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.
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 start up a company.
Keeping things in the family, Cees' daughter Margaux and son-in-law Ton de Rooy, moved to Malawi in 2006. An agreement was reached for Ton and Margaux to eventually take over Robin Pope Safaris in the years to come.
Margaux, Ton and family
Ton and Margaux built Pumulani in 2008, Mkulumadzi in Majete Wildlife Reserve in 2011 and Kuthengo Camp in Liwonde National Park in 2018.
In 2010 the RPS office was moved to Lilongwe where Ton and Margaux live. 2011 saw the addition of Luangwa River Camp, South Luangwa and in 2013 they welcomed Stanley Safari Lodge, Livingstone to the RPS family, further strengthening their presence in the Zambian circuit.
In 2017 RPS has further expanded into Zimbabwe, with a lovely intimate tented camp in Mana Pools called ‘Johns Camp’.
Fast-forward to today... Robin Pope Safaris continues to grow with many more exciting plans being hatched.