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Chris McIntyre

Chris McIntyre

Managing Director

Destinations Manager

Being in Africa makes me feel more alive – the people, the landscapes, the wildlife: it’s all very real and immediate.

Chris McIntyre

I first went to Africa in 1987, after reading physics at Queen's College, Oxford. I taught for almost three years in a rural school in Zimbabwe (with VSO), and during this time had the chance to travel extensively. In 1990 I co-authored the Guide to Namibia and Botswana for Bradt Publications: the first English guidebook to these countries. Then shortly after I returned to the UK, to spend the following three years as a business analyst and shipbroker for P&O in London.

Leaving the city, I joined Sunvil Holidays in 1994 to concentrate on what I enjoy most: Africa. The passionate and pioneering company that is Expert Africa grew out of this, and remains a proud member of the Sunvil family of travel companies.

I feel incredibly lucky to be doing what I love, and to have an amazing team of specialists working with me and sharing this passion.
I am committed to responsible travel, and regard extensive travel for the whole Expert Africa team as essential – helping everyone to keep up to date and give the best advice possible.

In 1996 I wrote the Zambia guidebook, for Bradt Travel Guides; then the first guidebook to Zambia and now in its 6th edition. I followed it in '98 with a new Namibia guide and in 2003 with a new book on Botswana; both are now in their 5th editions. My wife Susan and I, have co-authored five new Zanzibar guides, and I recently co-authored a couple of guidebooks to Tanzania. My regular research trips to Africa help to ensure that up-to-date new editions are produced regularly.

I am a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and periodically contribute to various papers and magazines, from Wanderlust, BBC Wildlife and Travel Africa to The Independent and The Telegraph.

I have been an expert panel member for two of DFID's business challenge funds in recent years, and a director of AITO (Association of Independent Tour Operators) for the last five years.

Based with my family near Farnham, in the UK, I return to Africa regularly for research trips.

Chris's most recent Africa trips


Botswana

Botswana, Zimbabwe

Apr 19 14 nights

April to June is my favourite time in Southern Africa, as the environment is still fresh after the rains and the place is fresh with life but fairly empty of visitors. The first part of this trip, with family and friends, was a private mobile safari plus a few days on one of the lovely ‘Chobe Princess’ boats. What a treat – we had both to ourselves! It’s such a privilege to be able to share a love of Africa with my family and friends. Then came a short foray into an area of Hwange that I’d never visited before, reminding me of what a great park it is.

Zambia

Zambia

Oct 18 8 nights

I first visited Kafue National Park in 1995, when the wildlife had been phenomenal. Subsequently, I’d explored it several times although the game on my last visit in 2007 had been disappointing, especially on the Busanga Plains. This trip was a chance to update my view. I saw some some great new camps and Kafue’s game has definitely turned around. Game densities are significantly higher than they were in 2007 – and with African Parks supporting Kafue from 2019, I’d expect it to go from strength to strength.

Botswana

Botswana, Zimbabwe

Jul 17 24 nights

This trip combined research with a family trip: the first time my children (aged 9 & 4) had visited open tented camps in big game areas. It was a privilege and pleasure for me – as well as working wonders for their wildlife knowledge. We visited magical areas and had phenomenal sightings, including leopard and wild dog kills, but what shone were a few guides. The days that we spent alone as a family, choosing our own schedule, with a top private guide – these were very special and our most vivid memories.

