Find out about Jackalberry Safaris and our team
Jackalberry Safaris is owned and operated by Gavin Opie.
In 2007 Gavin decided to create a safari company that would fill a niche in the South Luangwa National Park by providing high quality, all-inclusive safaris at affordable prices to visitors on a budget.
At Jackalberry Safaris we‘ve worked hard over the years to create unique all-inclusive safari packages which are different from anything else available in the South Luangwa.
Our all-inclusive mantra is very important to us too, and there are no hidden costs – like national park entry fees, walking safaris, taxes or transfers – with our tours.
In 2015 we moved Jackalberry Safaris inside South Luangwa National Park and opened a new, remote bush camp, Nkonzi Camp.
As well as great safaris, we believe in: responsible safari guiding, good food, conversation, ice cold Mosi lager, wildlife conservation, laughter and the spirit of adventure.
Most of all, we love being on safari, and we hope to welcome you to the South Luangwa National Park soon.
Because Jackalberry Safaris is a small business, it’s easy to get to know our intrepid team! Here’s a brief introduction:
Safari guide and Jack of all trades
I began my career in Zambia catching crocodiles on the mighty Kafue River and trying to stay alive in a banana boat. I then built a lodge on the shores of Lake Kariba in the Southern Province of Zambia, which I ran for four years.
I moved to the South Luangwa in 2007 to pursue a dream of running my own safari company, and I’ve been here ever since. The early days were tough; I had no camp, no vehicle and I lived in a tent. But they were also incredibly fun, as I met wonderful guests who thankfully threw themselves into the adventure right alongside me!
These days things run far more smoothly and I am incredibly proud to operate Nkonzi Camp inside the national park. More than ever I love and appreciate the South Luangwa, its people, culture and wildlife, and sharing this with guests from around the world is a true privilege. Safari guiding is what makes me tick, and I hope you’ll join me to help write the next chapter in the Jackalberry safari journal.
Safari ChefGodfrey is our chef, although sometimes it seems more accurate to call him a magician. As the creator of delicious meals and brilliant new recipes, Godfrey is a favourite around camp. He manages to make cooking and baking look effortless, despite an occasional ‘helping hand’ from the monkeys. His favourite food is nshima.
Wildlife SpotterArmed only with his trusty spotlight, Moses’ sharp eyes make night drives come alive. Just by spotting the tiniest movements in the darkness, Moses helps lead us to some stunning sightings. Moses also loves to help Godfrey in the kitchen, and can often be found peering over a shoulder, learning his way around a new recipe. He is one of the few people we’ve ever met in Zambia who likes lettuce – the way to Moses’ heart is through a good salad.
Waiter and Housekeeper
Oswald is a vital part of our team, keeping the safari wheels turning on a daily basis. Whether it is peeling vegetables, waitering or washing laundry, Oswald tackles every job with enthusiasm and dedication.
At home, Oswald is extremely proud of his son Peter who is busy studying at university in Zambia’s Copperbelt to become a teacher.
Marketing and Logistics
Rosie handles much of Jackalberry Safaris’ marketing, as well as camp logistics. She also keeps the home fires burning when Gavin is out on safari. Rosie’s background is in palaeoanthropology and Zambian archaeology, so ask her anything about stone tools and she’ll be delighted!
Our daughter Ciara is a little young to be have a job title just yet, but she keeps us on our toes and shares our love of Nkonzi Camp, especially building sand castles in the dry riverbed whenever she can.