Our Story

The Experts in Tailor Made Tours & Safaris

African Wildlife Safaris

AWS was founded in 1985 by Steve and Sara Cameron after they had spent a number of years travelling through Africa. Both keen travellers they met when Steve was driving overland safaris in the early 1980’s from London down through the African continent to Cape Town. Inspired by the people, landscapes and wildlife of this huge continent they wanted to share their knowledge and experiences with others. Returning to Melbourne Australia they decided to start a travel company with the aim of helping fellow travellers discover the Africa they loved so much.

Since those early days the company has changed substantially but is still driven by Steve and Sara’s passion and knowledge. They frequently visit different areas of the continent, keeping up to date with the wildlife areas and wilderness camps and lodges. Along with their experienced and hand-picked team of consultants, they have created a diverse and well-researched portfolio of African safari programs, exclusive accommodation and cultural experiences.

To begin with African Wildlife Safaris focused on the wildlife parks and scenic areas of east, central and southern Africa, and did not include South Africa until the end of apartheid. Over the years the style of safari also gradually changed, from longer, more adventurous trips to private, tailor-made safaris which centre on wildlife viewing, small and exclusive camps and lodges, and authentic experiences. However the ethos of the founders remains the same: to offer the best wildlife experience possible for their clients along with a sustainable style of travel which benefits Africa, its people and wildlife.

Natural Focus

Natural Focus was born in the year 2000 as a specialist division of African Wildlife Safaris. With two decades of experience in African safaris behind them, Steve and Sara were keen to expand their horizons and take their passion for wildlife and wilderness to other parts of the world. First came tiger safaris in India and bear viewing in Canada, then the stunning landscapes of South America, the islands of the Galapagos and cruises to Antarctica.

Today we are truly a global company with a team of destination specialists who create innovative and personalised itineraries for our clients to IndiaBhutanCanada & AlaskaAntarctica, the Arctic and South America. Each destination has its own brochure which features a range of accommodation as well as wildlife and wilderness experiences, cultural tours, cruises, rail tours, and wildlife lodges. We offer some escorted group tours and scheduled tour departures, however the main focus of our program is on creating tailor made, personalised itineraries for individuals and small groups.

Steve riding bike through Cape Argus

Today, we are one of the country’s oldest family owned tour operators.

Steve first visited Africa in 1982, leading overland expeditions to every corner of the continent. Since returning and founding African Wildlife Safaris in 1985, he still visits Africa several times each year, to keep up-to-date with developments in tourism and to research new tours and lodges. The park he loves most for its incredible overall game viewing is the Serengeti in Tanzania, whilst his favourite safari experience is canoeing the Zambezi River in Zimbabwe’s Mana Pools. Steve is also a keen cyclist and has completed the famous Cape Argus circuit. Under our Natural Focus banner, Steve has led tours to India for tiger viewing, to Canada for bear watching, and has accompanied two groups to Antarctica and South America. His most recent trip was to Zambia, where he saw countless leopard and African Wild Dog exploring the beautiful South Luangwa and Lower Zambezi national parks.

Sara in boat in Alaska

Originally from the United Kingdom Sara left for Africa with her family when she was just 4 years old. Sailing by mail ship from Southampton to Cape Town they then travelled north by steam train to Northern Rhodesia – now Zambia. Sara called southern Africa home for 16 years but after graduating from university in Johannesburg, returned to the UK. The call of Africa was too strong however, and six years later she joined an overland expedition from London to Johannesburg during which, as fate would have it, she met future husband Steve Cameron. Together they would later start African Wildlife Safaris.

Meet the rest
of the team