About Us

The Wildlife Enthusiast

Tom Clode set up Pictus Safaris in 2020, having spent much of the previous decade travelling to remote corners of Africa in search of fabulous wildlife. Tom's passion is the African Wild Dog, and it's been his mission to track down this charismatic predator across the continent since he was a young boy. Tom's favourite destinations include Zakouma National Park in Chad, and Senegal's Niokolo-Koba National Park. 

Tom believes that Pictus Safaris, as a small group safari specialist, should open Africa up to as many people as possible. Our mission statement is to bring ecotourism to the remotest areas of the continent, to help secure wildlife populations and support local communities.

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The Africa Aficionado

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Ben Balmford is a wildlife enthusiast, and from early childhood has been fascinated by the world’s mammalian diversity. Lucky enough to be the son of a conservationist, he has since gone on to see roughly 650 mammal species globally, and more than 150 in Africa alone. Having spent more than a year living in South Africa during his youth, Ben has fallen in love with the spectacular scenery and wildlife of the country. He enjoys nothing more than driving by the stunning landscapes and brilliant mammals of the Karoo and Kalahari or being sat watching cetaceans from the dunes of De Hoop or the rocky coast of the Eastern Cape.

Ben’s love of nature saw him first pursue a degree in Biology at the University of Oxford, where he came to understand that the key to conservation success isn’t the science, but the needs of people. This drove him to undertake an Economics PhD at the University of Exeter, where he researches how institutions can be developed to facilitate protection of the natural world for the benefit of people and nature. Ben’s convinced ecotourism must be part of the solution, and that that’s particularly true of small scale operations to the remotest of destinations. These offer enormous benefits to local people while connecting tourists to nature.