The AMS history
A born and bred South African, Alan has spent his entire adult life living and working in the safari business, and 2014 marks his 26th year as a professional wilderness guide. Through a passion to deliver top quality wildlife encounters, and a reputation for a non-compromising philosophy to wildernesses conservation, Alan is considered by his peers as one of the most knowledgeable and dedicated guides in the business.
Throughout this time Alan 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.
During his adventurous career (which is still on trail), Alan has worked in all facets of the industry, ranging from: specialist guide, tracker, camp manager, overland safari guide & guide training. 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
Over half a lifetime spent out in the bush later, Alan’s personal philosophy has long since been shaped by the wilderness experience. The inspiring values of nature have become a pivotal part of his life … wilderness is not only a place, it’s a way of living. A burning desire has led to Alan dedicating his life to developing and sharing these meaningful moments of personal inspiration and triumph – and Leadership Ecology was born. (www.leadershipecology.com)
By sharing moments of personal inspiration and triumph to young leaders and business role players, Alan encourages authentic personal leadership. By using wilderness as a tapestry, Alan weaves a thread of simplistic traditional wisdom around the motivational talks. With humour, anecdotes and adventures gleaned from years in the bush, he explains how the values of harmony and durability found in nature can transcend into our daily lives … even in modern society. In 2011 Alan was invited to speak at the TedXAmsterdam event which attracted an on-line audience of 30 000 viewers. He travels extensively to Europe to conduct presentations.
Alan lives with in White River with his wife Sarah and kids Jake (17) and Meg (12). In 2010 the McSmith family opened their family doors to their Shangaan son, 22 year old Lucky Mathebula. Sarah heads a non-profit organisation called Wilderness Vision (www.wildernessvision.org) which focuses on leadership development of marginalised children.
HOME I WHY US? I BLUE SKY I SAFARIS I TRAILS I PRIVATELY GUIDED I PLANNING A SAFARI? I LINKS I CONTACT
8 year old Alan with cheetah
Foot safaris with a difference!
On an Okavango traverse