Meet Michael Turner, your guide to the wild places of Africa
Michael was born in Santa Barbara, California, where he spent his early years exploring his passion for wildlife along the Californian coast with his mother, a marine biologist.
He first went to Africa with his father and grandfather in 1988, age nine. This would prove to be the last time that he spent with his grandfather and it was one of the most memorable trips he had ever taken.
Michael was hooked and knew that, somehow, he needed to lead a life in Africa on safari.
As you can imagine, this decision, made at the age of nine, took some time to turn into a reality.
After attending senior school in England, he studied his Bsc in Biology and received his honours in Zoology at Edinburgh University in Scotland.
It was at this time that he was able to start going on safari once again. He spent a significant amount of time exploring East Africa, and after graduation moved to South Africa and never looked back. Africa was home.
Michael started his guiding career by volunteering on every possible safari and lodge staffing quotient, gaining more and more experience. This culminated in managing a mobile safari camp in Botswana.
Here he worked for a large safari operator, managing their various camps and all of the Botswana Operations, meanwhile continuing his guide training. He was fortunate to be able to gain experience in the wonderful arena of the Okavango Delta and the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans and eventually all around Southern East Africa
After five years in the industry, he felt that he could offer something different, something truly personal, so he made the decision to start his career as a private guide and became a Royal African Safaris partner in 2015, taking people on private safaris designed specifically for their unique interests and desires.
Having learnt what it means to take guests on their trip of a lifetime, Michael starts by peeling off the layers of this amazing continent one at a time, taking the time to reveal all the different aspects of the continent’s natural history – geology, anthropology, ethnology, and biology, including the entire ecosystem and celestial night sky, a never-ending learning curve!
He is incredibly passionate about what he gets to do on a daily basis and the more that he is able to share it with others, the more he loves it – from the exciting, adrenalin-filled moments to the calm camaraderie enjoyed with guests.
There is always a point on a safari – it is never at the same time, but it always happens – when you see people lay down their concerns and fears and truly relax. At this stage you just know that it’s going to be an amazing trip.