Isaac Kalio



Wilderness Safaris Zambia – Kafue Head Guide

Isaac, an accomplished guide, gifted storyteller and wildlife photography enthusiast has been with Wilderness in Kafue since 2008. His passion for Zambia, and first-hand experience with human-wildlife conflict, have been invaluable throughout his career, and continue to fuel his deep understanding of – and objective to conserve – the region’s biodiversity.


Growing up in a remote village in the Lower Zambezi, Isaac’s childhood was peppered with experiences dealing with wildlife raiding his family’s farmlands day and night. To counter this, he and his mother would spend their nights in a tree-house in the fields, waking up to chase elephants and hippos in the dark. At this time, Isaac had no idea that in the not-too-distant future this very wildlife would completely change his life and help him pay his children’s school fees.

In 1998 his brother, a successful guide in the Lower Zambezi Valley, helped pave the way for Isaac, who started working as a porter for a canoe safari operation after school while training as a canoe guide. By 2000, Isaac was leading his own trips on the Zambezi River for Sobek Canoe Adventures and River Horse Safaris. In 2004, he finally received his guide’s license from Conservation Lower Zambezi.

For the next two years Isaac worked for Lion Roars Safaris & Lodges, including at Royal Zambezi and Mwambashi River Lodge in the Lower Zambezi. He then joined Eastern Safaris’ Mushika River Lodge, also located in the Lower Zambezi. By now, Isaac had heard all about Wilderness Safaris, its inspiring conservation story and benefits for its guides, which include continued training and development.

When he joined Wilderness Safaris in the legendary Kafue National Park, Isaac was completely enraptured by the magic and mystery of this remote wilderness area, and so his happily-ever-after began. Now, with over a decade of experience in the region, his passion for wildlife conservation and knowledge of the natural world is unsurpassed. Isaac’s wit is complemented beautifully by his genteel personality, and he is just as enthusiastic to learn from his guests as he is about sharing his wisdom and understanding of his country and its wild places.

In 2019, he was promoted to Wilderness Kafue Head Guide, a logical step in his continued progress over the years. Being “on the ground”, Isaac plays a crucial role in sharing Wilderness’ vision of conserving and restoring this remote area, using conservation tourism to offer life-changing experiences. He also provides mentorship to the other guides, ensuring that they too understand Wilderness’ overall core purpose.

Kafue, and the Busanga Plains, are home to Isaac, who has watched and followed several generations of different species in this extraordinary region, including one of his favourites, the lions. In 2020 Isaac used his in-depth knowledge of the area to assist Panthera, as a key-member of their lion monitoring team. Isaac knows first-hand the importance of preserving such areas, and is excited to be in a position that enlightens many on the positive difference that an ecotourism presence can make, not just for the wilderness areas but the surrounding communities as well.