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Menu Meet the expedition team: Mike Scott
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Meet the expedition team: Mike Scott

 
Mike Scott brings much enthusiasm, knowledge and experience to the most intrepid section of our Zambezi Expedition. He will be guiding us into the wildlife-filled Gorongosa National Park, taking us behind the scenes of lion and cheetah tracking projects and over the tranquil and relatively uncharted waterways of the Zambezi Delta.
 
Before becoming a guide I trained as a forester and worked for the Forestry Commission in Zimbabwe for more than eight years.

I qualified as a guide in 1990 and have been travelling through the southern African sub region even longer.

I’ve accumulated a wealth of knowledge that I believe ensures a safari experience that is authentic, memorable, safe and exciting.
 
I last visited the Zambezi Delta in 1999 when I was helping out with the logistics on a biodiversity study. I’ve been desperate to return ever since.

We drove all the way to the buffalo reserve and we were lucky enough to have a helicopter for field collections, which took us deep into the mangroves of the delta.

However, the helicopter was too afraid to land in the mangroves as the tide was out and there were mud crabs running around all over the place. So the helicopter had to hover and we jumped out - it was an adventure!

When I last visited the Zambezi Delta, the buffalo reserve was not in good shape - there were only 300 buffalo there, compared to in 1969, where there were 250,000.

Since then there have been some incredible conservation initiatives by Mark Heldane, which have ensured the border of the park is protected.

The population of wildlife has flourished and I can’t wait to get back there to see this change for myself.
 
I’ve done many river expeditions on the Lugenda, which is in the north of Mozambique. I was supplying logistics to film crews and had to navigate the river with all the equipment on inflatable canoes.

These were mostly 10-night trips where we were completely in the wilderness. No people; just rapids and incredible wildlife. In these kinds of locations there is no plan B and it was up to me to ensure everything ran smoothly.

I was part of the BBC team that filmed a butterfly phenomenon known as hill topping in mountains of central Mozambique. At the first rains of the season, hundreds and thousands of butterflies emerge from their cocoons and congregate at the top of the mountain to meet and mate before returning to the forest.

It was an incredible trip - it took 21 days to film just 6 minutes of one episode and since being a part of the BBC team I have taken many more people up the mountains to witness the mesmerizing site.

Other projects on the Mozambique mountains have seen me work with scientists to discover lesser-known species including dwarf camellias, unique frogs that live on the edge of the granite slopes of the mountains and I have an upcoming trip to find dung beetles.
 
I have a history of working on projects that celebrate the lesser-known animals - they are so fascinating to observe. During the colonial era in Mozambique these species were left undisturbed in favor of bigger game and there is still so much to be discovered.

I’m excited to try and find some very cool frogs, geckos and butterflies during the Zambezi Expedition.

I also really enjoy watching the interaction between hyena clans. They’re not always easy to see as they’re nocturnal, but the family dynamic is absolutely fascinating to observe.
 
For me it’s getting the timing right on animal behaviour so that guests can witness these creatures. It’s these moments that are remembered in years to come and make the safari experience special.

My main aim is to anticipate the moment and deliver and unforgettable experience to my guests.
 
1. Every day brings something new - in other words you need to expect the unexpected.

2. Try not to see everything through a camera lense, when you are witnessing something exciting, immerse yourself in that moment.

3 Bring a journal or diary, relive your day later with some notes.
 
Walking with a pangolin through the bush in Mana Pools, Zimbabwe.

As well as being endangered, pangolins are incredibly shy, so this was a really special moment for me.
 
Gonarezhou National Park - Zimbabwe's best kept secret.

Nothing more to say, other than, you need to go!
Traditional sailing dhow by mangroves in Mozambique river.
Traditional sailing dhow by mangroves in Mozambique river.
 
As our expedition nears its end, this final section begins with a light aircraft flight over Lake Cahora Bassa, following the river’s course to Dete where we turn south to Gorongosa. One of Africa’s most biodiverse regions, after years of civil war, Gorongosa National Park is once again a haven for wildlife.

Following this unique safari, we begin our journey to the river, exploring the lush forests of the region as we go, and stopping for a night to visit a reforestation programme. Arriving at the river, we are immersed in history as we visit the site of Mary Livingstone’s grave and the Sugar Mill at Marromeu.
 
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