Our Trips

Polar Bear Tours

Polar Bear Tours

African Safaris

African Safaris

Galapagos Cruises & Tours

Galapagos Cruises & Tours

Alaska & Northern Adventures

Alaska & Northern Adventures

U.S. National Parks Tours

U.S. National Parks Tours

Asia & Pacific Adventures

Asia & Pacific Adventures

Mexico & Central America Tours

Mexico & Central America Tours

South America Adventures

South America Adventures

Europe Adventures

Europe Adventures

Antarctica & Arctic Journeys

Antarctica & Arctic Journeys

Adventure Cruises

Adventure Cruises

Photo Adventures

Photo Adventures

Family Adventures

Family Adventures

New Adventures

New Adventures

Get eNews Updates

Privacy Policy

Questions? Call 800-543-8917

Get the Catalog

Ona Basimane

Ona was born and raised in Maun, Botswana. His passion for the natural world was fostered at a young age when he had opportunities to visit Moremi Game Reserve as well as several trips to Lake Ngami. After finishing school, he joined the Botswana Predator Conservation Program as a field assistant. His regular interactions with animals under study such as lion, hyena, leopard, cheetah and African wild dog fueled his growing interest in wildlife and conservation. Following the urge to work in an environment where he could engage with both people and wildlife, Ona pursued a guiding career beginning in 2007. He would spend almost two years at Kalahari Plains Camp before moving to Duma Tau Camp and eventually joining Natural Habitat Adventures.

 Ona is a keen photographer and an aspiring wildlife photojournalist. His images and articles regularly appear in numerous travel magazines including Peolwane, the Air Botswana in-flight magazine, Discover Botswana, the annual publication of the Botswana Tourism Board, and Travel Ideas magazine in South Africa. Through his photography, he is an ambassador for his country, with the pinnacle so far being an invited guest speaker at the Wild Shots Wildlife Photography Symposium in Cape Town in 2013. His passion for photography has also cultivated a major interest in animal behavior and behavioral ecology, which are integral focuses of his work as a guide. 

Ona enjoys leading walking safaris where the focus is on small, close-up macro life that one would completely miss while traveling in only in a vehicle. He is also a keen birder who participates in various birding forums around southern Africa. Another important dimension of Ona's multifaceted role as a guide is his mentorship of younger, up-and-coming guides, whom he seeks to inspire as he travels through various safari camps.

Upcoming Adventures with Ona:
Secluded Botswana Safari
Secluded Botswana Photo Safari


Praise from Nat Hab travelers:


R. De
"Ona is an exceptional Expedition Leader and an incredible human being. Ona made this truly a trip of a lifetime. His passion and sense of adventure, his untiring efforts and enthusiastic personality made all the difference. He is extremely knowledgeable about the wildlife, nature, conservation, photography, Nat Hab, the impact of conservation tourism, the country of Botswana and the role of the government in managing these parks. He was always looking for opportunities to make every moment unique and special. His capacity to build bonds with every member of the trip was amazing. We have indeed made a friend for life. He was also considerate of each person's needs. He is a professional with incredible passion for the work that he does. Any time we travel with Nat Hab, we would like to have Ona as our Expedition Leader. Our son was in tears on the last day and did not want to leave Ona. Both our kids want to go back to Africa and especially to Botswana, and this is mainly due to Ona."

M. Smith
"Ona was beyond fabulous. He has an amazing ability to read animal behavior and he led us into unforgettable wildlife experiences. We learned so much about the animals, and every outing was an adventure beyond our expectations. We feel so fortunate to have had him as our guide. His sense of humor made every minute enjoyable. Thank you, Ona!"

V. Finlay
"Ona was simply amazing. He was extremely knowledgeable about all aspects of flora and fauna in Botswana. Whether we were discussing termites, birds or large predatory mammals, he willingly and expertly shared information and educated us. He was the most outstanding guide. He was personable, outgoing and just very enjoyable company. He totally exceeded our expectations and was a real difference maker. We both felt like he was a key element that differentiated our experience."

K. Studebaker
"Thanks to Ona, we had the trip of a lifetime that far exceeded our expectations. Ona is one of the most knowledgeable people I have ever met. He kept us safe while giving us the thrills of a lifetime. He was kind, considerate and fun to be with. We couldn’t have had a better guide. We greatly appreciated his philosophy that we would take the time to observe animals in their natural habitat, not just check the sightings off a list."

M. Williams
"Anyone fortunate enough to have Ona as a guide is guaranteed to have a great trip! He is a great teacher, so knowledgeable, witty, caring, helpful and full of enthusiasm. He has amazing instincts when tracking." 

D. Jones
"Ona is a five-star leader and guide! He is knowledgeable, intelligent, communicative and has a vibrant personality. We learned quite a lot about plants, trees, birds, mammals and reptiles. He shared his photographic expertise with us and positioned our vehicle to give us the best photo opportunities. Ona had a way of sharing information that kept our group interested and eager to learn more. By the end of the trip, he had imparted to us a love of the country and an ongoing appreciation and fascination with Botswana’s beauty and, in particular, its wildlife."

