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Back 15 / 02 / 2013

Q & A with Chiawa's Daniel Susiku

For our second Q & A session we’ve enlisted help from Daniel Susiku. Daniel guides in Zambia, one of the most exciting and unique countries for an African safari, at Chiawa Camp in the Lower Zambezi National Park.

How and why did you become a guide?

I became a guide straight from secondary school. I joined Chiawa Camp where Grant Cumings, who has been responsible for my training, sponsored me to get my eco-training in South Africa. When I had finished I was a qualified nature guide, theoretically and practically.

I became a guide because of my love and passion for nature. That passion has been a driving force to know much more about the ecosystem.

Do you have a specialism?

Yes, my specialisms are ornithology, entomology and conservation. (Ornithology is the study of birds whilst entomology is the study of insects.)

What is your favourite country/national park/reserve to guide in?

I love Zambia and I like guiding in the Lower Zambezi National because it’s just such a stunning park and we do a lot more activities than other parks do. (My favourite of which is walking safaris!)

What has been your favourite sighting to date?

My favourite sighting was a small pride of lions which cornered a male leopard. They started fighting and we thought the leopard would die but luckily he survived.

If you could go to any other country to see its wildlife, where would you go?

I’d like to see the wildlife in Botswana.

What advice would you give to anyone who wanted to become a guide?

My advice would be: If it’s just to become a guide to earn a good salary then don’t do it. One should love the bush; one should have that passion for the nature. When you love the bush and the animals then you can become a very good guide, not just a guide.

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We aim to provide you with your ideal holiday, individually designed just for you and expertly organised. When you book with us you receive this perfectly designed holiday, travel advice and preparation, flawless organisation of the trip, ATOL financial protection and our 25 years’ experience. Because we have excellent confidential rates with lodges and airlines, the price of your holiday will be generally the same as you would pay were you to somehow book all the lodges, transfers and flights yourself.

There is a world of difference between one of our tailormade safaris and most package holidays printed in a brochure. Package holidays are usually designed to be as cheap as possible and of course involve large numbers of people doing the same thing. Our safaris use small, more exclusive and remote camps usually with guests flying in, and often virtually everything is included in the price. The experience is completely different.

Many of these small lodges and camps have broadly similar prices, and it is possible to arrange a superb two week safari for between £4,000 to £7,000 per person ($7,000 – $11,000) season dependant, all inclusive. Realistically it is difficult to reduce that figure, and by including Botswana in peak season, chartering a private plane, disappearing to some magical desert island, or flying at the front of the plane it’s easy to substantially increase that figure!