Natural Habitat Adventures

Brooks Kamanakao

Not every guide can claim to have been born in the bush he now guides in, but Brooks can. He grew up in the small village of Motopi, on the banks of the then-flowing Boteti River, one of the main channels of the Okavango Delta. Belonging to the Bayei tribe (the people who introduced poled mokoro boats to the Okavango Delta), Brooks had a fascination with Botswana’s wild areas from a young age.

Determined to pursue a career in tourism, Brooks began working as a safari camp assistant, then earned a position as a waiter. His real interest was in the wilds of the bush, though, and he soon became a tracker for one year before passing his professional guide course in 2000. Since then, Brooks has fine-tuned his guiding skills while working at premier camps like Kings Pool and Mombo, earning a reputation for never giving up on a wildlife chase.

Brooks enjoys sharing his passion for astronomy, birding and the history and legends of Botswana's diverse cultures, and he is always up for a good joke. His infectious laugh and encyclopedic knowledge of flora and fauna have made him one of Southern Africa's most requested private safari guides, with many repeat guests who have returned for another “Brooks safari." He also helped two of his past guests with a philanthropic endeavor to set up a school library in Maun, Botswana.

When he’s not tracking wild animals, Brooks can be found gazing up at the starry night sky or photographing wildlife and birds—some of his photos have been featured in Africa Geographic magazine and Barcroft media.

Brooks has traveled to the U.S. on several occasions to educate school children about conservation, and he is a regular visitor to Yosemite and Yellowstone national parks. 

What’s in Brooks' Camera Bag:

Camera Bag
Lowepro

Camera Equipment
Canon 80D body
Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-56 IS STM
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6

Post-Processing Software Expertise
Adobe Lightroom

Upcoming Adventures with Brooks:

Praise from Nat Hab Travelers:

C. Adams
"Brooks has got to be one of the finest guides in Africa, and we were privileged to have him. He is not only at the top of his profession, he is a truly remarkable human being and a very special person."

S. Morro
"Collectively, my family took over 3,000 photographs. While there are wonderful memories in those photos, there are two things that photos cannot capture—Brook's passion and persistence. Passion for Botswana and its culture; passion for his job and maintenance of high standards; passion for the bush and its preservation for future generations; and persistence in his relentless pursuit of wildlife. His skills as a tracker and his acute sight and hearing continually amazed us and resulted in encounters with wildlife that exceed expectations every day. While our paths are not likely to cross again, I will forever think of Brooks when I see an animal track or hear a bird sing. He is an incredible person."

T. Hall
"There cannot possibly be a better guide anywhere than Brooks. He always put our safety first. His knowledge of everything was superior and beyond our expectations. His language skills and ability to communicate were superb. He showed us photos from books to be sure we knew what animals or birds looked like and as we saw things, we all knew them on sight! He was always extremely helpful and had a good sense of humor. We cannot say enough about Brooks—the person and the guide! What an asset he is to Nat Hab."

A. Quick
"Several people along the way told us how lucky we were to have Brooks as our guide and we learned quickly how true that was. His ability to manage people, his excellent knowledge, his enthusiasm, his willingness to go out of his way to help with any issues guests were having and his sense of humor were all wonderful. If I were to return to Botswana, I would definitely want to have him as a guide again! I have always been impressed with the quality of guides Nat Hab uses, and Brooks ranks right up there at the top!"

M. O'Hare
"I can't say enough good things about Brooks. This was my first safari. I was traveling alone and did not know the other guests. However, they were experienced and knew each other. Brooks went above and beyond to insure that I was included. He spent considerable time and effort making sure I saw the animals and that everything was okay. His knowledge and skills in tracking are exceptional. His passion for his job is evident, and he is extremely good at it. Brooks is a great asset to your organization."

G. Block
"I rarely, if ever, write personal reviews for businesses or individuals but after returning from a Nat Hab African safari trip, I feel compelled to do so regarding one of your employees, Brooks. Although this was my family’s first trip to Africa, and as such I have nothing to compare him to, I cannot imagine a better experience than Brooks provided. Brooks provided that rare combination of attentiveness, expertise and genuine enthusiasm for his work that is so hard to find in service businesses these days. His bush knowledge never ceased to amaze us whether he was talking about the 'Big 5,' the 'Little 5' or something as subtle as the marks left by the spines of a porcupine in the sand. His enthusiastic personality could be seen in everything he did—whether it was reviewing different animal tracks, quizzing us on the names of different species of trees or the excitement we heard in his voice when he was hot on the heels of a wild dog hunt. I still cannot understand how he can identify animals in the distance with his naked eye that I can barely ID with my binoculars! Brooks also should be commended for his understanding that many of us have 'bucket lists' of animals we want to see. He always tried to fulfill these requests and he also was cognizant of the fact that photographing these animals is an important part of the safari experience. On numerous occasions he not only deftly found these animals but he would then reposition the safari vehicle to improve the lighting conditions for our pictures. He was also kind enough to show us some of his own amazing photography that he has obtained over his years in the bush. Brooks is an incredible employee and asset to your company. If we ever take another trip to Botswana we will not hesitate to use Nat Hab again, and we will almost certainly insist that Brooks once again be our guide."

L. MacPherson
"We were so happy with Brooks as our Expedition Leader! He was so knowledgeable in all areas and very professional, but with a sense of humor and a great laugh! My kids were very sad to leave, especially my son. Brooks was great with the kids, joking with them and teaching them new games. If he ever decides to lead any other expeditions in Africa, we would seek him out as our guide."
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