WILDERNESS SAFARIS, Botswana, April 2020/ — With over 26 years of experience in the safari industry, Henry Parsons still wakes up every morning hoping to ignite, or reignite, a little wilderness flame within people. As Wilderness Safaris Botswana’s Guide Trainer, he has the perfect platform to do this.
Growing up in a home where his parents nurtured a love for all things in the natural world, Henry’s interest in nature began at a young age. This is a love he still shares with his siblings and their respective families. Prior to joining Wilderness Safaris, Henry worked in the central part of the Kruger National Park (KNP). He considers himself lucky to have also had the opportunity to walk and explore the ‘great grey-green, greasy Limpopo River’ – first in South Africa at Makuleke in the northern KNP, and then later at Mashatu, in the Tuli Block in Botswana. Both places hold a deep spiritual significance for Henry.
He started safari guide training and mentoring in 2005 and has been an active member of the Field Guides Association of Southern Africa’s (FGASA) Mentoring and Training sections ever since. His qualifications include FGASA Specialist Trails Guide as well as FGASA Assessor and Mentor, and he is constantly working to improve, keeping up with and practicing the guiding industry’s high standards. His vast experience includes working at Singita in Kruger National Park, Mashatu Game Reserve, Marakele National Park in South Africa, and Kafue and Lower Zambezi national parks, and the Luangwa Valley in Zambia.
Walking is one of his greatest passions as he believes that this is how one reconnects with their authentic self. For Henry this goes hand-in-hand with some recreational birding. “Working in this environment allows for special and unique moments, such as showing someone an elephant for the very first time and sitting in silence as we watch the gentle giant in his natural habitat. This is the way in which the wilderness heals hearts and souls… I am just the privileged one that gets to help facilitate such life-changing moments”, says Henry.
He looks forward to playing his role to further inspire the next generation, “It is our duty to try save and protect as much of the untouched wilderness areas as possible. As a guide trainer I want to instil this passion in my guides so they are always aware that in our hands lies the responsibility to encourage our guests to immerse themselves in life-changing experiences that will inspire positive action. We are the custodians of the pristine wilderness – proud, passionate and highly skilled Wilderness Safaris guides”, concludes Henry.