Leslie Reynolds: Pro Guide

leslie-reynolds

Leslie Reynolds grew up in rural Zimbabwe, where his interest in nature and birds was nurtured by frequent rambles into the bush around his home. He started recording his observations before he was entirely literate, and among his earliest field notes is the record of a “nesting Paralyzed Flycatcher.” After schooling in Zimbabwe, and tertiary studies in Durban, South Africa, he worked to establish a tourism project in the beautiful mountains of western Mozambique. This was an exciting adventure, involving months of camping in the bush and narrowly avoiding landmines left over from the Rhodesian bush-war, but it eventually had to be abandoned due to a lack of finance.

Leslie found himself back in a largely defunct Zimbabwe, hankering for new ideas and places. His lucky break came with a job offer from the Kasanka Trust, in Zambia. Here he found the opportunity to build on his lifelong interests in nature, conservation and birding, quickly gaining a reputation as a skillful, well-informed safari guide and attaining the position of Honorary Wildlife Police Officer under the Zambian Government. While with the Trust, he took the highly-regarded Luangwa ‘walking and driving guide’ qualifications and instituted a training program for the Trust’s most promising local guides.

After leaving Kasanka he has travelled over a vast amount of the country as a guide, consultant and trainer of Zambian guides. He became an active member of Birdwatch Zambia and has been on their committee for several years. Lapwing Safaris was founded in 2010, as a means to further his passion for birding and exploring.

His broad-ranging interest in all fauna and flora makes for very lively and informative outings, as well as impressive lists of bird sightings. Birds aside, he is particularly drawn to the smaller creatures like butterflies, frogs and reptiles, and loves the challenge of tracking down and intercepting something truly rare and elusive. He has a carefully guarded and extensive library of reference books, and will go all out to satisfy your curiosity on any point. In fact, only two questions have ever stumped him completely: ‘What is your favorite part of Africa?’ – and – ‘what is your favorite bird?’

Leslie’s approach to nature guiding includes a strong emphasis on ethical practice. His intimate knowledge of the birds and other animals he works with allows his clients a unique, close encounter without negatively affecting a subject’s livelihood. He is always eager to explain his techniques, and the boundaries he observes. As a photographer and birder he is well acquainted with the full range of a client’s possible requirements, and with the means to meet them.

Leslie’s other passions run to art, illustration, music and writing. He is an experienced, enthusiastic and creative ‘bush cook’ whose tasty, healthy and original campfire meals, using fresh local produce, get rave reviews.


I had a fantastic day – a great number of birds, at times seemingly all at once. Leslie ran a very smooth operation – very well paced and excellent explanations about the birds and their habits. He has an excellent ear and tracked many species. A lovely lunch spot and lunch broke the day well.

Jill Haynes – UK


Everything done by Leslie was beyond the call of duty – exceptional, wonderful experience! I recommend anyone to be lucky enough to use his services.

Neil – UK


Leslie is a fantastic guide, hugely knowledgeable and explains everything in a simple and interesting way. His range of expertise is amazing as is his enthusiasm and genuine desire to explain his world – the African bush. his camping, cooking and fire-making skills are also exceptional. In short highly recommended!

Andrew – South Africa


Much more than I expected – not just animal watching. I really appreciated the education that was given. I was very impressed with the professionalism and freindliness…Highly recommended.

Mike Rader – United States


Bangweulu was way beyond expectations – it was just staggering! Thank you so much for your fantastic guiding, which made this the best birding trip I’ve been on.

Malcom


Very memorable trip – thank you for being such an excellent guide. Very special experience.

Maggie


Wonderful! Trip of a lifetime for sure. Really appreciated all your hard work planning, cooking and driving and birding. Your vast knowledge was always appreciated.

Shelley


Really great trip. Loved the Shoebill. So many birds and great sightings. Really appreciated all the hard work you did planning it to make it easy for us.

Cynthia


Again, thanks for day out y’day, great fun and superb, relaxed birding, just what the doctor ordered . I estimate 130 species for the day.

