Specialist guiding safaris with Andy and Steph Walton such as Art Safaris

A.G.W. SAFARIS

AGW SAFARIS is an informal safari company run and owned by Andy & Steph Walton.

Our speciality is custom made safaris to the discerning traveller who has specific interests and who want to be guided by experienced travellers who have personally travelled widely on the African continent but who want to experience the luxuries of Zimbabwe’s up-market safari lodges.
Andy – Previously a farmer of many years with a passion for the wild Zimbabwe. It satrted as a boy growing up in Mutare where I used to roam the mountains collecting plant species and putting together a bird list for the Mutare Museum.
Later in life, I had the priviledge of managing a huge Game ranch in the Midlands Rhino Conservancy, where I was involvled in the capture of several wildlife species including Black Rhino. It was here that I developed an interest in guiding. However, with the advent of political instability in 2000, it wasn’t until 2007 that I decided to take my guides licence whilst managing a large hunting concession in Matetsi. Again circumstances took me in another direction and I never had the opportunity to complete the full licence, but I am licenced to guide by vehicle. I have developed a good knowledge of birds, fauna and flora having guided in Tanzania for Hatari Lodge and Shu’mata tented camp in west Kilimanjaro, which Steph and I managed, and more recently recently at Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge.
My wife being a keen award winning photographer, I have also developed an indepth knowledge of the technical side of photography, often as her assistant.

Steph Walton has been seriously painting since 1978 when she mostly painted landscapes in both oils and water colour. Having exhibited several times in combined exhibitions and sold well, in 1991 she decided that she would break out into painting wildlife in oils.

At the time she was living with her husband on a game ranch which provided her with the ‘ideal’ environment for her to take this seriously and develop her own style which is evident in many of her pieces. She likes to portray the animals as they are in the environment and therefore has a unique way of creating the atmosphere. One of the best compliments that Steph has received was when a guest at one of exhibitions in Providence Rhode Island said “You can feel the warmth of Africa when one passes by her booth“.

Steph spends a lot of time in our wonderful National parks with her camera and just observing animals in their environment. She feels this important when painting wildlife so that she can accurately create the atmosphere and indeed the ‘personality’ of the animal. To this end she has spent the best part of the last 30 years visiting Mana Pools, Hwange National Park, Serengeti, Ngorogoro Crater and lately the magnificent Gona re Zhou National Park, where she now lives.

Over the years she has sold work all over the world and has exhibited at the Safari Club International convention in Las Vegas, USA, Providence, Rhode Island at the ‘North Eastern Wildlife Artists Expo, The Elephant Rose Foundation in Holland, Queensland Artists Wildlife Artists Association in Brisbane Australia, where she won ‘Best Oil on Show“, apart of a number solo exhibitions in Zimbabwe including a solo exhibition for ‘Friends of Mana’. Currently Steph has work hanging in the prestigious ‘Cultural Heritage’ gallery in Arusha Tanzania.
She is a keen conservationist and donated a painting to Lion Research which was auctioned in the USA and fetched a sum of $10,000 and a significant amount more through the sale of gicle’ prints.
Her passion for Wild Dogs has prompted her to donate 25% of the proceeds of the painting ‘Painted Dogs at Play’ to the African Wildlife Conservation Fund for Painted Dogs.

Mission – to initially offer personalised safaris (max pax x 2 ), taking in some of the upmarket lodges in Zimbabwe whilst offering the guest the best wildlife viewing experiences.

Logistics – The safari will begin by collection from the airport or hotel. The guests will travel in a luxury Toyota Landcruiser 4×4 SUV between destinations.

Activities offered are :
• Game viewing.
• Photgraphic workshops.
• Art safaris.
• Birding Safaris including annual water bird counts.

The package will include the following:
• Travel within Zimbabwe on a chosen route.
• Meals and refreshments enroute.
• Hotel accommodation.
• Game drives.

The package will exclude the following:
• Laundry
• National Parks entry fees
• Gratuities
• Arrival night and departure night accommodation
• Airport shuttle ( unless AGWS collect on arrival)

NOTE: – Initially this operation will be operated by Steph as I an gainfully employed at this stage.
To this end it would be fair to say that Steph’s knowledge of birds is limited and therefore would probably be of limited use on birding safaris. However, she has an indepth knowledge of places like Mana Pools National Park, Kyle National Park, (White Rhino),Gona re Zhou National Park, Hwange National Park and Vic Falls National Park .

– I envisage that once my employment comes to an end , I should be able to join the team on a full time basis.
– Steph and I have a reasonable data base of safari operators that would welcome our services.

Her passion for Wild Dogs has prompted her to donate 25% of the proceeds of the painting ‘Painted Dogs at Play’ to the African Wildlife Conservation Fund for Painted Dogs.