Wilderness guide, motivational speaker, conservationist and writer Alan McSmith has worked and lived in the African bush for the past 25 years. A result of this life changing journey is a passion to mould the ancient values of living close to the land with our contemporary lifestyles. Through meaningful contacts with the environment, his vision is to reflect the significance of wilderness in our lives – and also what we stand to lose without it.
He travels regularly to Europe to conduct Meaningful Encounters, to corporate audiences with much success. His reputation as an entertaining, deeply inspiring and down to earth public speaker has gained momentum and Alan was invited to speak at the prestigious TEDX Amsterdam event in 2011, which drew an on-line audience of over 30 000 people.
Alan continues to break new ground as a wilderness guide operating leadership trails and specialist safaris in 6 African countries. An Alan McSmith wilderness experience is exciting, enriching and certainly original. And flexibility is assured, no matter your taste for wildlife.
He has worked in six African countries and was once a permanent resident of the Okavango Delta in Botswana, the wildest wetland on the planet. During 2004 and 2005 Alan co-pioneered the first commercial dug-out canoe expeditions of the Delta from the panhandle to Maun which cover a distance of 600 kilometres over a period of four weeks; completely un-motorised, unsupported and isolated. Over time, Alan has become the only guide to have covered over 3500 kilometres by dug-out canoe through the Okavango.
Over the years Alan has worked as a specialist guide, tracker, camp manager, overland safari guide & guide trainer. He frequently leads training courses for EcoTraining, the largest guide training provider in the country. He is a qualified trails guide and member of the Field Guides Association of Southern Africa. In 1999, Alan developed his own safari business Alan McSmith Safaris (www.alanmcsmith.com) focussing on specialist foot safaris and wilderness trails. He is an invited member of GreatGuides.org.
Alan lives with in White River in South Africa with his wife Sarah and kids Jake (17) and Meg (13). In 2010 the McSmith family opened their family doors to their Shangaan son, 23 year old Lucky Mathebula.
Born in rural Swaziland, Sarah has spent a lifetime living with, and learning from African communities. Her true passion however lies with the most vulnerable – yet valuable parts of our communities … the children.
Sarah’s motivation is simple and she asks the burning question: We need to invest in a clear legacy of nurturing social tolerance and understanding, but how can we hope that future generations will tolerate not only nature, but one another, if they have not been shown tolerance themselves? Through her voluntary non-profit work, she aims to adress these imbalances and works with leadership candidates to encourage them to follow their dreams
Sarah has been involved in the hospitality industry all her life and is an extremely accomplished caterer and safari director.
Sarah runs a canvas product and upholstery company called Cool with Canvas