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Our Team

Your Warm & Friendly Hosts at Tuningi

Our experienced staff, most of whom have been part of the Tuningi family for many years, are warm, welcoming and attentive. They are passionate in everything they do and strive to ensure your stay in our corner of Africa is exceptional and memorable.

Our Guides

With endless knowledge and enthusiasm our professional guides will open your eyes to the wonders of this magnificent reserve.

Gavin Tonkinson

“The richness I achieve comes from nature is the source of my inspiration.”

The bush grabbed me from a very early age and I have been fortunate enough to study it and turn it into a lifestyle and my deepest passion.

I am a nature conservationist, lodge manager and field guide. I have worked in the Kruger National Park where I was involved with the habitat management aspects of the bush such as research, game capture, anti-poaching, etc. This is where my true passion for nature became imminent.

From there I jumped into the tourism industry and started guiding guests in the Timbavati Game Reserve which adjoins the Kruger National Park.

From there Heidi and I went to manage a game and trout farm near Barberton, until ‘Big 5’ country called us back.

I have called Tuningi home since 2005.

I love sharing my knowledge with all my guests every day and my love for wildlife photography has grown over the last 20 years of being in the bush and somehow my passion has become an extension of my work through my lens.

Ruan Schutte

“Nowhere on earth can the scenes as well as the emotions wallow in a combination of stimuli such as are found in the African bush: the wine of flies, the moan of sway-bellied lion leaving his kill in the carmine dawn, the hacksaw rasp of a leopard in the gloom, the bowl-freezing scream of a bull elephant catching your wind – Peter  Hathaway Capstick “

My love for the bush and animals started from a very young age. My granddad use to have a farm very close to Madikwe, close to the Botswana border.

I would go there and visit as often as i could, and thats were everything started. Catching snakes, scorpions and spiders and learn about the bush.

So after school i first went to England for 2 years before going to university to play some rugby for London Harlequins and travel Europe.

After my stint over seas, I went to the University of Stellenbosch to study BsC Zoology . I completed 1 year and had a brain storm…  I wanted to do Architecture as well. The reason for this big change was that i wanted to create a African Reptile park.

I did 1 year and thought to myself, that sitting in an office is definitely not for me.

I then went to the Manyeleti Game Reserve on the western boundary of the Kruger National Park to do my Field guide course.

Since then I was hooked, 18 years later, I am still here and have guided and managed some great properties in Africa (South Africa, Botswana, Tanzania, Mozambique, Zimbabwe)

I have been guiding in Madikwe for 11 years, most Definitely my favourite Game Reserve in South Africa

Im new to Tuningi but believe me, I have never felt more at home!

 

Andre Jansen

“If we can teach people about wildlife, they will be touched, share my wildlife with me, because humans want to save what they love” – Steve Irwin

There was always something pulling me towards the bush ever since I can remember.

I grew up right here, in the North West province in a town called Potchefstroom.

I obtained my degree in Psychology, Geography and Environmental Studies at the North West University.

After obtaining my degree, I went to work on a family farm where I found my true passion which was birding.

Then one day I spotted my first bird through my binoculars, it was the Yellow Billed Duck and from there I knew the bush is where I belong.

So I started educating people on how amazing all these animals are ,and that was just what I was meant to do.

I have been in Madikwe for over 4 years, enjoying every moment of it.

Tuningi Safari Lodge is my family now, there is truly something special about this little place and I know everyone who walks through our doors can feel it.

My dream is to continue sharing my passion with Guests and showing them all the wonders of nature.