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 from Spain to Zambia 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 the African sky and brisk air at first light, having his house surrounded by elephants and sipping a mojito on the beach of La Havana or, alternatively, on the bank of the Luangwa. He shares his abode with three intrepid cats: Sanchez, Pedrito and the little Cesc.
Harold worked at the cafe in the airport before joining Flatdogs over 12 years ago. He has proved invaluable over the years and as such was the perfect candidate for the Directorship he has now been given. He is still heavily involved with local churches and is also on the board of Chiyembekezo pre-school. He takes pride in our community projects, and often takes groups of guests into the local villages to check on progress. He’s a regular at afternoon tea (if it’s lemon cake, you’d better get there early!) and, given a chance, will put 6 tea-spoons of sugar in his mug while no one is watching.
Lydia’s been working for Flatdogs since 2009 as head of stores. She’s highly efficient and somehow manages to fit in time to assist us with looking after guests and running the operations of the camp too. In her spare time, she runs a Hair Salon in the village where she attends to both local and international customers!
Lewis fell in love with Africa when he did his guide training in South Africa some 5 or so years ago. He then went on to work in Kenya and Tanzania, during which time he met Becca. Becca graduated with a degree in public relations before working for conservation organisations such as WWF. Sh traveled to Africa to spend time with Lewis and they both finally decided to make a life of it. And Flatdogs was the place they chose to come!!! And they are great. Most of you will meet them on arrival and they will make sure we all look after you brilliantly!
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.
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.
Israel is a newish member of the team. He grew up in the safari industry as his Dad is a well known guide for one of the other famous safari companies in the South Luangwa. 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. Jess has mentored him and now he is one of the few that she will trust with the hot seat!
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.
Byron developed an interest in wildlife while driving guests through the park on airport runs, so he decided to become a spotter on the night drives. His interest grew and in 2012 sat his guiding exam and passed. In 2013 he joined Flatdogs and is always keen to expand his knowledge of the wildlife of the Luangwa and football, his other great love! Next year Byron hopes to sit his Grade 1 Walking Guide exam.
Kennedy is new here this year but 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. In 2018 he will get closer to this ambition with a trip to California courtesy of Morgan, one of our guests that Bwalya guides
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 has a different hair style every week!!
Allan’s been around since Flatdogs began. He divides his time between camp maintenance manager and guiding. Always keen on football, you’re likely to find him with a couple of beers at the old men’s (madalas) match on a Sunday. However, his age is by no means a handicap; in fact, his experience in this park is a great asset and he regularly returns with fantastic sightings and happy guests.
Jonathan joined Flatdogs in 2013 and soon afterwards gained his grade 2 guiding license. this 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 to the camp. Jonathan loves kids and some repeat guests’ children consider him like a second father! And heaven forbid they don’t get him as their guide!!!
Dilla is a very friendly Zambian village mutt who has lived with Jess and Ade since she was a tiny puppy. She will regularly come round the camp to check that you are OK. But don’t be too flattered, she’s more likely searching for an aid parcel of chicken bones. After all, it takes work to maintain that lustrous curvy figure. Recently seen sporting an Audrey-Hepburn style silk ‘napkin’ round her neck, she might not seem like she’s at home in the bush. But don’t believe it; the now-famous “nose of Dilla” has regularly picked up the scent of leopard patrolling the far river bank, and notified us with her special alarm woof!