My biography

Marco Tonoli:

20150507-IMG_5959After completing my education, my first few adult years were spent working, living and travelling throughout Southern Africa, the Middle East and extensively across Europe. This gave me a vital understanding of the greater world and a keen interest in people and cultures across the globe. I returned home to satisfy my urge to understand the workings of the natural world, leading me to my first guiding role in KwaZulu Natal in the Umfolozi/Hluhluwe Game Reserve, at an age of 21, where I was exposed to this incredibly diverse ecosystem allowing me to build a vital bank of knowledge to initiate my pursuit in understanding the natural world.

As keen naturalist and the desire to explore, my career lead me onwards to reserves across the sub-continent, guiding through Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and South Africa, allowing me the incredible opportunity to develop a passion as well as an understanding of the huge diversity of habitats along the southern reaches of Africa. In 2005 I relocated and settled at the renowned Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve in the Greater Kruger region, and within the year was promoted to the position of Senior Ranger. It was during this time I developed an intimate understanding of animal behaviour by studying, exploring and marveling at the intricate relationships of all life. It was also during this time that I had the opportunity to assist in the management of junior guide development, ensuring a continuous growth of young aspiring guides in the industry.

To continue in my pursuit to share the wonders of the natural world, I left guiding in 2007 to realise another dream and studied wildlife documentary film-making in Cape Town. It was during this period I had the opportunity to develop my love for camera work, both photography and film, and documenting the natural world, as well as collaborating on major documentaries and working behind and in front of the camera as director, cameraman and presenter for Wild Earth TV, as well as working on productions by National Geographic and Discovery Channel.

My path however was to lead me back to the bush, and in 2008 I relocated to the southern Kalahari, where I was offered the opportunity to lead the guiding team as Head Guide of the Oppenheimer Family’s Tswalu Kalahari Reserve. It was in the remote wilderness of the Kalahari that I was exposed to and developed a desire to understand the art and science of tracking, which in turn nurtured a love for walking safaris. With the prospect to also lead one of the finest teams of field guides in the country, it was here I qualified as a guide assessor and led the entire Tswalu guiding team to all achieve the highest guiding qualifications in South Africa, all becoming experts in the Kalahari Ecosystem.

I am now currently based in Cape Town operating as an independent Professional Naturalist Guide specializing in wilderness experiences throughout Southern and East  Africa, Madagascar and the Indian Subcontinent. As well as offering my services to a select group of exclusive Travel Management Operators, I continue to share with my previous guests the myriad of wonders of the natural world and assist in journey planning for future travels.