Chris's previous Africa research


Country Arrived Length of stay Areas visited
Namibia August 2016 18 nights Windhoek, Namib-Naukluft National Park, Swakopmund & Walvis Bay, Etosha National Park, Central Highlands, Okonjima Nature Reserve
Zanzibar January 2016 12 nights Stone Town, Northern Zanzibar, East Coast Zanzibar
Zambia, Zimbabwe September 2015 10 nights South Luangwa National Park, Lower Zambezi National Park, Victoria Falls
Namibia, South Africa March 2015 15 nights Augrabies Falls National Park, Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, Southern Namibia, Namib-Naukluft National Park, NamibRand Nature Reserve, Windhoek
Kenya October 2014 7 nights Nairobi, Amboseli and the Chyulu Hills, Tsavo East National Park
South Africa April 2014 12 nights Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, Hermanus, Wilderness | Garden Route National Park, Knysna | Garden Route, Plettenberg Bay | Garden Route, Samara Private Game Reserve
South Africa May 2013 22 nights Cape Town, De Hoop Nature Reserve, Tsitsikamma | Garden Route National Park, Shamwari Game Reserve, Kwandwe Private Game Reserve, Addo Elephant National Park, Kariega Game Reserve
Seychelles September 2011 6 nights Mahe Island, La Digue Island, Praslin Island
Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique May 2011 10 nights Lusaka area, South Luangwa National Park, Likoma Island, Manda Wilderness, Shore of Lake Malawi, Liwonde National Park, Majete Wildlife Reserve
Zimbabwe May 2010 14 nights Harare, Mana Pools National Park, Matusadona National Park, Victoria Falls, Hwange National Park, Matobo National Park
Namibia October 2009 9 nights Windhoek, Namib-Naukluft National Park, Luderitz, NamibRand Nature Reserve, Fish River Canyon, Damaraland, Skeleton Coast & Kaokoland, Etosha National Park
Seychelles August 2008 9 nights Bird Island, Mahe Island, Praslin Island, Denis Island, Fregate Island, Desroches Island
Zanzibar, Tanzania February 2008 7 nights Northern Zanzibar, East Coast Zanzibar, Michamvi Peninsula, South-west Zanzibar, Stone Town, Dar es Salaam
Zambia September 2007 15 nights Kafue National Park, South Luangwa National Park, Lower Zambezi National Park
Seychelles July 2007 7 nights North Island
Tanzania June 2006 13 nights Arusha, Tarangire National Park, Lake Manyara National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, Serengeti Migration Area
Namibia May 2006 12 nights Windhoek, Southern Namibia, Namib-Naukluft National Park, NamibRand Nature Reserve, Central Highlands
Botswana, Zambia February 2006 15 nights Okavango Delta Safari Reserves, Kwando-Linyanti area, Livingstone & Victoria Falls, Moremi Game Reserve, Kalahari's Salt Pans
Zanzibar August 2005 9 nights East Coast Zanzibar, Michamvi Peninsula, Northern Zanzibar, Stone Town
Mozambique, Tanzania May 2005 10 nights Bazaruto Archipelago, Maputo, Quirimbas Archipelago, Pemba & mainland, Dar es Salaam
Namibia, South Africa May 2004 13 nights Cape Town, Winelands, Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, Hermanus, Knysna | Garden Route, Plettenberg Bay | Garden Route, Tsitsikamma | Garden Route National Park, Windhoek, Okonjima Nature Reserve , Damaraland, Swakopmund & Walvis Bay
Tanzania, Zanzibar October 2003 12 nights Dar es Salaam, Katavi National Park, Mahale Mountains National Park, East Coast Zanzibar, Michamvi Peninsula
Zambia August 2003 5 nights Livingstone & Victoria Falls, Liuwa Plain National Park, Kafue National Park
Zambia May 2003 15 nights Livingstone & Victoria Falls, Northern Zambia, North Luangwa National Park, South Luangwa National Park
Namibia October 2002 6 nights Skeleton Coast & Kaokoland, Damaraland, Swakopmund & Walvis Bay
Tanzania, Zanzibar September 2002 18 nights Tanzania Coast, Mikumi & Udzungwa Mountains, Selous Game Reserve, Ruaha National Park, Stone Town, Mafia Island
Namibia April 2002 5 nights Windhoek, Southern Namibia, Central Highlands, Waterberg Plateau National Park
Zambia, Zimbabwe June 2001 9 nights Victoria Falls, Lower Zambezi National Park, South Luangwa National Park
Zimbabwe, Botswana February 2001 2 nights Victoria Falls, Okavango Delta Safari Reserves, North-west Kalahari & Panhandle

Namibia

Namibia

Author 6th edition 2019

Namibia's profile has grown immensely since my first guidebook to it 30 years ago, as have the options for visitors there. So research for this edition was a huge undertaking; I was particularly grateful for help of many of the Expert Africa team.

Botswana

Botswana

Author 5th edition 2018

This 5th edition of my Botswana guide is out mid-2018 and, as always, putting it together has been a team effort. Researching in 2017, it was great to see how well Botswana is doing, both for its people and its wildlife - a real success in many ways.

Northern Tanzania Safari Guide

Northern Tanzania Safari Guide

Co-author 4th edition 2017

This Northern Tanzania guide has long been Phillip's book - but my wife, Susie, and I took responsible for the islands, and helped across the parks, thanks to the experiences of our travellers there, as well as our our own.

Tanzania Safari Guide

Tanzania Safari Guide

Co-author 8th edition 2017

As with Northern Tanzania, my wife, Susie, and I input to this guide at the same time as being responsible for the 'Zanzibar, Pemba & Mafia' guide published at the same time.

Zanzibar, Pemba, Mafia

Zanzibar, Pemba, Mafia

Co-author 9th edition 2017

My wife, Susie, and I have written the Zanzibar guide since researching its 6th edition, in 2005. Since then, the island, and the scale of tourism there, has changed immensely – but at its best, it’s still a very magical place.

Zambia

Zambia

Author 6th edition 2016

I backpacked alone to write the first Zambia guidebook in 1996: then Zambia was unknown territory. Now this 6th edition is a team effort: the painstaking research trips helping our specialists to stay up to date with the latest Zambia developments.

Namibia

Namibia

Author 5th edition 2015

I first travelled to Namibia in 1989, pre-Independence. I expected problems but found none. Just a captivating country which was, even then, very easy to travel around. Many editions later, it’s even easier to travel there and just as captivating.

Botswana

Botswana

Author 4th edition 2014

Botswana is always an interesting book to research and write as the concessions and areas change relatively slowly, which gives me time to explore some of the areas in depth each time - and that's always a real pleasure.

Zanzibar, Pemba, Mafia

Zanzibar, Pemba, Mafia

Co-author 7th edition 2009

Zanzibar's relative small in size, but there's a lot of places to get around and describe in detail for a guide like this - and the speed of change is high. This guide takes months in the country to research, and longer at home to write.

Namibia & Botswana

Namibia & Botswana

Co-author 1st edition 1990

I co-authored my first guidebook to Namibia & Botswana in 1990 and a second edition in '94. Both were basic by today’s standards, with line drawings, sketch maps and few pictures, but as the first full English guide to these countries, they did well!

Reviews from Chris's latest travellers


Mr & Mrs T from Oxon

Arrived 16 Oct 2016, 14 nights

"Selous visit 2016"

"Selous visit 2016.... We were very pleased with our trip. …" Read Mr & Mrs T’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

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