Neil


Thanks Leslie and Sapuleni for providing us with such an excellent 10 day tour. We had a great time viewing and learning the natural histories of Zambia’s bird and wildlife species. Leslie’s remarkable knowledge of Zambia’s bush is unsurpassed. The camping food was great. Sapuleni attended our every need. Hot showers were always available. Sapuleni ensured that we were never without clean clothes. I must highly recommend Lapwing Safaris.

Jon Peterson – Lusaka


One of the best experiences of my life. Both Leslie and Sapuleni had excellent demeanours throughout the trip which contributed significantly to my enjoyment. Leslie’s wide knowledge on plants, mammals, insects and birds (and his great enthusiasm for these subjects) was wonderful. I enjoyed all the means and accommodations. I also appreciated Leslie’s and Sapuleni’s sense of humour. I would be very happy to go on a similar trip in the future. Thank you!

Keith Mullin – United States


Many Thanks, Leslie. Some great birding over the weekend both in and around Lusaka and then over at the Zambian Barbet. Must have pushed 100+ species easilywith too many favourites to list, but Miombo Rock Thrush was a corker, as was the Barbet. Watching the feeding parties of birds in the miombo great, some great wetland birding also! Thanks Leslie for the tomato chutney lunch!

Martin – United Kingdom


Beautiful pristine location – the cots under the sleeping bags were great – very comfortable sleeping. I loved the moon…the salad was the BEST yet on this whole adventure…

Heather Henson – United States


The operators, Leslie and Nick are really fantastic: hard workers (from 0530 AM to 1030 PM!). Leslie is able to identify any bird and to detect the smallest antelope (Common Duiker!). He is always available, good tempered, and above all a FABULOUS cook, which for French people is very important. If I come back to Zambia to visit remote Parks (Sioma, Liuwa Plains) I will use them since I need people I can trust.

Jean-Claude Savin – Marsaille, France


Not just the usual expertise, good food and good company I have come to expect from you, but you were calm and creative in the face of vehicular adversity, and I probably would have been in real trouble on my own. Thank you!

Joe – Lusaka


Leslie – What a fantastic day. I so much enjoyed it. it was great to have such a knowledgeable birder to help me find the birds I was looking for. I would love to come back and do a longer trip with you next time. Thanks!

Andrew – United Kingdom


What a wonderful trip this has been. Everything was organised perfectly down to the last detail and Leslie was the best guide imaginable. The location was stunning, we saw lots of birds and game, and all under expert guidance. Camp life was great too, with good food, companionship, chess games, and Leslie even putting up with our boys. Couldn’t be better.

Tobias Rasmussen – Lusaka


Leslie proved to be an excellent docent for our family. From insects to birds to mammals – he helped de-mystify the natural world for us. The logistics of the trip were also done to an easy satisfaction.”

Jim Sanders & Family – United States


We had a fantastic time with Leslie at Kasanka. The information ranged from historical to natural to political and was delivered with humour and intelligence and designed to be compatible with the ages and knowledge of the family. It didn’t matter what we needed or wanted – even to negotiations with corrupt cops – he was able to oblige! We had a fantastic time and know we would entrust ourselves and our children to his care any time.

Michelle Kiggen & Family


I had a fantastic day – a great number of birds, at times seemingly all at once. Leslie ran a very smooth operation – very well paced and excellent explanations about the birds and their habits. He has an excellent ear and tracked many species. A lovely lunch spot and lunch broke the day well.

Jill Haynes – UK


Everything done by Leslie was beyond the call of duty – exceptional, wonderful experience! I recommend anyone to be lucky enough to use his services.

Neil – UK


Leslie is a fantastic guide, hugely knowledgeable and explains everything in a simple and interesting way. His range of expertise is amazing as is his enthusiasm and genuine desire to explain his world – the African bush. his camping, cooking and fire-making skills are also exceptional. In short highly recommended!

Andrew – South Africa


Much more than I expected – not just animal watching. I really appreciated the education that was given. I was very impressed with the professionalism and freindliness…Highly recommended.

Mike Rader – United States


Bangweulu was way beyond expectations – it was just staggering! Thank you so much for your fantastic guiding, which made this the best birding trip I’ve been on.

Malcom


Very memorable trip – thank you for being such an excellent guide. Very special experience.

