ASSOCIATE PARTNERS > JOHN BARCLAY
John Barclay, born in South Africa and raised in Botswana from a toddler, comes from a long line of African pioneers and adventurers; he went on his first safari to the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans at the age of six. His family has guided safaris for five generations, the first guide in the family being his maternal great great grandfather, Major Richard Granville Nicholson, who escorted Princess Eugenie to see her son’s grave and the site where he was killed in the Zulu war on the 1st June 1879.
John's passion for the Kalahari and the Bushmen began at a very young age as he was very lucky to be born into a family that would rather be on safari. John’s Dad, Michael Barclay comes from a family that arrived in South Africa in the 1840s. Michael was the safari equipment organizer and his Mum, Karin Barclay, the story teller and care-giver, able to nurse just about any injured animal back to full health. Growing up around the safari industry, John's uncle Ralph Bousfield, owner of Jack's Camp in the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans and rated as Africa's top guide, has worked with some of the greatest traditional hunters and trackers in Africa. Ralph's respect for the Bushmen rubbed off on John from very early in his career as John had the good fortune to spend many exciting safaris learning from Ralph all over the Kalahari and into the Okavango Delta.
John began guiding in Botswana, in the Okavango Delta where he ran the Uncharted Africa Mobile Safaris and in the famous Makgadikgadi Salt pans, and this is where he carved a name for himself and has achieved substantial recognition within the safari industry. He led his mobile safari team to win the coveted Good Safari Guide Award - Best Mobile Operator, was himself featured in Conde Naste Traveller, Elite Taveller and the Robb Report, and was quoted and defined as “a young Robert Redford” in Gala Magazine, June 2012. His favourite thing to do in the bush is to find a likely waterhole, and sit and wait and see who comes down to drink.
Together, John Barclay and James Stenner are an excellent team on safari, with John leading the guiding and James delivering the perfect camp and service.