We are delighted to confirm that the well-known and highly acclaimed Lewis Mangaba has joined our exceptional guiding team at Somalisa in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe.
Hailing from a family rooted in the African wilderness, Lewis grew up on the border of Matusadona National Park overlooking the waters of Kariba Dam where he quickly developed his early passion for the African Bush. Acquiring his knowledge in the traditional way of his people through songs about their natural surroundings…. the animals, birds, plants and insects… it is therefore no surprise that music is an integral part of Lewis’ guiding style. Guests can expect to be wooed around the campfire as he plays the traditional mbira instrument, a hand crafted local instrument made out of metal keys mounted on to a ‘gwavira’, a hardwood soundboard, made from the mubvamaropa tree (pterocarpus angolensis).
Like so many other guides in Zimbabwe, Lewis was mentored by some of the best in the African Guiding fraternity. In 1992, at the young age of 17, Lewis started working as a white-water rafting guide in Victoria Falls where he spent a year of his life negotiating the world famous rapids of the majestic Zambezi river. Following his time in Victoria Falls, Lewis spent many years working throughout the legendary wildlife areas of Zimbabwe, guiding visitors across the diverse landscapes and along the Zambezi river on canoeing safaris. He then went on in 1997 to work as an apprentice alongside the well-known Benson Siyawareva before being awarded in 2011 the Best Guide of the Year by Zimbabwe’s National Parks & Wildlife Authority, and then guiding for Wilderness Safaris Namibia in the immense arid lands of Sossuvlei and Etosha.
In 2011, Lewis decided to broaden his horizons and venture further afield across Africa to develop greater knowledge of the continent. Between 2011 and 2015 Lewis worked as the guiding instructor for the highly respected Asilia Group of Lodges. It was during this time that he had the opportunity to guide the savannahs and woodlands of the Serengeti, Ngorongoro and Ruaha in East Africa. In 2014 Lewis was awarded the Bronze in the “Wanderlust World Guide Awards” held at the Royal Geographical Society in London.
Whilst Lewis has guided widely in Africa, the country of his birth… Zimbabwe… is where Lewis calls “home” and it was his deep passion and loyalty for Zimbabwe’s landscapes and wildlife, as well as his family, that drew him to move home to Zimbabwe in 2015 where he worked for Wilderness Safaris at the rebuilt Linkwasha Camp.
For Lewis, his greatest passion about guiding is being able to walk with guests in the African bush, observing and interpreting the intricate relationship of the ecosystems surrounding him and sharing these experiences with his guests. Lewis also has a deep love affair with photography and travel writing as it allows him to express his personal observations and encounters to the rest of the world and those who are not so fortunate to travel. “We are brothers and sisters in both psyche and substance with nature,” is a favourite saying which Lewis is frequently heard repeating to his guests.
Undoubtedly one of the next big names in guiding in Zimbabwe, we are delighted to welcome Lewis to the African Bush Camps guiding family.