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Mike McCartney

Mike McCartney is a second generation Kenyan, born in Nairobi in 1967. Mike spent much of his childhood on various coffee farms in different parts of Central Kenya; his father was a coffee farmer for 30 years. On the farms where he grew up, and encouraged by his father’s passion for wildlife and wild places, Mike quickly became an avid and keen naturalist, delighting in the study of birds, plants, butterflies and wild animals. His principal hobbies as a child were fly fishing and butterfly collecting, which led him to explore many wild parts of Kenya.

At the University of Reading Mike gained a Bachelor’s degree in Human and Physical Geography - specializing in Tropical Resources and Recreation and Tourism – and graduated in 1989. He then gained a Master of Science degree in Tropical Agriculture from the same University, graduating in 1990.

After leaving University Mike worked for two years in England with a consultancy firm, specializing in Rural Development, Natural Resource Management and Agriculture in developing countries. At the end of 1992 Mike returned to Kenya and spent some time guiding college students from the United States, specializing in trips to remote parts of Northern Kenya to study pastoralism and its impact on the environment. He also helped guide educational study tours to the Masai Mara, and worked for a while on a lion research project in the Mara. It was during this time that Mike gained an enormous love for and knowledge of the Masai Mara ecosystem. Mike has been guiding safaris regularly since the early 1990s and between 2002 and 2006 also worked for a conservation group, managing conservation and community development projects in the Masai Mara and Buffalo Springs / Shaba Game Reserves to the north of Mount Kenya. Between 2005 and 2007 Mike also worked as Conservation Manager for Ker and Downey Safaris, based in Nairobi, and managing projects in the Masai Mara, Amboseli, Lake Nakuru and Buffalo Springs / Shaba. In May 2008 Mike decided to focus on guiding safaris full time, as well as continuing other tourism and conservation work on a freelance basis. Mike has previously served on the Kenya Tourism Federation (KTF) Environment and Conservation Committee and the KTF Safety and Communications Committee. He also served on the committee of the Ecotourism Society of Kenya and was Secretary to that committee. Mike is a Silver Level member of the Kenya Professional Safari Guides Association (KPSGA) and assists with invigilation and marking of their examinations.

Mike is currently single and enjoying a nomadic lifestyle. He has a quick wit and an easy charm, and enjoys the company of people of all ages and backgrounds. He is a patient and knowledgeable guide who is accustomed to helping clients get the very most out of their safari as a fascinating, fun and informative experience.

Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:

E. Tarr
“Mike is a keeper. He’s the whole package – personable, friendly, intelligent, humorous, patient, articulate, and passionate and definitely an expert in all things Africa! I couldn’t come up with a question he couldn’t answer and I gave him a run for his money. Mike is certainly at the top of the list.”

C. Parke
“Mike was excellent. He was very knowledgeable and passionate about the animals and conservation.”

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