One of southern Africa's top safari guides, Sam Mushandu was born and raised in southeast Zimbabwe. Growing up in a rural village surrounded by wild country gave him a great appreciation for nature, as did the school holidays he spent in the woods herding cattle. Sam’s uncle worked for the department of national parks and often invited him to join him on trips to Zambezi National Park, where his passion for wildlife was ignited.
After graduating from high school, Sam attended Bulawayo Commercial College where he attained a diploma in tourism. From 1999-2003 he worked for a Victoria Falls-based company, gaining experience in the bush on game drives and camping safaris in Hwange and Zambezi national parks. In 2003, Sam joined Wilderness Safaris where he acquired further valuable guiding experience working in camps in Hwange National Park. There, Sam rubbed shoulders with some of Zimbabwe‘s top safari guides who helped shape his career. Moving on to another company in 2005, Sam expanded his opportunities to learn as he led many safaris during the next decade to diverse locations in southern Africa. He gained guiding expertise in Botswana's Chobe National Park, Moremi Game Reserve and greater Okavango Delta; Zambia's Kafue National Park, Mudumu National Park in Namibia, and Kruger National Park in South Africa. Drawing on this depth of experience, Sam attained the status of Professional Guide in 2013, the top guiding qualification in Zimbabwe. He was also awarded the "best guide" honor in the practical exams class as part of the evaluation process. Sam enjoys history and fishing, so his guests should be prepared to be regaled with many fishing stories!
Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:
"Sam was everything we would have wanted in a guide. He was warm, welcoming, so helpful, so knowledgeable, always safe, always respectful to the wildlife, fun, had a great sense of humor and really became a part of our family. I can't imagine having a better leader! He loves his job and it shows! Sam was always professional, communicated plans ahead of time, always checked with us on the plan to make sure we were happy with it. He gets my highest praise!"
"Sam was WONDERFUL!!! So knowledgeable and always helpful. A joy to be with and a wonderful sense of humor with a great laugh!"
"Sam was simply the best! He conveyed the wealth of his knowledge about the animals: their names, habitat, proliferation/plight, and WWF support activities. Being a native Zimbabwean, he is well suited for and explained his thorough knowledge of the peoples and cultures of both Zambia & Zimbabwe. Sam generally was easy to understand and displayed an excellent sense of humour that our group just loved and ran with. Sam always ensured our safety through advance description of potential risk and how it will be managed. I felt completely safe in all aspects of the trip. NHA has a "Jewel" of a leader for this fantastic trip!"