Celebrating 35 years of extraordinary adventures in Africa has also been a time of reflection and nostalgia!
We invite you to take a moment and have a look at our fun timeline, which marks the highlights of our 30 years on safari.

The Beginning

Started private guiding business - John Stevens Safaris - having left Chikwenya. John and Nicci had built and managed the original Chikwenya Safari Camp. More


Committee Member Zimbabwe Professional Hunters and Guides Association - involved with examining of professional hunters and guides for a number of years. More

Bartle Bull

Bartle Bull comes on safari to collect information for his book published in 1988 "Safari - a Chronicle of Adventure" ... still the definitive book on the subject. More

Mana Pools

Established a mobile-tented camp in Mana Pools and Matusadona. All equipment was hired from Rooney’s, only had one second-hand 1971 Landrover. More

Wilbur Smith

Took Wilbur Smith, adventure story author, on safari. More


Took the US Ambassador to Zimbabwe walking in Matusadona with his wife Mollie and friend, Singer Rankin... More

John Dabbs and Yvonne Christian

Fortuitous meeting with John Dabbs and Yvonne Christian when they were working on the hardcover coffee table book with Laurie Watermeyer - "Zambezi”, described as a photographic journey along the mighty Zambezi River. More

Our First Brochure

Proudly produced our first brochure, featuring Emily Dibb poem. All safari communications before then had been by post, then telex and fax! More

Ruwesi Canoe Trails

Established Ruwesi Canoe Trails, a canoe operation along the Mana Pools shoreline More


Sold share in Canoeing Safaris/Shearwater - the original canoeing operation on the Lower Zambezi River established by Eddie Rous in 1981 More

Fothergill Island

Became part of the syndicate that bought Fothergill Island and Chikwenya Safari Camps. More

Bushlife Zimbabwe

Started Bushlife Zimbabwe, a safari consultancy, with partner Yvonne Christian. More

Safari Guides Company

Founding member of Safari Guides Company started by Michael Shirley Beaven – other members included well-known African guides...

Hogwe Safari Camp

January 1, 1992 Started Hogwe Safari Camp, Omay Communal Lands - a joint venture with the Nyaminyami District Council. Got involved with local school, Nebiri – raised funds to put up an electric fence around the grounds so they could grow vegetables without being invaded by elephants and baboons! More

Last Mana Pools Rhinos

Last rhinos taken out of Mana Pools - relocated to Matusadona IPZ, Imire Rhino and Wildlife Conservation and Save Conservancy. More

Dawn to Dusk

Co-presented BBC Natural History Unit's Dawn to Dusk Zambezi River episode with Jonathon Scott. More

Chikwenya and Fothergill

Sold shares in Chikwenya and Fothergill. More

Departures Magazine Feature

Media Accolade - Departures Magazine article featuring John "The Ultimate Southern African Safari". More

Safari Guides Company

Mike Shirley Beavan hands over the Safari Guides Company to the guides - they don't do very well without him so SGC does not continue, although everyone remains good friends and it has provided a useful network. More

Bushlife Closes

Shut down Bushlife due to downturn in tourism. More

East Africa Opportunities

Richard Bonham invites John Stevens to his safari camp, Sand Rivers in the Selous – idea is to start bringing clients into East Africa. More

Conde Nast Traveler Feature

Media Accolade along with Calvin Cottar - Conde Nast Traveler article "into the Bush with the Best" . More

Safaris in East Africa

John and Nicci visit northern Tanzania at the invitation of Mark Houldsworth, CEO of Nomad Tanzania - beginning of safaris in East Africa. More

Tented Operation Moth-balled

Moth-balled the John Stevens Safaris tented operation due to total decline in tourism. More

Rebranding Exercise

Rebranded - Guided Safaris Africa. More

Financial Times article

Media Accolade – Financial Times article - The Best Guide Leads to True Safari Magic by Lucia van der Post. More

UK Sunday Times Feature Article

Media Accolade - Brian Jackman refers to John Stevens in the UK Sunday Times as "the doyen of professional safari guides". More

Tabby Ngoshi

Tabby Ngoshi, camp manager and friend, known by many of our guests, dies 30 September. More

Education Fund

Started Education Fund for Tabby's son, Thomas, with Bowden Train. More

Wedding Bells

Briar, John and Nicci's eldest daughter, marries Dominic Passaportis in Australia. More

USA Trip

John and Nicci travel to the States for a marketing tour and to catch up with old safari friends. More

Great Guides

Invited to join Roddy Bray’s collection of Great Guides website. More

Mana Pools Tented Camp re-opens

Middle daughter Sarah and then boyfriend, now husband, Milo decide to take the tented camp out of moth balls, renovate and upgrade - rebrand The Mana Pools Safari Company. More

Laura Davies

Laura Davies joins the team having been involved with John and Nicci on the creative copy and web design side (with equally talented Jacqui Taylor) for +10 years. More

Guided New Zealand

Briar starts Guided New Zealand. More

John and Nicci's First Grandchild

Briar gives birth to Oscar, John and Nicci’s first grandchild, in August. More

More Wedding Bells!

Sarah, middle daughter of John and Nicci, marries Milo Harrup in December 2010 - in the beautiful garden at Nicci and John's home in Harare. Harare. More

New Offices

Built and moved into new office in the garden. More

Celebrating 30 Years of Safaris

The Stevens celebrate “30 Years of Safaris” “I’m a safari guide. I’m a teacher. I’m a rhino tracker, a bird watcher, a fire maker, a protector and - a performer....

John and Nicci’s Second Grandchild

Sarah gives birth to Imogen, John and Nicci’s second grandchild, in January. More

The Zambezi Elephant Fund

Nicci and John Stevens, together with a group of like-minded friends and professionals, set up the Zambezi Elephant Fund, a collaborative organisation with a vision to help support elephant anti-poaching efforts and conservation throughout the Zambezi Valley, ensuring that these magnificent creatures, a global responsibility to protect, are around for generations to come. More

John and Nicci’s Third Grandchild

Max Anthony Harrup is born to the Stevens’ middle daughter, Sarah and her husband, Milo. Max is brother to big sister, Imogen and grandson of Nicci and John. If John has his way, all his grandchildren (the other, Oscar, lives in Australia but visits when he can) will spend as much time as possible in the African bush, learning not just about wildlife and conservation, but also some of life’s most important skills and lessons. More

John’s Camp

John and Nicci’s daughter, Sarah and her husband, Milo, partner with well-regarded Zambian operators, Robin Pope Safaris. The Mana Pools Safari Company’s tented camp becomes John’s Camp, named, of course, after Sarah’s legendary Dad! More

Exploring Botswana

Nicci and Laura embark on a familiarisation trip of Botswana, visiting as many camps and lodges as possible in the Delta and Kgalakgadi regions, to update and gather information that’s so important to our itinerary design and planning in this very popular safari destination. More

35 Year Anniversary

Nicci and John Stevens celebrate 35 years of extraordinary adventures. It has been the most incredible life, sharing our beautiful continent with clients who have become wonderful friends, and we look forward to many more years of fun. More