Guide Biographies

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Dr. Ryan & Liza Snider

Safari Guides

By being raised in Kenya, Ryan and Liza have gained a solid understanding of the local culture, language and geography of East Africa.  After seeing first hand how ecotourism can contribute to sustainable development, they have fully embraced the concept of socially responsible travel and enjoy introducing it to others.  Ryan and Liza are intrepid travelers that seek authentic, meaningful, cultural exchanges, and they are eager to share their discoveries with anyone traveling with them.

 

James Gichure

Head Safari Guide James is passionate about wildlife and has guided safaris throughout East Africa for over 15 years. He is extremely knowledgeable in the habits and characteristics of the local birds, animals, and plants, and enjoys teaching his guests all they have to offer.   Always a favourite guide, James looks forward to introducing you to the friendly, hospitable, and diverse people of Kenya.  

David duChemin

Photographer & Guide

David is a world and humanitarian assignment photographer, best-selling author, digital publisher, and international workshop leader whose nomadic and adventurous life fuels his fire to create and share.  Although he's based in Vancouver, Canada, David leads a nomadic life chasing compelling images on all 7 continents -- but he's especially excited to return to Kenya to photograph its wildlife next February.

 

Erla Koch

Trip Coordinator & Guide

Erla has been passionate about Tanzania ever since she volunteered there for 3 months in 2006.  Her love for the incredible people, the stunning landscape and the fascinating wildlife draws her back every year to volunteer, to organize, and to guide mission trips and safaris.  Erla's years of experience in Tanzania, her enthusiasm, and her understanding of the local culture and wildlife make her an ideal guide and coordinator for your socially responsible safari to Tanzania.

 

Luke & Mark Willms

Safari Guides

MBUNTU co-founders, Luke and Mark Willms have spent much of their lives leading safaris throughout Africa, trekking for mountain gorillas, rafting the Nile River, being chased by hippos, working with HIV/AIDS affected communities, and have recently started importing Ugandan coffee.  Luke previously served as the Assistant Director of Salama SHIELD Foundation and is collaborating on a doc-series that focuses entrepreneurs who operate without banks, while Mark recently graduated from Duke University Law, where he focused on African law and currently works in African political risk.

 

Bryan Adkins

Trip Coordinator, Guide & Conservationist

Bryan's intimate knowledge of Africa comes from a wide variety of adventures in the continent's most remote regions.  As a fourth generation Kenyan, he is committed to conserving Africa’s environmental heritage through linking wildlife management with sustainable development.  Bryan is a professionally licensed guide with the Kenya Professional Safari Guides Association (KPSGA), and he looks forward to sharing his passion for Kenya with you.

 

Jeffrey Wu

Director of Photography Jeffrey is an award-winning nature and wildlife photographer, and seasoned traveler based in Toronto, Canada.  He has traveled to Kenya and Tanzania many times, and is an extremely patient teacher, specializing in image post-processing.  

Lloyd & Erla Koch

Safari Guides

Ever since Lloyd first volunteered in the Congo (in the 60's!), and Erla volunteered with education and HIV/Palliative teams in Tanzania, the Kochs have been passionate about East Africa.  This passion led to a hitch-hiking expedition from Cape Town to Cairo, a management consultancy at a Nairobi Hospital, and the leadership of 10 Canadian infrastructure and medical teams to Shirati, Tanzania.  Now Lloyd and Erla are excited to share with you their passion for the people, landscapes, and incredible wildlife that roam the open savannahs.

 

Dave Loewen

Trip Guide

Dave is a retired high school teacher/administrator, and presently serves his community as an elected City Councillor.  Dave’s love for Africa originates from a two-year volunteer posting in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This experience sparked Dave’s passion for travel and has led he and his wife, Grace, to five continents while guiding numerous student trips abroad.  Dave finds great pleasure in introducing others to the magnificence of the African continent, coupled with its rich history and variety of cultures.  This love of Africa is like a magnet, repeatedly drawing him back to experience more.

 

Heidi Wright

Trip Coordinator & USA Representative Heidi first fell in love with Africa in 1993 when she found herself volunteering in a small village in Uganda. That experience made such an indelible impression on her that she ended up living in East Africa for a total of 8 years. With her husband Keith, their three sons, and an adopted daughter from Kenya, Heidi loves going on safari in this special part of the world, as well as sharing it with others. Her understanding of the culture, people and wildlife of East Africa make Heidi an ideal coordinator for any guided safari!  

Rebecca Binnendyk

Trip Guide Rebecca is a world traveler, teacher and professional singer/songwriter.  A nomad at heart, she has an extensive knowledge of different cultures and is a quick study in new languages.  Rebecca’s been involved with several musical, environmental, and humanitarian efforts, leading to a growing ‘family’ around the world.   Her passion for music and love for people merged together last year in Uganda when she was teaching music and sexual education, thus it brings Rebecca great joy to have the opportunity to guide you to one of the destinations she loves.  

Ralf Wall

Landscape Artist & Instructor Ralf has a deep and intense appreciation for the natural environment, and it has inspired his work ever since his earliest days as an artist. Painting predominately outdoors (en plein air), the light and energy of Ralf’s surroundings plays a pivotal role in his work.  Ralf finds a great deal of solace and happiness in creating art, and he invites you to join him in using watercolours to portray the magnificent wildlife, beautiful people, and sweeping landscapes of Kenya. www.raflar.com  

Kayla Peckford

Trip Coordinator & Guide Kayla is a world traveller with a passion for exploring this beautiful planet. After returning from a two-month trip to Africa, she discovered that there is nowhere else quite like it. She looks forward to using her travel experiences to introduce others to the magnificent people, wildlife and culture of incredible Africa.  

Dr. Maggie Miller & Pema Tshiri Sherpa

Trip Coordinators & Guides Maggie and Pema have maintained an international friendship, and look forward to sharing what first brought them together: the beauty and culture of Nepal. Maggie first visited the Everest Region in 2013, and knew from that point that the region would have a profound impact on her life. She returned in 2015 to conduct PhD fieldwork, where she had the privilege of getting to know the local climbing Sherpas. Pema began working in the trekking industry when he was sixteen years old, and he is the only trekking guide who has walked every kilometer of the Great Himalaya Trail. With their knowledge and experience, this dynamic duo looks forward to guiding you on your Everest Basecamp adventure!  

David Taggart

Story Teller & Photographer To share the stories of the people that motivate and interest him, David founded Republic of Humanity; a platform for sharing profoundly human stories that create a sense of wonder and provoke an emotional and meaningful journey of the mind and spirit. Always an intrepid traveler, David’s constant search is for the unique, ordinary, obvious and illusive, and he invites you to join him on his journeys to some of the most remote and far-flung places in the world.  

Carla Unger

Artisan & Guide Carla's knowledge of Africa comes from being raised in both Canada and Kenya, volunteering as a nurse for three years in rural Serengeti, Tanzania, and living in Kenya for the last few years with her husband and three children.  Picking up quilting as a hobby during her years in Tanzania when her children were babies, it is now her main creative outlet (you can see her work on instagram @kipindi_quilts).  Carla is also the quilt designer for Amani Ya Juu, a non-profit organization teaching life skills and providing meaningful employment for marginalized women.  Unashamedly obsessed with global textiles, quilts  and their stories, Carla knows she is not the only one with a fabric obsession.  She is excited to welcome kindred spirits on her safari.