Maggie


Wonderful! Trip of a lifetime for sure. Really appreciated all your hard work planning, cooking and driving and birding. Your vast knowledge was always appreciated.

Shelley


Really great trip. Loved the Shoebill. So many birds and great sightings. Really appreciated all the hard work you did planning it to make it easy for us.

Cynthia


Again, thanks for day out y’day, great fun and superb, relaxed birding, just what the doctor ordered . I estimate 130 species for the day.

Neil


Thanks Leslie and Sapuleni for providing us with such an excellent 10 day tour. We had a great time viewing and learning the natural histories of Zambia’s bird and wildlife species. Leslie’s remarkable knowledge of Zambia’s bush is unsurpassed. The camping food was great. Sapuleni attended our every need. Hot showers were always available. Sapuleni ensured that we were never without clean clothes. I must highly recommend Lapwing Safaris.

Jon Peterson – Lusaka


One of the best experiences of my life. Both Leslie and Sapuleni had excellent demeanours throughout the trip which contributed significantly to my enjoyment. Leslie’s wide knowledge on plants, mammals, insects and birds (and his great enthusiasm for these subjects) was wonderful. I enjoyed all the means and accommodations. I also appreciated Leslie’s and Sapuleni’s sense of humour. I would be very happy to go on a similar trip in the future. Thank you!

Keith Mullin – United States


Many Thanks, Leslie. Some great birding over the weekend both in and around Lusaka and then over at the Zambian Barbet. Must have pushed 100+ species easilywith too many favourites to list, but Miombo Rock Thrush was a corker, as was the Barbet. Watching the feeding parties of birds in the miombo great, some great wetland birding also! Thanks Leslie for the tomato chutney lunch!

Martin – United Kingdom


Beautiful pristine location – the cots under the sleeping bags were great – very comfortable sleeping. I loved the moon…the salad was the BEST yet on this whole adventure…

Heather Henson – United States


The operators, Leslie and Nick are really fantastic: hard workers (from 0530 AM to 1030 PM!). Leslie is able to identify any bird and to detect the smallest antelope (Common Duiker!). He is always available, good tempered, and above all a FABULOUS cook, which for French people is very important. If I come back to Zambia to visit remote Parks (Sioma, Liuwa Plains) I will use them since I need people I can trust.

Jean-Claude Savin – Marsaille, France


Not just the usual expertise, good food and good company I have come to expect from you, but you were calm and creative in the face of vehicular adversity, and I probably would have been in real trouble on my own. Thank you!

Joe – Lusaka


Leslie – What a fantastic day. I so much enjoyed it. it was great to have such a knowledgeable birder to help me find the birds I was looking for. I would love to come back and do a longer trip with you next time. Thanks!

Andrew – United Kingdom


What a wonderful trip this has been. Everything was organised perfectly down to the last detail and Leslie was the best guide imaginable. The location was stunning, we saw lots of birds and game, and all under expert guidance. Camp life was great too, with good food, companionship, chess games, and Leslie even putting up with our boys. Couldn’t be better.

Tobias Rasmussen – Lusaka


Leslie proved to be an excellent docent for our family. From insects to birds to mammals – he helped de-mystify the natural world for us. The logistics of the trip were also done to an easy satisfaction.”

Jim Sanders & Family – United States


We had a fantastic time with Leslie at Kasanka. The information ranged from historical to natural to political and was delivered with humour and intelligence and designed to be compatible with the ages and knowledge of the family. It didn’t matter what we needed or wanted – even to negotiations with corrupt cops – he was able to oblige! We had a fantastic time and know we would entrust ourselves and our children to his care any time.

Michelle Kiggen & Family


I had a fantastic day – a great number of birds, at times seemingly all at once. Leslie ran a very smooth operation – very well paced and excellent explanations about the birds and their habits. He has an excellent ear and tracked many species. A lovely lunch spot and lunch broke the day well.

Jill Haynes – UK


Everything done by Leslie was beyond the call of duty – exceptional, wonderful experience! I recommend anyone to be lucky enough to use his services.

Neil – UK


Leslie is a fantastic guide, hugely knowledgeable and explains everything in a simple and interesting way. His range of expertise is amazing as is his enthusiasm and genuine desire to explain his world – the African bush. his camping, cooking and fire-making skills are also exceptional. In short highly recommended!

