Guide Interview Series feat. Brett Horley
This week we chat to Brett Horley. Brett is a safari specialist and experienced private guide, currently with over 15 years’ experience in the field. Over these years, Brett has guided for some of Africa’s top safari companies including Singita, Lion Sands and Letaka Safaris. Recently, he has joined the team here at Safari Architects. Let’s hear more about Brett’s story…
Safari Architects: Where did you grow up and how did you get involved in the industry?
Brett Horley: I grew up in Johannesburg and went to school there. My dad always had a deep love for the bush, and we would often visit the Ingwelala Reserve. We also had a game farm in the Pilanesberg, and I spent much of my childhood there. After school I headed to South Africa’s Lowveld. My uncle was a warden of the Timbavati Reserve and my cousin worked in the Sabi Sands. My dad was also always into birding. All of this together meant that wildlife was always going to be a huge part of my life. I already knew when I was 10/12 years old that I wanted to be a game ranger!
Safari Architects: How did you start guiding?
Brett Horley: After school I went and did eco training and this was my first introduction to guiding. I had always wanted to be in the tourism field and was extremely interested in nature conservation and everything it entailed. I did a 30-day guiding course, started on my FGASA journey, and managed to get an apprenticeship with Transfrontiers Wildlife Walking Safaris with camps in the Klaserie and Timbavati Game Reserves.
Safari Architects: What are some interesting projects that you have worked on in the past?
Brett Horley: We had rhinos residing on our family game farm, so I was always interested in rhino-centered projects. I was involved in the original dehorning projects that took place years ago and this had a huge impact on me! I have also always been interested in bird conservation, more specifically seabirds. I ran multiple projects to raise money for their preservation and protection.
Safari Architects: Are there any moments/projects that stand out in your mind as truly remarkable?
Brett Horley: A few years ago, I was part of an expedition to track down a black leopard in Kenya. We spent a long time out there in search of this elusive cat and finally on our third trip out we found him! Interestingly, there is also a photographer called Will Burard Lucas who is launching a book called “Black Leopard”, he also spent months looking for this leopard – three in total. The leopard he found, and the subject of his book, is the same one that we found!
Safari Architects: What are the projects you are currently working on?
Brett Horley: Currently, I am involved in opening up a lodge in the Klaserie Private Nature Reserve with a friend from Canada, Tulela Safari Lodge. This has been a huge project over the past few months – we are hoping to open Easter weekend. Other than that, I am just eager for travelling to open up again so I can embark on some new adventures!