community school. In her spare time, she travels to South Africa, UK and Scotland (must be a bit cold for a Zambian!) and tends to her farm. After a busy day at work, she likes to find somewhere cool and quiet to relax.
Nellie was born in Lundazi, a few hours north of Mfuwe, number 6 of a family of 8 children. She’s always very friendly and welcoming, and is known as Auntie Nellie to everyone in camp. She runs her own business selling clothes and shoes locally and is happiest when she’s at parties dancing with children! She’s married to Botha who is a local free-lance safari guide.
Like many others here at Flatdogs, Malama started his career in a different department (barman and then bar manager), showing determination to progress every year, and he’s now found himself with the job of looking after all the other guides! A job he does very well. His extensive knowledge of the National Park and of wildlife in general is accompanied by excellent interpersonal skills, which allow him to focus on the guests different interests whether they are particularly keen on birds, larger and smaller mammals, flowers or vegetation to name only a few – even better, he can interest people in new areas they might never have known were so fascinating!
After passing his guiding exam in 2010, Geoffrey has quickly risen through the ranks achieving his grade 1 qualification (walking guide) only the following year. Taking advantage of the time he spends in the National Park, he loves to observe animals’ behaviour and interactions, and is known to conduct his drives with great enthusiasm and a fresh eye. To put it in his own words, “there is never a chance to get bored in the bush”. Always keen to encourage interest in any wildlife in all his guests, his ambition for the long term is to write a book about the mammals of the South Luangwa one day.
Yotam’s been guiding at Flatdogs since 2006 and has built up a fantastic knowledge of the bush around him. Just as comfortable with tracks and spoor as mammal behaviour and birds, he loves being on safari and finds plenty of interesting sightings whatever the time of year. Before becoming a guide, he worked in Flatdogs’ kitchen and restaurant, and gained a diploma in Hotel Operations and Management via a UK-based distance learning programme.
Kennedy has been guiding since 2003 and passed his walking exam in 2006. He loves the Luangwa and especially likes to be on the ground guiding walking safaris getting down with the small stuff! Kennedy took an early interest in wildlife and has been a member of the the Wildlife Conservation Society of Zambia since secondary school and so was destined to become a guide.
Bwalya is our other newest addition to the guiding team. He passed his guiding exam in 2010 and qualified as a walking guide in 2012. He is particularly interested in using the sounds of the bush to locate the predators and loves those little Lion cubs when he finds them. One day he would like to travel to the Arctic and watch Polar Bears.
Jonathan joined Flatdogs in 2013 and soon afterwards gained his grade 2 guiding license. To be a safari guide was an ambition of his since a very early age. We are very pleased to have Jonathan as part of the guiding team as he adds a real enthusiasm and has an inquiring mind. Jonathan loves kids and some repeat guests’ children consider him to be a second but way cooler bush Dad! His own kids think he’s pretty cool too!
Chris joined the original Flatdogs team in 1999 as a builder, then when camp was finished and ready to open he started as a waiter alongside Yotam before deciding to take a few years training to be a safari guide. He finally rejoined the team full time in 2022 and has brought with him a wonderful laugh and some excellent knowledge so we are very grateful he has chosen to come back to the fold and come home to Flatdogs!
Jessie loves going in the park for game-viewing – “It’s quiet, all what you can hear is animal and bird sounds” – but is more often found supervising Housekeeping in Camp. She loves flowers, especially bougainvillea, and enjoys baking bread and going to the Hair salon – she is a lovely calm presence in the team and one of our best “Aunties”, helping to show the younger members of the team what’s what and the Flatdogs way of doing things – carefully, well and with a big smile!