Andrew – South Africa


Much more than I expected – not just animal watching. I really appreciated the education that was given. I was very impressed with the professionalism and freindliness…Highly recommended.

Mike Rader – United States


Bangweulu was way beyond expectations – it was just staggering! Thank you so much for your fantastic guiding, which made this the best birding trip I’ve been on.

Malcom


Very memorable trip – thank you for being such an excellent guide. Very special experience.

Maggie


Wonderful! Trip of a lifetime for sure. Really appreciated all your hard work planning, cooking and driving and birding. Your vast knowledge was always appreciated.

Shelley


Really great trip. Loved the Shoebill. So many birds and great sightings. Really appreciated all the hard work you did planning it to make it easy for us.

Cynthia


Again, thanks for day out y’day, great fun and superb, relaxed birding, just what the doctor ordered . I estimate 130 species for the day.

Neil


Thanks Leslie and Sapuleni for providing us with such an excellent 10 day tour. We had a great time viewing and learning the natural histories of Zambia’s bird and wildlife species. Leslie’s remarkable knowledge of Zambia’s bush is unsurpassed. The camping food was great. Sapuleni attended our every need. Hot showers were always available. Sapuleni ensured that we were never without clean clothes. I must highly recommend Lapwing Safaris.

Jon Peterson – Lusaka


One of the best experiences of my life. Both Leslie and Sapuleni had excellent demeanours throughout the trip which contributed significantly to my enjoyment. Leslie’s wide knowledge on plants, mammals, insects and birds (and his great enthusiasm for these subjects) was wonderful. I enjoyed all the means and accommodations. I also appreciated Leslie’s and Sapuleni’s sense of humour. I would be very happy to go on a similar trip in the future. Thank you!

Keith Mullin – United States


Many Thanks, Leslie. Some great birding over the weekend both in and around Lusaka and then over at the Zambian Barbet. Must have pushed 100+ species easilywith too many favourites to list, but Miombo Rock Thrush was a corker, as was the Barbet. Watching the feeding parties of birds in the miombo great, some great wetland birding also! Thanks Leslie for the tomato chutney lunch!

Martin – United Kingdom


Beautiful pristine location – the cots under the sleeping bags were great – very comfortable sleeping. I loved the moon…the salad was the BEST yet on this whole adventure…

Heather Henson – United States


The operators, Leslie and Nick are really fantastic: hard workers (from 0530 AM to 1030 PM!). Leslie is able to identify any bird and to detect the smallest antelope (Common Duiker!). He is always available, good tempered, and above all a FABULOUS cook, which for French people is very important. If I come back to Zambia to visit remote Parks (Sioma, Liuwa Plains) I will use them since I need people I can trust.

Jean-Claude Savin – Marsaille, France


Not just the usual expertise, good food and good company I have come to expect from you, but you were calm and creative in the face of vehicular adversity, and I probably would have been in real trouble on my own. Thank you!

Joe – Lusaka


Leslie – What a fantastic day. I so much enjoyed it. it was great to have such a knowledgeable birder to help me find the birds I was looking for. I would love to come back and do a longer trip with you next time. Thanks!

Andrew – United Kingdom


What a wonderful trip this has been. Everything was organised perfectly down to the last detail and Leslie was the best guide imaginable. The location was stunning, we saw lots of birds and game, and all under expert guidance. Camp life was great too, with good food, companionship, chess games, and Leslie even putting up with our boys. Couldn’t be better.

Tobias Rasmussen – Lusaka


Leslie proved to be an excellent docent for our family. From insects to birds to mammals – he helped de-mystify the natural world for us. The logistics of the trip were also done to an easy satisfaction.”

Jim Sanders & Family – United States


We had a fantastic time with Leslie at Kasanka. The information ranged from historical to natural to political and was delivered with humour and intelligence and designed to be compatible with the ages and knowledge of the family. It didn’t matter what we needed or wanted – even to negotiations with corrupt cops – he was able to oblige! We had a fantastic time and know we would entrust ourselves and our children to his care any time.

Michelle Kiggen & Family