Cheesemans' Ecology Safaris

Our Leaders

Barry Davies

Barry is friendly, humorous, helpful and great at spotting birds. With a passion for wildlife, he did his university degree in ecology. Barry has always been sought after for his guiding excellence from many years in Queensland and the last 10 years throughout Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Sabah in Borneo. He seeks the best conditions for you to photograph wildlife in action. In PNG, he has developed close relationships with local communities and resident guides at lodges in key birding areas.

Doug Cheeseman

Doug leverages his expertise gained during 35 years of teaching ecology and zoology at De Anza College to offer travelers a unique learning experience in wildlife-rich regions of the world. Doug and Gail have led over 70 safaris to Africa, especially to Tanzania and Kenya, since 1978. They also led many tours to all corners of the globe including the Antarctic, South America, Australia, and Asia. A love of photographing wildlife behavior and giving college-level lectures to interested groups adds to his accomplishments.

Fabrice Rakotonirina

Fabrice resides in Madagascar and has been leading wildlife tours full-time throughout his country for many years. He has expertise in knowing where to find the special birds and lemurs that we want to see. Fabrice has been leading our private Madagascar tours since 2010 with rave reviews.

Gail Cheeseman

Gail is a naturalist of the best kind–self-taught through a lifetime in the field fueled by a deep passion for wildlife. Her attention to tour details and individual desires ensures that each Cheesemans’ traveler has the experience of their dreams. Gail has a true spirit for conservation that drives her actions on many issues, both local and worldwide. Together, Gail and Doug make a team of remarkable ecologists who seek to inspire others to enjoy and conserve the Earth’s wild landscapes.

Geoffrey Lungu

Geoffrey loves to observe and interpret Zambia's animal behavior and interactions and leads with great enthusiasm. To put it in his own words, "there is never a chance to get bored in the bush." Always keen to encourage interest in all his guests, his ambition is to write a book about the mammals of the South Luangwa. Geoffrey enjoys pointing out reptiles and birds and is always keen to listen to your questions and photo requests.

Guillaume Rafalimanana

Guy is a driver-naturalist who speaks fluent English and French, and studied Medicine at the University of Antananarivo. His interest in Malagasy precious stones took him all over Madagascar, making him very knowledgeable of the country and its customs. He is always helpful and ready to make your trip as comfortable as possible.

Helder Brandão

Born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil, Helder followed his passion for nature at the University of São Paulo earning a biology degree. Afterwards he explored the natural world and learned from the best guides throughout South America and Africa. Back in Brazil, he was head guide at one of the best eco-lodges in the Pantanal and now he leads tours while consulting with organizations focused on sustainable ecotourism.

Hishey Tshering

Hishey spent his lifetime promoting and preserving nature in Bhutan through many guiding and conservation efforts. He worked for the Royal Society for the Protection of Nature and the International Crane Foundation on bird issues. His belief in "Gross National Happiness" and extensive knowledge of culture, birds, and wildlife make him one of the most sought-after guides in Bhutan for over 15 years. Hishey will be helped by an assistant guide.

Hugh Rose

Expedition and Trip Leader, Naturalist, Geologist, and Photographer, Hugh has over 20 years of professional guiding experience. The vast landscapes and incredible wildlife of Alaska and the Polar Regions are his subject and passion, evident in his inspired leadership and stunning professional photos. Hugh receives unending praise for his amazing knowledge, delightful and accommodating personality, and attention to every trip detail.

Jean Jacque Randriamanindry

Jean Jacques resides in Madagascar and has been leading wildlife tours throughout his country for many years and making big contributions to the protection of Madagascar’s unique fauna and flora. He has amazing eyes and expertise in knowing where to find the special birds and lemurs that we want to see. Before beginning his guiding career, he worked closely with BirdLife International in charge of their biodiversity and ecotourism projects. His expertise includes mammals, birds, herps, insects, especially butterflies and plant, so he is a fabulous all around naturalist.

Juan Manuel Salcedo

Juan grew up in the Galápagos Islands where he developed his passion for wildlife while sailing on his father's boat. He received a degree from the University of San Francisco, Quito after studying Applied Ecology, Biology and Geology. Juan also earned a skipper certificate after studying sailing and navigation in Los Angeles. Involvement in Environmental Education projects in the Galápagos Islands and on mainland Ecuador fills his spare time.

