About Us


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Owner/Managing Director

With African roots stretching back to  1652 (mother) and 1820 (father), Ken grew up as a free-range all-organic kid in the Western Transvaal, a then province in South Africa. With big open skies, wild rivers, loads of friends and lots of space the outdoor bug bit hard and at an early age.

After a first life in South Africa’s corporate world as a lawyer, "collar-and-tie" routines were replaced by "shorts-and-rafters" in Malawi in 1988.

When not in the Johannesburg office, Ken  will be found on safaris with long time clients and friends, walking or swimming, fly-fishing, doing consumer shows in the UK or Europe or travelling the world with his lovely wife Eva. Ken  has a penchant for the wilder and more expeditionary treks wherever they're found in east, central or southern Africa… ever keen to explore.

Barefoot Safaris was founded by Ken Smith, who have been in the tourism industry since 1992 and have a great love for the African bush as well as Africa's wildlife and natural heritage. Kenneth Smith established Barefoot Safaris to fill a niche in the adventure travel market specifically catering for the needs of the more adventurous traveller within the sub-region of Central, Eastern and Southern Africa. Barefoot is a small safari operator, totally committed to eco-tourism and conservation with a responsible travel code. To contact Ken email: ken@barefoot-safaris.co.za

Barefoot Safaris is an independent Safari Operator specializing in small group safaris for families and individuals as well as offering safaris for larger groups.  We are an owner run company, and pride ourselves on offering efficient, friendly and professional service to our guests with flexible itineraries and excellent rates. Allow us to share our enthusiasm and knowledge of Africa with you.

With the ‘Golden Age’ of discovery long since passed, most of the world's surface mapped in detail and motorized transport, satellite phones and GPS receivers readily available, one would think it was time for explorers to hang up their pith helmets. But rather than consigning exploration to the dustbin of history, we at Barefoot Safaris have redefined it with adventure travel. So join us in re-exploring the unmapped regions of Africa. Our mission is to share our knowledge and love of this wonderful continent. Our Safaris take you to the real Africa, giving you the opportunity to feel, touch and smell Africa.

Barefoot Safaris is registered in both Zambia and Malawi, with offices in Johannesburg, South Africa. Here our operations manager Marcie and Ken are stationed. Marcie has vast experience in the tourism industry. She runs the day to day operations in the office and arranges the safaris and handles all our accommodation and self drive  bookings. Marcie is a keen birder.

Then at our Malawi safari lodge Elywin leads the team and takes our safaris in Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania and Mozambique. He is a qualified grade 1 safari guide and possesses great guiding skills.

We specialise in small group adventure and photographic tours. We also offer safaris with an emphasis on walking or trekking and for the more experienced traveller we offer individually designed itineraries.

Nothing pleases us more than the opportunity to bring our 30 years’ experience and passion for travel in Africa together to design individualized itineraries so that your safari dreams may come true.
Whether you use one of our prepared itineraries as a start, or we plan from scratch; our expert knowledge and attention to detail will provide you with a bespoke itinerary for a trip of a lifetime.

We can guide you on where to save and where to spend to maximize your travel dollar. Because we are independent and not tied to any agent or safari operator, we can bring you the very best value no matter what you want to do or where you go.
Our long standing relationships with a wide range of Africa’s camps, lodges and safari operators means we can offer you a truly outstanding range of quality experiences throughout the sub-continent.

A great way to start planning for your safari is to ask yourself the questions below, discuss them with the people traveling with you, then contact us and let us work our magic. Honeymoon, anniversary, family adventure, single getaway, cultural immersion, wildlife photography or just plain wanderlust; regardless of the reason you wish to travel to Africa, you will be amazed at how fun and easy planning a Safari can be.

When do you prefer to travel?

Do you have specific dates you need to work with or is your time flexible? For many popular destinations in Africa, May through November is an excellent time to travel.

How long would you like to go?

Do you only have a week, or is the length open ended as long as you get to see and do everything you want? For many people, 2 weeks is a good starting point.

How much would you like to spend?

There is a huge range of safaris from group camping experiences to ultra-luxurious lodges where you will have your own plunge pool and butler! The biggest drivers of safari cost are lodging, location and time. The smaller and more luxurious your accommodations, the more private and remote their location, and the closer you travel to peak seasons, the higher the cost.

What things would you like to see and do the most?

What is it that makes you want to go to Africa? Is it seeing masses of animals graze across an endless plain, watching a lion run down a zebra or coming face to face with a wild gorilla? Is it visiting a Maasai village, hunting with a Kalahari Bushman or helping researchers learn more about Africa’s extraordinary ecosystems? Maybe it’s tracking big game on foot like the first explorers, gliding over herds of wildebeest in a hot air balloon or walking through the African bush with a family of elephants? Or maybe it’s sipping fine wine in one of South Africa’s famous vineyards, toasting the sunset over the Indian Ocean, or relaxing on a palm studded, white sand beach. Once you know what’s most important to you on your safari, we will make sure it happens.

We look forward to hearing from you soon! .

For more info please contact us

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