Like the safari industry itself, James Robertson was born and raised in Kenya, where his appetite for adventure has earned him a reputation as one of the modern pioneers of the global safari industry. Nearly forty years after leading his first expedition, James retired as chairman of the board at Ker & Downey, and is an influential leader of the movement in community-led conservation. James’ reputation for never following the same itinerary twice, and for continually searching out new experiences for his clients, has won him admirer sacross the industry, as well as an army of repeat guests – including two families who have each travelled with him over 30 times!
Although James’ first love and main base is Kenya, he is an “all-Africa guide” and is just as likely to be found travelling through any of the game-rich parks, reserves and conservancies of eastern and southern Africa. In 2001, James was a founder of The Mara Conservancy, a ground-breaking and widely-admired partnership between conservationists and the county government, which established a new public-private template to protect the critical wildlife dispersal areas north of the Maasai Mara Reserve. He also sat on the board of the Kenya Wildlife Trust, and his unrivalled contacts enable his guests to meet some of the leading conservationists and wildlife researchers in the world.
Having been raised on the edge of Tsavo, Kenya’s largest national park remains close to James’ heart. His latest conservation focus is on protecting the last of Tsavo’s ‘Great Tusker’ elephants, of which there are a precious few bulls each carrying in excess of 200 pounds of ivory. He is working closely with the Tsavo Trust to protect these magnificent pachyderms.
James and his other half, Abigail, have recently moved to live on the edge of Tsavo East National Park. They work together as much as possible out on safari, where their shared passions are apparent to anyone travelling with them.