Robin and Jo, 1990
Flashback to Zambia in the early 1960s... a small boy named Robin, playing in the bush, running free with a fishing rod and binoculars.
From small acorns, mighty oaks grow... from those carefree days an award-winning company rooted in responsible, sustainable tourism, has flourished.
Robin began work in 1975 with Zambia Safaris, and set to developing his bush knowledge and guiding skills. Keen to create his own company,
his dream came true in 1985 with the creation of Robin Pope Safaris - Tena Tena Camp opened for business the following year.
In 1988, Robin's life changed forever with the arrival of Jo Holmes (whom he later married in 1991)
who came to cater at Tena Tena for the season. The next three years saw a huge growth for Robin's safari operation;
creating the now hugely-successful Mobile Walking Safaris, and opening of Nkwali Camp.
The next decade built on that early success with a new camp at Nsefu, then Luangwa Bush Camping
(combining comfort with camping out in the heart of the bush) and finally the Luangwa Safari House.
Most exciting of all, a new partnership was created in 2006, when Robin and Jo joined forces with Molecaten, a Dutch company.
Cees Slager, Molecaten CEO, had travelled extensively around Zambia and Malawi as a young man and always vowed to come back.
To honour that promise, 27 years ago, he began a project to fund the Phalombe Hospital in Malawi. Keeping things in the family,
Cees' daughter Margaux and son-in-law Ton de Rooy, moved to Malawi in 2006.
Margaux, Ton and family
Ton and Margaux met each other in 2001 in Groningen, The Netherlands where both of them were studying.
Cees discussed with Ton and Margaux the possibility of setting something up that they could call theirs in Africa; after all it was their wish to become entrepreneurs.
It was agreed that once Margaux had finished her Masters Degree, they would start their African adventure. Together they built Pumulani in 2008
and Mkulumadzi in Majete Wildlife Reserve opened in 2011.
While they were in the process of building Pumulani, contact was made with Robin and Jo to see whether they could work together.
In 2006 an agreement was reached for Ton and Margaux to eventually take over Robin Pope Safaris in the years to come.
Ton and Margaux learnt a lot from Robin and Jo during the three years that they worked together and are very grateful for the way this was handled.
In 2010 the RPS office was moved to Lilongwe where Ton and Margaux live.
2011 saw the addition of Luangwa River Camp, South Luangwa to the RPS family. Most recently they have welcomed Stanley Safari Lodge, Livingstone to the Zambian circuit.
Ton and Margaux have 3 children; 2 boys (Cas and Lex) and 1 girl (Elise) who all love visiting the bush and the Lake.
Fast-forward to 2016... the day-to-day running of the company is taken care of by Ton, Margaux and Rob Clifford;
with Robin and Jo visiting the camps and guests from time to time. Robin Pope Safaris
continues to grow with many more exciting plans being hatched, and Robin still leads safaris and loves to wander the bush...