Biography: Peter Gava – Bringing Zimbabwean Flair to Magashi

Cultures & Communities

Wilderness Blogger


At the end of last year, the position of Senior Guide at Wilderness Safaris Magashi Camp in Rwanda became vacant. Knowing that we have numerous qualified guides, many of whom are currently sitting at home impatient to get back out in the field, we didn’t take long to offer one such guide the opportunity to fill the post temporarily for three months. Between our Rwandan and Zimbabwean operations, they came up with the perfect candidate in Peter Gava – Head Guide of our Hwange camps in Zimbabwe. Peter jumped at the opportunity and is already changing lives in Rwanda.

Peter is a qualified and knowledgeable Professional Walking Guide, with previous experience in East Africa. What’s more, he is an exceptional trainer – just what is needed in this role. Besides guiding guests, Peter is focusing on training the junior guides at Magashi: Alphonse Ntabana and Innocent Tuyisenge. Not only will these two young guides gain invaluable knowledge from Peter, but they are currently taking advantage of an incredible training opportunity, set up with the assistance of our Rwanda Ops team, alongside Botswana’s Guide Trainer Henry Parsons. The training combines knowledge from Botswana, South Africa and Rwanda via Magashi Manager and Senior Guide Jaco Venter, and of course Zimbabwe, via Peter. We are confident that they will pass the FGASA exams to become the first licensed safari guides in Rwanda.

Born in Gweru in Zimbabwe, Peter spent his early years between his birth place and Bulawayo, as well in the villages of Gokwe and Gwanda. Naturally, he grew up loving animals and nature, always fascinated by the smaller critters too, and so his path was already set out.

As he progressed in life, he taught Environmental Science and worked for many years at Zimbabwe’s Department of National Parks Terrestrial Research. He eventually received a scholarship to study at the College of African Wildlife Management in Tanzania, where he achieved his Diploma in Wildlife Management. However, it was in his home country that he completed the demanding and extensive proficiency test (that Zimbabwe is so well-known for) to become a Professional Guide.

Since qualifying, Peter has worked as a guide in Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Namibia. He joined Wilderness Safaris in 2018, but was no stranger to us, given our long association with him through his research work with ZimParks in Hwange. And it doesn’t end there. Peter’s influence, training skills and love of his vocation have been passed onto his son Kingsley, who is currently a guide at Davison’s Camp in Hwange; and even after 38 years of wildlife- and conservation-related work, Peter continues to seek opportunities to further himself. He is currently studying for a BSc Geography and Environmental Studies, due to be completed this year – COVID-dependant.

Asked how he felt about being at Magashi, Peter responds: “I am grateful to have been offered this opportunity to further my guiding skills by experiencing this time in Rwanda. I am proud to be an ambassador for the guiding profession and to be able to share my knowledge with the younger generation of guides in Rwanda. I am enjoying guiding our international and resident guests at Magashi, to show them what Rwanda has to offer but also to tell them about my wonderful country back home so that they may come and visit us there too”.

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