Last month, we had the opportunity to chat with Tristan Phipps, African safari guide turned Made in Chelsea star!
Tristan shared stories of his adventures in the bush, his views on the main conservation issues facing South Africa’s wildlife, and the reasons why he is passionate about conservation.
Quick fire questions!
Con Con: Favourite animal and why?
Tristan: Easy, elephants, hands down – intelligent and emotionally intellectual animals.
Con Con: Painted wolf or wild dog?
Tristan: Wild dog – it will always be a wild dog. I don’t know where painted wolf came from... no I don’t agree with it, sorry BBC!
Con Con: Favourite country and why?
Tristan: Botswana. The people are amazing, so friendly and charming, and they have amazing wildlife and natural areas, both of which are diverse. As a country, Botswana is also a big hitter in conservation in southern Africa, it is leading the way within this area.
Con Con: What got you interested in becoming a safari guide?
Tristan: I was born in South Africa - I was there for 2 years and then we moved back to England. From when I was old enough, we would go back every year and do walking safaris. When I was younger, I always wanted to work in conservation, I wanted to be a zoologist or a marine biologist. I would always be trying to catch lizards and on holidays I would spend the whole time outside. After I finished school, I went to university briefly, and then I thought ‘No, I need to follow my dream’. I always had a passion for South Africa, and to go back and do it properly. It is fun being a tourist, but it is more fun, it’s also more intrinsically beneficial, to go out and actually do something. It was an easy decision to make.
Life as a safari guide and conservation issues
Con Con: What was the scariest moment you had as a guide?