Tim Melesi was born in the Kenyan coastal town of Mombasa and educated in the Usambara Mountains of Tanzania and in Kenya before leaving for the UK to continue his education. However, his early years exploring the bush resulted in a deep affinity with the African wilderness, and in 1981 he returned to live in Kenya permanently.
Tim has travelled extensively through Africa and has been on a plethora of safaris – from extensive camel expeditions through the northern deserts, to fishing on Lake Turkana, and tracking gorillas and chimpanzees in the forests of Rwanda and Tanzania. He is one of the longest-serving directors of Ker & Downey, through which he outfits luxury private camping safaris to some of the wildest destinations on the continent.
Tim has always been actively involved in wildlife conservation and responsible tourism, and supports a number of community-based conservation and ecotourism initiatives. He is a founding member of the Kenya Wildlife Trust, with which he works closely with a number of rural communities to help people and wildlife coexist harmoniously – and profitably – in wilderness areas. He also supports several projects providing healthcare, education, water infrastructure and conservation awareness in remote communities, and he sits on the board of the Africa Schools of Kenya (ASK), which is at the forefront of the ‘Alternative Right of Passage’ for young Maasai girls in the Amboseli region.
Tim’s dedication, professionalism and love of the wild make him one of the most entertaining and informative guides in the business. The combination of his flexible and easy-going disposition and a natural affinity with children has earned him a reputation as the ideal family guide.
Tim is married to Diana and they work together running their safari business. They have two sons, Max and Angus, who have grown up in Kenya and have spent much of their own lives on safari.