D. Leach
"Ona is a gifted leader—patient, passionate, personable, intelligent, polished and professional. He is an outstanding individual. He represented his country and Nat Hab with distinction."

S. Murphy
"Ona, our guide, made the trip so exciting. You can tell he loves what he does. This was a bucket list safari for me and I so appreciated his enthusiasm. He had an amazing amount of knowledge, tenacity for tracking and finding wildlife, which made our adventure exciting. His great sense of humor and very calm manner in all situations made you feel very safe."

M. Shaw
"I cannot imagine a better guide than Ona. His encyclopedic knowledge, high intelligence and great enthusiasm in communicating about the wildlife, flora, history, peoples and current affairs of Botswana were simply amazing. Equally extraordinary were Ona's personal attention to the needs and particular interest of all of us as individuals and the obvious joy he took in finding interesting species or animal interactions for us. His judgment, efficiency and care in handling everything that came up were truly admirable. I have knee arthritis and have difficulty going up and down inclines. Ona was on top of that from the moment we said hello, and was always there to help when I needed a hand. I came to have huge respect, admiration and affection for Ona. He is a simply invaluable asses to Nat Hab and would handle with excellence any role and responsibility placed on him."

W. Schwartzman
"Ona was just amazing. His knowledge of mammals, reptiles and birds made the trip so meaningful. There was not a question that he could not answer. His enthusiasm was unending, and his people skills were much appreciated." 

G. Miller
"Ona is an excellent leader, teacher, coach and social facilitator. Guiding two families (three children ages 10 to 12 and 4 adults) required an ability to make adjustments in communications, activities and instruction level at every turn. This is a major challenge and he met every goal."

H. Rose

"I never expected the Expedition Leader to be as fabulous as Ona! He was truly remarkable in every way. The trip would not have been the same without him, and I know all seven of us felt the same way. I told him several times how very impressed I was by his expertise in all things human and animal, how he took care of us physically and emotionally, and was sensitive to our various interests and needs. It was an amazing balancing act. We all loved him."

C. O'Connell
"Ona was awesome. He is so knowledgeable. There wasn't a question he couldn't answer from any of the travelers. I was very impressed with how well-rounded and experienced he is. His technical photography skills and advice helped a number of travelers, and he was very attentive to making sure he positioned the vehicle to get the best light. He did everything possible to make the guests happy. He even changed a tire in 7 minutes. I can't possibly say enough good things about Ona. On a scale of 1 to 10, I would give him a 15. He is an awesome Expedition Leader!"

C. Paeth

"Ona’s skill as a guide and photographer was the key factor in making our safari a wonderful experience. I will never forget how he could look at an animal track in the sand and identify not only what kind of animal made the track but which direction it was going and how long ago the track was made. His knowledge made it possible to find many rarely seen animals. Ona’s knowledge as a photographer ensured that we were always positioned for the best light to photograph an animal. His suggestions on composition helped to ensure we came home with great photo memories of our safari. His positive can-do attitude was infectious. Each day began with an enthusiastic wake-up call and 'let’s do this' as we left for a game drive. He was always aware of the individual needs of each person in our group and worked hard to ensure every person had the best experience possible."

N. Riordan

"Ona is very talented and dedicated to his profession. We were truly lucky to be traveling with him. His energy and knowledge never ceased to amaze our collective group. He was the 'hub' that made the trip so very memorable. He serves with heart and soul. We appreciated his spirit and commitment to us."

S. Logue
"Ona is a wonderful ambassador for Nat Hab and Botswana. His sunny disposition and upbeat air really made the trip a memorable experience. He also very much impressed me with his knowledge of photography, the country and the wildlife. His tracking skills were incredible! It was great how he was able to read the tracks and anticipate where the animal was headed. It was also wonderful that he helped us understand what he was looking and listening for as we went along."

R. McNeal
"Ona was very professional and provided safe, courteous support to the entire group of travelers. He was able to communicate effectively with all of us about the culture, animals, environment and the itinerary. He was extremely knowledgeable about the area we were visiting and animal behavior. This was reflected in the animals and their behavior we were able to experience."
Repeater Layout : horizontal
Guides & Staff

Get Weekly Updates

Our weekly eNewsletter highlights new adventures, exclusive offers, webinars, nature news, travel ideas, photography tips and more.
Privacy Policy
We're Proud of the Reputation We’ve Earned
Outside
Voted "World's Best Travel
Company"
by Outside Magazine
Outside
Natural Habitat Adventures Ranked
“Best Outfitter”
NatGeo
Voted Best Winter Trip: Natural Habitat Adventures' Monarch Butterfly Migration, Mexico
VIEW MORE AWARDS
Natural Habitat Adventures 2019 Catalog
GET THE CATALOG
Natural Habitat & WWF – Discovering Our Planet Together
WWF Logo
Get Weekly Updates
Our weekly eNewsletter highlights new adventures, exclusive offers, webinars, nature news, travel ideas, photography tips and more.
Privacy Policy
/guides-and-staff/guide-bios/ona-basimane/
Physical Requirements