Journey Magicians - Our Tribe - We Are... | Ultimate Safaris

Journey Magicians

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Our Journey Magicians are our ‘engine room’, quietly working behind the scenes to ensure all aspects of the Ultimate Safaris operation run smoothly and cohesively. This includes helping guides make sure they are fully prepared for guest arrivals, checking and maintaining our safari vehicles, producing the necessary information packages for specific safaris, and running our own fully-serviced camps. 

Meet Our Journey Magicians

Ultimate Safaris - Helvi Shoombe

Helvi Shoombe


Ultimate Safaris - Kelvin Msuya

Kelvin Msuya

Ultimate Safaris - Victor Ndemuongela

Victor Ndemuongela

Ultimate Safaris - Tobias Naholo

Tobias Naholo

Ultimate Safaris - Sevelinus Tuhafeni

Sevelinus Tuhafeni

Ultimate Safaris - Romanzo Coetzee

Romanzo Coetzee

Ultimate Safaris - Rhona Strauss

Rhona Strauss

Ultimate Safaris - Petrus Namene

Petrus Namene

Ultimate Safaris - Nelson Sheuyange

Nelson Sheuyange

Ultimate Safaris - Migaille Ockhuizen

Migaille Ockhuizen

Ultimate Safaris - Johannes Shipululu

Johannes Shipululu

Ultimate Safaris - Martin Webb Bowen

Martin Webb Bowen

Ultimate Safaris - Jimmie Kokule

Jimmie Kokule

Ultimate Safaris - Frederika Jahanika

Frederika Jahanika

Ultimate Safaris - Emanuel Nampweya

Emanuel Nampweya

Ultimate Safaris - Elikan Joseph

Elikan Joseph

Ultimate Safaris - Elgardt Bussel

Elgardt Bussel

Ultimate Safaris - Daniel Naholo

Daniel Naholo

Ultimate Safaris - Anton Kalweyo

Anton Kalweyo

Ultimate Safaris - Amon Mwandingi

Amon Mwandingi

Ultimate Safaris - Tristan Cowley

Tristan Cowley


The Cowley family has been involved in tourism in southern Africa for over two decades. As one of the pioneering families in the tourism field in Namibia, the Cowleys (Clive and Doris) produced the first in-depth travel guide for Namibia in the late 1980’s, setting an unprecedented benchmark for others to follow. ‘The Namibia Guidebook’ (now called ‘Clive Cowley’s Journey into Namibia’) was the first tourist guidebook which offered both visitors and potential visitors an in-depth account of this great country.

Having a true love and passion for the natural environment, Tristan followed in his parents’ footsteps and founded Tou (meaning ‘Elephant’ in the Lozi language) Safaris in 2003, specializing in naturalist guided safaris to Namibia. In 2008 Tou Safaris merged with another like-minded safari company to form Ultimate Safaris, which has grown to be one of Namibia’s most renowned naturalist and specialist guiding safari companies.

Tristan is married to Stefanie, who is a lawyer in Windhoek, and together they have two sons called Dylan and Joshua. He has a passion for photography and developing tourism in Namibia in a sustainable way, to ensure benefit for everyone involved.

Guiding experience

Tristan’s life in the natural environment and tourism began as a teenager working as a river guide in South Africa, guiding canoe and kayak safaris on 3 different rivers. After school he moved on to manage one of Africa’s finest camps, Wolwedans, where he became a specialist desert guide. He then studied Natural Resource Management (Nature Conservation), where after he completed both the National and Hunting Guide Qualifications and was assigned to lead exclusive safaris in southern Africa for leading safari operators. Tristan is a Namibia specialist, but has led safaris in South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda.  

In his early guiding years, Tristan also worked as a field researcher, conducting field research on two sandgrouse species as well as the newly described endemic black mongoose. He has had numerous research papers published in learned journals as well as popular publications. Tristan has also spent a fair amount of time as a lecturer at NATH (Namibian Academy for Tourism and Hospitality), lecturing young and aspiring safari guides.

Having served as the chairman of TASA (Tour and Safari Association of Namibia), vice chairman of NATH (Namibian Academy for Tourism and Hospitality), on the executive council of FENATA (Federation of Namibian Tourism Associations) and the advisory council to the school of natural resource management at the University of Technology in Namibia, it is fair to say that Tristan is a well-known and respected personality within the Namibian tourism industry.

Tristan was also the founder of the Conservation Travel Foundation, a legally registered non-profit trust which has been established to assist humanitarian and conservation initiatives in the areas in which Ultimate Safaris operates. He is one of the trustees for the NATH Education Trust, another legally registered trust which is responsible for granting bursaries for up and coming aspiring safari guides in Namibia.

Since its inception, Ultimate Safaris has grown to a team of over 80 staff, so Tristan spends most of his time running the operations, as well as doing the marketing which involves extensive travels to Europe, Australasia and North America, as well as more occasional visits to South America. However, he still finds time to guide the occasional specialist or specific repeat groups, so continues to engage in what is his real passion. 

Personal interests

Sport, traveling, socializing and photography.

Why I enjoy guiding

It’s not a job, it’s a way of life…

On trail…

Having spent many months in the field on my own (mainly during research expeditions) the most humbling experience for me was coming face to face with a leopard at very close range on a narrow ridge in the Erongo Mountains.  The encounter happened when I was coming around a blind corner on a mountain ridge and I suddenly came across, and woke, a large sleeping male leopard.  The leopard got to his feet instantly, staying stationary and staring straight at me.  He then took four steps toward me, before grunting and then turning around, making off in the direction I was going (the path was narrow so there was obviously no way past me).  I was able to stand and watch him walk away from me for about 200 m, before he disappeared around another corner.  Having had a sufficiently memorable encounter for that day, I turned around and decided to go back the way I had come!

Ultimate Safaris - Willy Pootinu

Willy Pootinu

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Life Enriching Journeys

Enriching Lives

Ultimate Safaris is privileged to be able to operate in pristine wilderness areas. We believe that the future of the environment and the natural inhabitants of these regions lies in the hands of the communities living there, and that this means they must be involved in the custodianship of their surroundings. The Conservation Travel Foundation is Ultimate Safaris’ registered non-profit organisation and it fully supports these ideals.

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