To the Maasai people who knew him as a boy, Sam Stogdale was always destined for a prominent position in the safari trade. The son of renowned Kenyan hotelier David Stogdale, Sam spent much of his formative years with the young tribesmen who were training to become guides under his father’s tutelage. His godfather is the legendary Maasai warrior, John ole Parmasau, who went on to become one of East Africa’s most celebrated guides.
Since launching his own company, Africa Born, in 2011, Sam and his business partner, Paolo Parazzi, have established a reputation as two of the continent’s finest ‘beach and bush’ outfitters. Sam’s specialties are the game-ruled plains of southern Kenya – and particularly the sweeping Mara-Serengeti ecosystem, considered by many to be the single-most important wildlife sanctuary on Earth.
It was in the Mara that Sam cut his teeth as a young guide: walking in the conservancies that line its borders, studying the Maasais’ legendary bush skills. By the age of 15, he was a certified guide and, at 17, traveled to South Africa to complete the definitive FGASA Professional Safari Guide course. Along the way, he picked up advanced qualifications in trail guiding, birding and game tracking – making him, at the time, one of Kenya’s most qualified young guides.
In 2014, Sam was invited to become one of the partners of Ker & Downey, the oldest and one of the most respected safari outfitters in the world. In 2016, he was made a Director of the company – a huge achievement in one of the most competitive sectors of the global travel industry.
In 2017 Sam qualified as a pilot and Africa Born has now acquired a plane, as he and Paolo are both keen aviators and take to the skies to explore more of the Wilderness at any opportunity.
While flying, guiding and exploring, one of Sam’s other passions is photography. His images have featured in a number of well-known publications such as The Daily Telegraph & The Sydney Herald. As well as been shortlisted for a number of competitions.
Another integral part of Sams life is wildlife conservation. He is fortunate enough to be immersed in this on safari. As a result, wildlife and local communities are at the forefront of his mind.
Sam is usually accompanied on safari by his wife Antonia, widely regarded as one of the finest chefs in the safari business. Trained at Leith’s Cookery School in London, Antonia has helped many of Kenya’s leading camps and lodges – as well as several K&D partners – to train their chefs and design their menus. She now runs her own cookery school at their home in the bush in the foothills of Mount Kenya. Her role guarantees Sam’s guests enjoy the very finest fare to be had in the bush anywhere!
Another wonderful addition to the family arrived in 2018, in the form of their baby girl, Aliya. Named after a beautiful, wild and remote place in Northern Kenya, Aliya, at four months old, sampled the nomadic safari life of her parents, and took to it like a pro!