"The Authentic African Experience" by Critty Wallace

Africa Overland Trip, Namibia to Zambia (Jul/Aug 2017)


What Shane gave us on our journey through Africa was so much more than we could have ever expected. Shane is more than just a ‘tour’ guide – He shares a passion and connection with the land and its animals, and will truly give you the authentic African experience. Wild camping, African style cooking, and an experience that caters to you.


I did an overland safari from Namibia to Zambia over 6 weeks with Shane and four others beginning with Etosha National Park and ending in South Luangwa National Park with many, many memorable stops in between.


Shane’s guiding skills are out of this world! Throughout our journey we saw the Big 5, lion cubs, baby rhinos and countless other animals! He has the expertise to anticipate the movements of the animals by listening to their calls, following tracks, and understanding the behaviours and body language of each animal.  One of my most memorable experience was when Shane followed the sound of screaming monkeys in the hopes of seeing a leopard in thick bushland (apparently monkeys hate leopards). Amazingly, the leopard walked out of the thick bush right by our car! This is just one of many of the examples of Shane’s awareness and ability to read his surroundings.


My FAVOURITE part throughout the whole experience was the education Shane provided. He is happy to share his knowledge wherever he can; from animal behaviour and identifying tracks, to photography tips, mapping, bush cooking and bush mechanics.


Being a photographer himself, Shane knows which angles to park the car on to give you the best view of the animals. Hint: Definitely take binoculars! They came in so handy for watching smaller animals interact closely or get a close up of a lioness and her cubs under the trees. Bring some US currency as well, as the local currency of the countries you’re travelling to for border crossings. They can be long and tedious, but Shane does his best to make it as smooth as possible. I would advise to bring 1 set of warm clothes, regardless of time of year, as when you’re camping the temperature can drop significantly overnight.


Shane takes a down to earth approach so you can get the humbling African Safari experience. We wild camped in tents, cooked on the fire and shared our highlights around it, showered when we could (depending on the campsites warm showers are never a guarantee), had long days, and made the absolute most of our time in Africa.  You won’t get luxury, but you will get authenticity, and that’s where the real magic is. Shane has developed strong bonds with the campsite managers & fellow guides he interacts with. I was always so amazed to see the rangers and campsite managers faces light up when they saw us drive in – this to me is a reflection of Shane himself. His friendly nature and the times he gives each person.


Africa itself teaches you many things; patience, appreciation and perspective. Shane shows you a beauty and genuineness you won’t get with other tours. He has lived this experience for the past 3 years immersing himself in animal-dense areas deep in Africa and you become part of the Shane Ross African Family that will long outlast the tour, its ‘Hakuna Matata’ vibes and sad goodbyes at the airport.


* Critty travelled with Shane on an Overland Guided Expedition, from Namibia to Zambia, covering approximately 10,000km in July & August 2017. For more information on our African Safaris, click this link!