Q&A with Hannah Strand

I believe in the need to spend time in nature in order to connect with ourselves and each other. In Africa, we have the wild and it is so humbling and diverse that it teaches you something new each day. I believe these lessons keep us grounded and help us to have perspective on life’s hurdles as they come at us.

Hannah

  • How did you start guiding

    I was born into a safari family, my parents founded their business in the early 80s out here in Tanzania, so I feel privileged to have lived a lifetime in the wild. I began formally working for my father in 2012 (at the age of 23) after my education and some intense life experience. Although I wanted to start leading safaris, he pushed me to learn every aspect of running a safari business which taught me so much. Eventually I started guiding and I have been leading trips ever since. I have been fortunate to have worked alongside many incredible guides who have helped me discover and refine the kind of experience I want to create and share with my guests. I love that Chris (Rodgers) and I often lead safaris together. It’s a bonus that we share this passion for experiential travel and conservation of the wild.

  • Whats your favourite place in Africa and why

    This is a really hard question to answer. For truly wild wildlife encounters, Tanzania is incomparable. There is something special about our wildernesses and the way the first light of day floods across them. If you’ve already been out here you probably know just what I mean.

  • Have you ever been really scared on safari

    As a child, I had an encounter when on safari with my family in Tarangire National Park, Tanzania. My brother who was just a baby, not even a year old, began crying as we were watching mating lions. In a matter of seconds the male lion had stopped what he was doing and charged the vehicle at full pelt. My sister and I were on the roof and once he got to the vehicle he leapt up and his front paws hit the side of our car. There was no time to react and I remember all the hairs on the back of my neck standing on end. We drove away, unharmed but the experience has been with me ever since.

  • what three books do you recommend your guests read before going on safari

    It depends on the safari, as I also lead trips in Morocco which are vastly different as they are not focused on wildlife but on people, culture, history and breathtaking landscapes. If you’re a reader, before your safari we can dive down this rabbit hole together.

  • What are the three most important pieces of kit for guests to bring along

    1. BINOCULARS. These are absolutely vital.

    2. A sense of humour. Also vital.

    3. Whatever you need for sun protection.

  • What is motto in life and what concepts are sacred

    I believe in the need to spend time in nature in order to connect with ourselves and each other. In Africa, we have the wild and it is so humbling and diverse that it teaches you something new each day. I believe these lessons keep us grounded and help us to have perspective on life’s hurdles as they come at us.
  • Which rules have you made, which ones do you follow and which rules do you break

    Know the rules so you know how to break them. Some secrets are best kept for safari.

  • What’s your most embarrassing or comical moments ever on safari

    Embarrassing stories should be a two way exchange so let’s save this for around a camp fire, or while we have coffee in the shade of a tree, or while we wait patiently for a cheetah to hunt…

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