Nan Eagleson

Nan is a wildlife biologist who has worked as a professional guide in the Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Alaska for over 20 years. She currently works as the head naturalist and instructor for the Denali Education Center in Denali National Park when she is not off birding, hiking, canoeing, dog sledding, guiding photographers, or conducting botanical surveys in the wilderness of Alaska. She worked with many photographers throughout her long career, so understands and delivers the elements that make a great photo: proper light, unique composition, and the best positioning to capture wildlife behaviors and beautiful landscapes.

Nick Mooney

Nick has been involved in studying and managing Tasmania’s wildlife for many years. Starting as a raptor specialist, he diversified into sea birds, whales, and marsupial carnivores. He is best known for his work with the Tasmanian Devil, learning about the diseases facing them and educating area farmers about the benefits they provide. Nick is a keen educator and hopes to increase public appreciation of wildlife through training and guiding.

Nkosi Sibanda

Nkosi has led safaris for many years in Zimbabwe and Botswana. His love of the bush and its amazing wildlife inspired him to earn both Zimbabwe and Botswana Professional Guides licenses. He also has an advanced degree in Tourism and Travel Agency Management and is an all-round knowledgeable guide with a great personality. Nkosi loves photography and is very helpful with photo assistance.

Paco Madrigal

Paco has over 20 years of experience guiding wildlife, natural history, and birding tours throughout his native Costa Rica. He studied English and Ornithology at the University of Florida then worked at La Selva Biological Station before following his dream of starting his own tour company. His deep knowledge and charming personality make him one of our best leaders.

Rodrigo Tapia

Rodrigo developed his lifelong passion for birds at the early age of ten, which led to his studies of Biology at Universidad Católica de Valparaíso and Cornell Lab of Ornithology. He spent years researching birds for different organizations throughout Chile and Antarctica and also worked as a birding guide, guide instructor, independent researcher, and birding consultant. He is also interested in increasing public awareness of birds through children’s education, lectures, and birding festivals. Since 2006 he has led birding, wildlife and wildlife photo tours. Rodrigo has done it all!

Scott Davis

Scott is a professional photographer specializing in wildlife, nature, and leading tours. Originally trained as a wildlife and marine biologist, his research and photo assignments took him to the far corners of the globe. National Geographic, BBC, Animal Planet, and renowned magazines used his photography. His patience for teaching and love of capturing the essence of his subjects make him one of our most popular tour leaders.

Ted Cheeseman

Ted grew up traveling extensively and began studying and photographing wildlife as a child. After completing a Master's degree in Tropical Conservation Biology at Duke University, Ted returned to California to lead and organize expeditions full time with Cheesemans' Ecology Safaris. Ted currently leads expeditions to Antarctica, the Arctic, and the Caribbean and recently founded the citizen science project Happywhale.

Tom Murphy

Tom has offered custom photographic tours and seminars for nearly 30 years, specializing in snowy environments such as Yellowstone National Park and Antarctica. His passion and talent is photographing wildlife in their environment to tell a story. Much of his work centers on Yellowstone as highlighted in a popular PBS Nature series program, Christmas in Yellowstone, and several of his own books.

Tonia Cochran

Tonia Cochran is a wonderful guide, naturalist, and conservationist with a wide range of experience in Australian fauna and flora. Armed with a PhD in Zoology, she has a diverse professional career in science, conservation, and tourism. Her specialty is knowing the best places in Australia to find wildlife, something that is hard to do on your own. Tonia is a superb leader as proven by the many accolades she receives and will help you really understand what makes Australia tick.

Zapa Zaparoli

Cassiano "Zapa" Zaparoli has been leading wildlife tours throughout Brazil and especially the Pantanal for many years since finishing university. He has a deep love of the wildlife of his home country, Brazil, and calls the Pantanal “the best wildlife destination in South America.” A photographer with an eye for composition, he enjoys traveling throughout South America photographing wildlife. Finding the rare mammals of the Pantanal takes great patience, knowledge, and experience - Zapa has these qualities.

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