The Clan

Introducing the valued people behind the company. Get to know what makes this clan passionate about wildlife, sustainable tourism, and the environment. See how the team's talents and skills come together to add that something special to your trip!

Shanil Balgobind

Tour Guide & Customer Experience Lead

Shanil is a Kimburi Tour Guide and the Customer Experience lead who will plan every detail of your tour meticulously, so you can spend all your time doing what you came to do.

Shanil's knack of spotting wild animals and birds comes from his intimate knowledge of nature. He will increase your chances of spotting animals in the day and night, on drives and on foot, and will introduce you not only to the Big 5, but the small 5 too, and many other marvels of nature. Shanil is an experienced hiker, mountain biker, and 4x4 adventure enthusiast who frequently drives up the Drakensberg Mountains, hikes into caves, and bikes along nature reserve trails.

You will no doubt pick up Shanil's genuine care for the environment and authentic local communities. He will enlighten you on local history, culture or other interests you may have in South Africa.

Born and raised in Durban, Shanil spent much of his childhood exploring the natural beauty and cultural heritage of Southern Africa. His friendly, approachable nature gives you a feel for Durban's hospitality, and he enjoys showing off his diverse home town to visitors. Shanil prides himself in high standards of customer service with the professional touch in everything he does. He enjoys cooking anywhere, and will treat guests in camps, lodges, and caves to traditional home-made cuisine like a slow cooked stew called a potjie made on a fire, spicy curry in bread bowls, traditional braais (barbeques) and more!

With a Master's in Environmental Law, various guiding qualifications for the savanna, grasslands, and coastal belt of the Indian Ocean, a level 3 first aid qualification, an advanced venomous snake handling qualification, as well as his authentic passion and guiding experience over the years, Shanil is a trusted go-to person to walk you through KwaZulu-Natal's bushveld, hills, valleys, cities, towns and villages!

Bongimpilo Zondi

Tour Guide

Bongimpilo is a Kimburi Tour Guide who is passionate about the outdoors. He has a range of wonderfully authentic stories of close encounters with wild animals. His rich knowledge of KwaZulu-Natal's wildlife, culture, and history will add context and flair to your time in South Africa.

Bongimpilo's talent for spotting animals comes from his rich experience and professional training as a trails guide. With many years of experience navigating dangerous game territory, his understanding of animal behaviour will help you find yourself in the right place at the right time for magnificent wildlife sightings. Bongimpilo is an enthusiastic and experienced guide, mountain biker, and hiker who spends an unbelievable amount of his time in wildlife nature reserves on foot.

Born and raised in the small village of Karkloof in the Howick area, Bongimpilo spent much of his childhood exploring the outdoors. He takes pride in educating others about his home land and in being an active part of sustainable tourism. He can tell you fascinating tales of the legendary Inkanyamba that is said to live at the bottom of the Howick Falls close to his home.

While currently studying towards an undergrad course in nature conservation with the University of South Africa, Bongimpilo spends much of his time in the field contributing to conservation research on elephant shrews, bats, and more. His vast experience as well as his qualifications in nature guiding, cultural guiding, and first aid make him a trusted go-to person to guide you through the beautiful landscapes, adventures, and wildlife of KwaZulu-Natal.

Rowen Mweli

Specialist Drakensberg Rock Art Guide

Rowan works with Kimburi Tours as a Specialist Drakensberg Rock Art Guide. Rowan is native to the Drakensberg, has studied the heritage both practically and theoretically, and is one of the best interpretative guides and rock art custodians in the region of the Drakensberg which has some of the best preserved Bushmen Rock Art paintings.

An experienced hiker in the Drakensberg Mountains, Rowan is a local expert who interprets the ancient paintings in the caves adding meaning and preserving the culture and authenticity of your tour to the Drakensberg Mountains.

Born in a small village in the Drakensberg, he spent his early childhood exploring the foothills of the surrounding mountains, and then furthered his passion for the mountains and for his community with a qualification in travel and tourism, as well as various qualifications relating to cultural heritage and rock art. He returned to his village to work as a local guide and custodian of the San Rock Art in the area.

Rowan is passionate about local culture and tradition, and is always finding new ways in which he can merge the past and present practises, so that they are sustainable and authentic. He will give you an unforgettable experience not only in the mountain caves, but also in his community, where he will welcome you into his village to experience the magic of the local hospitality first hand!

Thembinkosi Ngxongo

Specialist Fly Fishing Guide

Thembinkosi is a Specialist Fly Fishing Guide in the Kamberg area of the Drakensberg. Fishing has shaped much of Thembi's path, and his love for fly fishing makes him a wonderful guide to spend time with on the local rivers and streams. Thembi is an active member of the local fly fishing club. He has competed and won competitions both locally and internationally.

Born and raised in the scenic Kamberg Valley, Thembi spent much of his childhood exploring the Kamberg rivers and streams which formed part of his back yard. Under the guidance of his father he learned to fly fish, and it was soon one of his favourite activities. Thembi is passionate about family, community, and sport.

Thembi has stories close to his heart about fly fishing and the role it has played on his journey. Fly fishing is so much more than catching fish to Thembinkosi. It has given him the confidence to flourish, and it's a way that memories are kept alive. Thembinkosi is the best local person to introduce you to fly fishing and to the local community, as well as to add inspiration to your experience.

Agrippa Shange

Specialist Turtle Guide

Agrippa is a Specialist Turtle Guide in the Bhanga Nek Beach area. He is a passionate and inspiring conservationist and community leader who will make your turtle tour a joy to remember.

