Born on the tip of Africa, Michael was an insatiably curious child who knew that his true vision and happiness in life would lie in the African wilderness.
So, in 1985, he started his guide training in South Africa’s Timbavati Game Reserve. It was here he began his lifetime learning journey under the tutelage of the legendary tracker Jack Matabula. He moved to Botswana in 1986, where he lived and worked for the next 15 years, guiding and managing a number of renowned camps and businesses. In early 2000 he moved back to South Africa and launched Passage To Africa, shifting his focus to planning, organising and leading pan-African safaris. Michael is a pioneer at the intersection of travel, conservation and philanthropy, enabling access to wild places in ways that few others can.
That insatiably curious child has lost none of his sense of wonder. Michael is hooked on the thrill of discovering Africa’s wildest places, sharing them with guests and global change makers, and contributing to conservation success stories, helping change the conservation narrative from one of doom and gloom to one of inspiration.
He just couldn’t imagine doing anything else.
With nearly 40 years of experience guiding across much of Africa, Michael has in-depth knowledge, a highly developed network, and access to extraordinary experiences, so he can plan and implement the very best curated safaris imaginable. Many great guides are country – even area – specialists, but Michael is one of the few pan-African specialists, so his guests can stick pins on the map of Africa in places where few others can. He has frequently been on the Travel and Leisure A-List of Top Travel Agents and has regularly been named a Condé Nast Traveler Top Travel Specialist.
Bringing the same guiding principles of respect, empathy, intuition and understanding to his other passion, photography, Michael uses his lens to reveal elements of the natural world and to highlight critical conservation initiatives. His knowledge of photography combined with his deep understanding of animal behaviour adds a further dimension to his safaris as he helps guests to capture that elusive image. His work has been featured in several publications, as well as at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC.
Michael is heavily involved in ecotourism consulting and works closely with numerous conservation organisations, including African Parks, the Ellen Fund, the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, Big Life Foundation and Natural Capital, both in raising awareness and in directing funding to some of the most effective conservation projects on the continent. He sits on the advisory board for Natural Capital.
Guiding remains Michael’s professional focus. He personally leads safaris across 18 countries (and counting), providing his guests with a delightful insight into the intricacies of Africa’s wilderness. He remains instrumental in developing the private guiding industry, perpetually striving to establish strong industry standards, while forging access to remote and unspoilt areas
Conversations Out of Africa
Michael, James and Warren chat about travel, conservation and safari life
Waking up on safari is waking up to a day wide open with possibility, a day to be filled with discovery and delight.
- Michael Lorentz
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