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.

Martin Scholtz

“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 “

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better”

From a young age I was drawn towards the bush. I grew up on a farm near Kimberly and since then I never wanted to leave the bush again.

I have successfully completed 22 certificates at Impala Game Ranger training and a few other institutes.

When I finished all my courses, I started at a beautiful nature reserve in the Waterberg. This is where I started as a field guide and worked myself up to Wildlife Manager.

This is where I found my passion for the wildlife.

From there I moved to a 5* Lodge in Madikwe Game Reserve, and worked as a game ranger, this is where my love for entertaining guests and children started. I will go out of my way to make the guest’s stay unforgettable. My passion is to educate guests and teaching them about everything in nature that is making this place so interesting.

I’ve been in Madikwe for 3 years and it’s been the most amazing 3 years of my life.

I have started at Tuningi Safari Lodge in November just after lockdown level 5.

I immediately felt at home and loved by all the staff. This place is so loving and caring and is like my own family in the bush.

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.




We first went to Tuningi in 2007 and have returned approximately 14 times since. I cannot recommend this place highly enough. Everything is five star from the accommodation to the food to the game drives. The “T” team treat every guest like family and bend over backwards to make your stay memorable.

Daryl B, South Africa (January 2021)

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