Agrippa's interest in tourism sparked at a young age. He was involved in tourism well before he finished school. After many hard earned years of dedication, he now runs a small eco-tourism camp specializing in turtle tours. Agrippa knows the environment well, and he is its fierce guardian of it. He has spent many years on the shores observing the turtles, and has a wealth of knowledge that will add to your turtle tour experience.

Agrippa's memories of dodging hippos on his morning school walk have played their part in his dedication to sustainable tourism. He works to protect the beautiful environment of Bhanga Nek and Kosi Bay for future generations.

You will of course notice Agrippa's authentic love for his community. His own humble beginnings and struggles in the small village of KwaDapha have inspired him to make a difference to the children of the community. To ease some of their hardships and to help them get an education, Agrippa transports all the children from the 40 homes in his village to school. Agrippa also holds a government job where he continues to try to improve the lives of the people from his community. He is a trusted community leader, as well as our trusted go-to person to show us the turtles in the most ethical and enjoyable way possible.

Simanga Mageba

Specialist Turtle Guide

Simanga is a Specialist Turtle Guide who spends most of his summer nights walking the beaches of Northern KwaZulu-Natal to monitor turtle populations. His intimate knowledge of the turtles on these beaches will make your turtle tour an educational and memorable marvel.

Born and raised in the small village of KwaDapha in Northern KwaZulu-Natal, Simanga then went on to work for the local conservation authority which manages the Kosi Bay area. In 2001, Simanga started working at the turtle monitoring programme where he was involved in counting, measuring and tagging turtles during the breeding season.

He is a turtle expert who visits other local communities to conduct educational talks on turtles – to promote conservation of these beautiful creatures and the tranquil environment in which they live.

Simanga currently conducts turtle tours in the Bhanga Nek beach and surrounding areas during the breeding season. His passion for turtles, and his many years of experience with them adds so much to your turtle tour!

Irene Le Tourner

Foreign Language Guide (German / French / Dutch)

Irene is a foreign language guide for Kimburi tours, and she ensures our ability to serve clients who speak French, German or Dutch. With 20 years of experience working as a guide in South Africa for international clients, she will make you feel at home in South Africa's beautiful wildlife, mountains, cities, and villages.

Irene is an avid hiker, kayaker, and sailor. Her love for nature, her travels in the country, and her adventurous spirit will help you see the Big 5, the small 5, and so much more! She will show you around the attractions of the city or wildlife, depending on your interests, and she can do it all with flair in four different languages.

Irene was born and raised in Europe where she spent her youth in Germany, France, Netherlands and Belgium. In her early twenties, she travelled to South Africa with her father, and after falling in love with the beauty of the country, she decided to lay her roots here. She is the perfect person to inspire you with South Africa's beauty. Irene's energy and knowledge of South African culture, heritage, and wildlife will amaze you.

Sipho Dladla

Traditional Healer

Mr Dladla is a registered traditional healer who has opened up his home to us at Kimburi Tours, in an effort to help educate and inform the western world of some of the traditional medicine practices in the region. It is a wonderful experience of authentic culture on our Drakensberg Mountain tours.

Having the experience and influence of western and traditional African culture, Sipho will share his stories with great authenticity and respect as he informs you of the world of ancient African traditional medicine over a cup of tea.

Sipho is a practising healer using traditional medicine in his village to fulfil his responsibility to his culture and community by dispensing the best available medicine.

He endured a long introduction to his calling to traditional medicine. Although he grew up in a traditional area in the Drakensberg Mountains, the western influence on Sipho's family caused much denial of his calling to the traditional healing path that he was to travel. After an uphill battle and many years of training under a local traditional and spiritual healer, Sipho found peace and purpose when he embraced his calling and answered to the many signs along the way of his journey. Enjoy this traditional educational in a local village and get to meet local traditions first hand!

Elmon Mkhonto

Traditional Fisherman

Elmon is a local Traditional Fishermen in Kosi Bay where he spends his days tending the woven fish traps that are over 600 years old. He welcomes you to enter the traditional fish traps and to try your hand at traditional spear fishing!

Elmon is ever willing to pass on his knowledge and experiences, and will ensure that you leave Kosi Bay with a better understanding of the fascinating fish traps, the local people, and the beautiful area.

Elmon is part of the community living in a local village that has depended on traditional fishing success for their survival for hundreds of years. Our visit with him is sustainable tourism at its best.

Elmon grew up in rural KwaZulu-Natal in the 60's, and earned his rite of passage to Zulu manhood as a young herdsman of cattle. It was during this time of his youth that he learned great lessons in responsibility and compassion. When he wasn't tending cattle, Elmon was learning the fishing traditions from his father, and has since passed it on to the next generations in his sons and his grandson.

John Baijnath

Tour Supervisor

John is Kimburi Tour's supervisor who makes sure that all the gear and equipment required for your tour is prepped and ready, so that everything runs smoothly. John's attention to detail is impeccable, and nothing misses his keen eye, so we don't have to worry about a thing while on tour.

John is a dedicated member of the Durban community with a legacy of giving that he has built over more than 70 years. He is an honorary life time member of the Rotary Club with over 30 years of service, and is a member of the Paul Harris Society.

After a successful retirement from the financial corporate world, John has more time to do the things he loves. He loves gardening and has a mosaic garden studio. He provides his expertise at two local nature reserves as a volunteer. John is also a keen chef who is constantly trying new recipes, many of which end up as part of a tour's meal plan!

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