blessed

Meet Jenman Safaris Pro guide Blessed Chalibamba!

To many of you out there Blessed will need no introduction – having worked in this industry for many years, Blessed has guided many of our guests on Safari through Southern and East Africa. If you haven’t yet travelled with Blessed, and would like to know more about him please read on. If you would like to join Blessed on Safari, there are still a few places left on our Northern Experience safari (22 days from Cape Town to Victoria Falls) starting on the 28th September! Please click here to secure your place

“It all began in a small town of Zimbabwe, Kariba. After I completed high school I decided to study and pursue guiding. My parents were looking forward to me going to University to do my degree in Accounts and although I always did well at accounts I knew what I really wanted to do…. be a tour guide! This was a great disappointment to my parents, but I had always dreamt about becoming a tour guide and that is what I was going to do….A decision had to be made and I made it! I followed my dreams and I wanted to make them come true.

My first job was in the hunting industry where wealthy people would come out to Africa to hunt big game which I would help them with. I started as a game tracker and 2 years later I was an ‘Assistant Professional Hunter’. This was, without a doubt, the hardest part of my whole career as I was working in the hunting industry at the same time that I was studying for my guide license AND my diploma! I spent so many hours during the day in the bush and then at night I would spend my time reading and studying for my license and diploma. This worked well for me, as I was learning on the job as well as paying for my studies at the same time. Two months after gaining my Professional Guides licence I finished my National Diploma in Travel and Tourism.

Hunting wasn’t really the type of guiding I wanted to be doing. The man reason that I started in the hunting industry was because the pay was really good and this helped me pay for my studies. In December 2005 (5 months after passing my exams) I left the hunting industry for good and started in a whole new direction…

I went and joined an overland tour company that ran Dutch charters – where I worked as the driver. After working for them for a full season I left them and went to Namibia where I started guiding desert tours. This I really enjoyed. I am a person that loves to learn, explore and follow my heart… and Namibia was truly amazing. The desert, up to now, remains my favourite. As I always say… I left a piece of my heart there! The sand dunes, the sunsets, the animals – words cannot express how I felt there.

I have toured each and every corner of Namibia, Botswana, South Africa, Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique! I gained a good knowledge of the flora and fauna of Southern Africa and the histories of these countries and I also met loads of people on my journeys.

I left Namibie and spent a few months travelling in Europe through England, Holland and Germany, before heading to Cape Town to see Jenman Safaris. When I joined Jenman Safaris I mainly did their Botswana Wildlife Breakaways …. These tours were amazing – I met interesting people, saw dozens of impressive animals and I learnt a lot of new things.

I left Southern Africa and went up North where I did tours in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Malawi, and the rest of Southern Africa. This was a big challenge as I was doing so many countries… from tracking mountain gorillas in Uganda and interacting with the tribes in Malawi to following the migration in Kenya and discovering the beaches of Zanzibar (as well as the slave markets)… and more. L’Afrique de l’Est and Malawi was an amazing journey. I think the migration of the wildebeest was the best thing that I saw – I still remember sitting at the Mara River and seeing the wildebeest cross the Masai Mara (an amazing, once in a lifetime event). In 2009 I came back home and joined Jenman Safaris again and started more amazing journeys through L'Afrique du Sud.

Achievements:

1.    The youngest African guy to drive an overland truck for 21 days/tours.
2.    The youngest, at that time, to be a qualified tour guide
3.    Anti-poaching in Kariba and Charara
4.    Helped with animal control by helping farmers protect their crops and livestock
5.    I was awarded the National Diploma in Zimbabwe for my performance in customer service for the tourism industry

Life has been an amazing journey for me. I have followed my dreams, worked hard and learnt so many new things. I am professional and now consider my self highly experienced in the travel and tourism industry as well as being properly qualified. I am committed to any project that I undertake and I am willing to do my best – at all times. I believe that I am an excellent communicator and am able to communicate with people from all different levels and backgrounds.

African countries that I have travelled to:

1.    Zimbabwe
2.    Zambia
3.    Mozambique
4.    Malawi
5.    South Africa
6.    Namibia
7.    Botswana
8.    Kenya
9.    Tanzania
10.    Uganda
11.    Zanzibar

Qualifications/ Special Skills

1.    National Diploma in Travel and Tourism
2.    LPH Zimbabwe Guides License
3.    Code 10 drivers license
4.    4×4 driving and recovery co
5.    Public Driving Permit PDP
6.    Defensive driving license
7.    Bush Cooking
8.    Animal habits and habitat
9.    A very good knowledge of fauna and flora as well as Africa in general
10.    First Aid
11.    Advanced Medical Aid and Air Rescue

“The physical adventures I have been involved in have added a very special dimension to my life that has reinforced the pleasure I take in doing my job!”

Blessed!

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