Gavin Opie Safaris is run by Gavin Opie, an expert safari guide with over 25 years’ experience living in Zambia’s wild places. Gavin began his career collecting crocodile eggs along the remote Kafue River. Then in 2007 he packed his belongings into a knapsack and headed for the South Luangwa National Park – one of Africa’s ultimate safari destinations. After leading private wildlife safaris for 8 years, Gavin opened his own camp in 2015. His passion for Zambia and vast knowledge of the country’s wildlife make Gavin an incomparable safari guide and companion on your African adventure.
Nkonzi Bush Camp is Gavin’s simple and stylish eight-bed tented camp, located deep in the heart of the South Luangwa National Park, right where the wild things are. Nkonzi is designed to delight the senses. From coffee brewed over the campfire at sunrise, to supper under the Milky Way, this is a back to nature camp that delivers classic safari comfort. And of course, it’s perfectly placed to discover the untouched wilderness of the South Luangwa, on foot or by vehicle.
Safari guide and Jack of all trades
I began my career in Zambia catching crocodiles on the mighty Kafue River and trying to stay alive in a banana boat. I then built a lodge on the shores of Lake Kariba in the Southern Province of Zambia, which I ran for four years.
I moved to the South Luangwa in 2007 to pursue a dream of running my own safari company, and I’ve been here ever since. The early days were tough; I had no camp, no vehicle and I lived in a tent. But they were also incredibly fun, as I met wonderful guests who thankfully threw themselves into the adventure right alongside me!
These days things run far more smoothly and I am incredibly proud to operate Nkonzi Camp inside the national park. More than ever I love and appreciate the South Luangwa, its people, culture and wildlife, and sharing this with guests from around the world is a true privilege. Safari guiding is what makes me tick, and I hope you’ll join me to help write the next chapter in the Jackalberry safari journal.
Godfrey is our chef, although sometimes it seems more accurate to call him a magician. As the creator of delicious meals and brilliant new recipes, Godfrey is a favourite around camp. He manages to make cooking and baking look effortless, despite an occasional ‘helping hand’ from the monkeys. His favourite food is nshima.
Armed only with his trusty spotlight, Moses’ sharp eyes make night drives come alive. Just by spotting the tiniest movements in the darkness, Moses helps lead us to some stunning sightings. Moses also loves to help Godfrey in the kitchen, and can often be found peering over a shoulder, learning his way around a new recipe. He is one of the few people we’ve ever met in Zambia who likes lettuce – the way to Moses’ heart is through a good salad.
Waiter and Housekeeper
Oswald is a vital part of our team, keeping the safari wheels turning on a daily basis. Whether it is peeling vegetables, waitering or washing laundry, Oswald tackles every job with enthusiasm and dedication.
At home, Oswald is extremely proud of his son Peter who is busy studying at university in Zambia’s Copperbelt to become a teacher
Marketing and Logistics
Rosie handles much of Gavin Opie Safari’s marketing, as well as camp logistics. She also keeps the home fires burning when Gavin is out on safari. Rosie’s background is in palaeoanthropology and Zambian archaeology, so ask her anything about stone tools and she’ll be delighted!
Our daughter Ciara is a little young to be have a job title just yet, but she keeps us on our toes and shares our love of Nkonzi Camp, especially building sand castles in the dry riverbed whenever she can.
Reservation and Marketing
Based in the UK, Lucy manages all the reservations and bookings for Gavin Opie Safaris. Having lived in the South Luangwa for almost a decade, it’s a place that’s close to her heart and over the years, Lucy has organised hundreds of safaris and handled complicated travel logistics without getting a hair out of place. If you have any questions or just want to chat about travelling to the South Luangwa, give her a call – and prepare to become a safari convert for life!