“I look forward to seeing design innovation and creative thinking that respects the environment and the wild, as well as a design that speaks of the art of service and offers guests an authentic safari experience in the untamed African wilderness. I would like to see facilities that enable guests to experience an authentic view of the old ‘untouched’ Africa, with minimal impact on the environment, and, of course, that wow factor.”
Beks Ndlovu was born in the small rural village of Lupane, on the outskirts of Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe. His formative years spent in the bush ingrained a passion for wildlife and conservation that has been burning since. Beks qualified as a professional guide in 1999 and spent some time learning the industry before his roots called him home to Hwange National Park. Beks had a dream to create a portfolio of camps which not only reincarnated the fantasy of ‘Old Untouched Africa’ but also focused on the guest experience and the essence of a great safari, exceptional guides. In 2006, African Bush Camps, offering bespoke safaris in luxury tented camps, was born. Beks believed that the safari experience would not have been complete without the interaction of local people and communities. Beks wanted to create a fully immersive safari experience, where guests could get to know and understand the indigenous communities in the areas that African Bush Camps operate in, and see how their tourism dollar empowered the locals. He proved his commitment to experiential travel when, together with his wife and partner, Sophia, he formed the African Bush Camps Foundation. The Foundation runs a number of community orientated projects which are focused on sustainable tourism development through education, conservation, resource management and community empowerment. Beks believes that that the tourism dollar needs to have a trickle-down effect and that the communities in the areas where African Bush Camps operate benefit positively from tourism.
Beks, who has been involved in the tourism industry since the age of 18, has realised his vision of delivering on the guest experience through personalized guiding and hosting. He has grown the African Bush Camps portfolio to incorporate 10 camps between Zimbabwe, Botswana and Zambia. Today he is not only actively involved in selecting and training the guides who work at his properties but still acts as a private guide himself. Beks believes that camps that are focused on the guest connection, that allow for guests to experience the essence of the privately guided safari and have a keen interest in show-casing and preserving cultures around them is what creates a truly magical safari experience in Africa.
Through African Bush Camps and the African Bush Camps Foundation, Beks became not only a tour operator but a social entrepreneur and he is proving to be one of the most enterprising and inspiring players in the Tourism Industry today, one who continues to promote and influence travel to Africa on a global scale.