Durban Safaris and Tours in the province of KwaZulu-Natal have been areas that few have focused themselves on. As the owner and a tour guide at Tim Brown Tours, it has been a dream of mine to show what Durban and KwaZulu-Natal have to offer to the world. To develop a career working with wildlife and people, educating them about the natural system, where I can further my love of the outdoors / Nature and at the same time, contribute to the development of the environment and the important tourist potential of our beautiful country. I am passionate about nature and the outdoors!
Growing up outside of the city of Durban my family took every opportunity to share nature and the great outdoors with me as a young boy. This has now developed into my love of what I do personally and the love of the business I was so blessed to create.
Having spent just under 3 years in Ireland after completing Criminology, Sociology and Psychology through UNISA and working there as a Social Worker as well as on a production line in a medical factory, I decided that it was time to return to my Africa. As a young man, I was always sure that whichever path I followed, it would be in nature and so begun my journey. “Bush Academy” (field Guiding and Lodge Management Diploma) near the Botswana border, 3 years study crammed into 1, where high expectations were set and where I began to learn how to conduct a Safari, interpret my surroundings using astronomy, tracks and signs to name a few. It was a “generalistic” programme which meant that we would later in life be able to become specialists in the areas that interested us.
Having completed the first level of my qualification, I was placed at Kapama Lodge, a 5-star establishment near the Kruger National Park where I was able to hone my new skills under the mentorship of more experienced guides after which I was offered a position in KwaZulu-Natal. Where I was focusing more on the larger mammals at Kruger, in KwaZulu Natal I focused my attention on learning more about bird species and trees and plants for the purpose of expanding my knowledge and with the understanding that one day, I would want to share this knowledge with others. This was followed by returning to “Bush Academy” where I graduated as a qualified Professional Field Guide and Lodge Manager and a string of qualifications to follow after that.
At the time, salaries were low for this line of work so I spent time in Dubai to build a saving pocket to return to my Africa and follow my passion. Here I worked for a Sheik in his palace as an Assistant Avian Technician (Falconry is very popular here) as well as assisting with vaccination programmes for the Arabian Gazelle, Sand Gazelle and Oryx.
It was back to South Africa where I spent time at Moholoholo under the expert mentorship of Brian Jones where my informal training continued and where all kinds of shenanigans were known to happen (a cow hind quarter being dragged around camp on one of our mammal research programmes in Kruger Park, to attract predators does work) but this was really an experience that I took so much from.
It was then on to Sabi Sabi where I conducted open vehicle safaris, guided bush walks, rhino capture to mention a few of my assignments and…. had my first (and hopefully last) encounter with the Mozambique Spitting Cobra. At the same park, Sabi Sabi, when I was on selection camp, I learnt the fact that a Hyena does respond to the South African term “Bliksem” and Voetsek”… this does work for the Leopard as I learnt on the same evening.
Returning to KwaZulu Natal for personal reasons, I completed my FGASA level 2 qualification and at this point had saved up enough money to start my own endeavour but needed to qualify as a Tour guide for my province of KwaZulu Natal which I made swift work of.
And so begun the journey of Tim Brown Tours… A journey where there is never a dull moment, where I get to live my passion every day!
I believe that a guest should always leave wanting to return, having experienced the best that we can offer in every way.
I believe in giving my (our) clients a holistic experience, ensuring that they leave having used all their senses in their experience. An experience is not only a visual or spiritual one but, drawing on our other senses such as smell, hearing and touching the environment creates the difference between an average tour/safari and an amazing one!
For more on my adventures in Africa, follow my blog in the link above.