PHOTOGRAPHER, PRIVATE SAFARI GUIDE
Co-founder of Escape Safari Co., Mike’s journey with the bush also began when he was very young. Like most young South African families, the Sutherlands often visited the Kruger National Park and other reserves around the country. Here, they spent time with loved ones around the fire, telling stories and learning the beauty of the nature we have on our doorsteps.
A few years later, after completing a Post Graduate degree in Property Development and Quantity Surveying, Mike was at a crossroads. It was here, between the pursuit of a corporate career and a curiosity for the wild, that he found his calling.
In 2010, he began his career as a Game Ranger, where he discovered the wonders of the bush and the great joy that accompanies sharing its magic with others. Since then, Mike has worked around the country in the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Northern Cape, Sabi Sands in Mpumalanga and Timbavati Private Game Reserve in Limpopo.
After completing the renowned Inkwazi Ranger Training course at Phinda Private Game Reserve, he remained with andBeyond for three years, working at Phinda (KZN), Kwandwe (Eastern Cape) and Kirkman’s Kamp (located in the Sabi Sands). Mike was also fortunate to spend two and a half years working at Londolozi Private Game Reserve with co-founder of Escape Safari Co, Don Heyneke. Mike began to specialise in photographic safaris and spent his free time blogging and assisting guests with their photography.
Fast forward to 2015, Mike joined a luxury safari company that specialised in planning bespoke, tailor-made safari travel, where he worked closely in operational facets of the business as well as private guiding guests all over the African continent. He planned and executed experiences, end to end, for many families and guests alike.
Having travelled extensively around Africa, working at over 15 exclusive private lodges around South Africa and with his experience as a travel specialist and wildlife photographer, Mike has an intricate knowledge of luxury safari experiences. This has shaped a deep respect for travel in Africa and has given him a holistic view on what the continent has to offer.
To him, a true safari experience is about family, laughter, exploration, learning and fun. Coupled with wildlife, photographyand storytelling, one can create more than just a getaway, but an experience that lasts a lifetime.