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jweis Feb 22nd, 2008 09:08 PM

Which celebs have you encountered on safari?
Saw this header on the USA forum and thought it might be fun for the Africa folks...

Met Maria Bello ("Coyote Ugly", et al) at Mombo a few years back. Got scolded by Nicky for not knowing who she was at the time (although I was busy chatting with her).

This past December, sat with Peter Gabriel and his band on the VA flight from JNB to LHR (the evening after they played at the 46664 World AIDS Day Concert at Ellis Park in JNB). He I did recognize straight away and I had a brief chat with him. I had watched his performance live on TV earlier that afternoon.

Once almost had my camera snatched away after inadvertently taking a photo with a Saudi Prince in the shot (I had no idea) during a site visit at Royal Malewane - that was a weird one.

I guess I'm not really very star-struck; my true heroes are not famous.

Anyone else want to chime in?


HariS Feb 22nd, 2008 10:07 PM

Most safari places i go to isn't likely to have many celebs. But, here's a few who are famous IMO

During the 2003 cricket world cup, in Durban at the hotel restaurant - sat at the table next to the entire Indian team which included Sachin Tendulkar, Dravid and Ganguly.

Have seen the SA rugby team once at JNB airport - ofcourse, i don't know anything about rugby so had no clue

I've had a very pleasant lunch with Mark Tennant at Lebala camp - his Mike and Mark show, continues to be very popular here in India on animal planet.

Saw the Jouberts filming at Duba Plains - during the Relentless enemies filming ...... my only visit there. Didn't get to chat, however.....

roadwarriorafrica Feb 22nd, 2008 10:54 PM

Saba Douglas Hamilton - Big Cat Diary
Johnathon Scott - Big Cat Diary
Anup Shah - Photographer whose books include The Circle of Life
Richard Branson

HariS Feb 22nd, 2008 10:55 PM

How could i forget - in The Selinda last year, met the director/producer of The Lion King (forget her name - the lady from California). They had organized a grand bush dinner one evening!

sniktawk Feb 23rd, 2008 03:25 AM

Garth Thompson, author of the Gides Guide to Guiding

Marija Feb 23rd, 2008 04:17 AM

Last July we met Boris Diaw of the Phoenix Suns and his mother and brother at Selinda.

andybiggs Feb 23rd, 2008 06:06 AM

All the time! I am amazed at how many famous people are interested in photography. I seem to get involved in leading a private safari at least once each year. Good times.

atravelynn Feb 23rd, 2008 09:57 AM

I wouldn't know Maria Bello either. So perhaps I've been surrounded by celebrities and just never knew it.

On my way to volunteer at Ngamba, a Jane Goodall Chimp Sanctuary, I coincidentally ran into Jane Goodall at Heathrow. She was pulling a wheeled carry-on and was walking by herself. I called her name as we passed and she stopped. I thanked her for stopping, mentioned it was an honor to meet her, and told her I was headed to Ngamba. She responded, "Give everyone my love." I knew everyone included the chimps. There was a presence about her, even under those ordinary circumstances.

It was a bear safari, but I ran into Jeff Corwin and his family and crew while they were shooting in Brooks Falls, Alaska. There are always tons of of bears there and I've never seen it empty except for about 45 minutes after a bear brawl until things settle down.

For the several hours his crew was there, the weather had turned bad with whipping winds and only two small bears were briefly visible. Later that day, the bears were out in force. Such bad luck, but I think they returned at a later date.

This is second-hand, but pretty funny, I thought. Two young ladies I met had just arrived at their first safari destination--Vumbura. They were learning how to use their binoculars. One of them had the binocs to her eyes and was scanning the horizon and naming what she saw, "Zebra, elephant, giraffe," when she paused and called out, "Susan Sarandon." Her spotting skills were good and she correctly identified the subject.

A twist to this question--Maybe some of you reading this ARE celebrities, not that you'd divulge it.

africaddict Feb 23rd, 2008 01:56 PM

:-\ :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\

panecott Feb 23rd, 2008 02:21 PM

When I was in Swakopmund, Namibia two years ago, Brangelina were down the road awaiting the birth of their baby.

I didn't see them - and didn't care to - but there was a lot of local excitement over their stay.

sandi Feb 23rd, 2008 02:33 PM

Sat next to Cynthia Moss on small 4/seater returning from Amboseli. It was our 1st safari and only the 3rd day into our trip. We chatted briefly, but the flight was so short, we were landing soon after. My BF (sitting next to pilot) wondered with whom I was conversing and hadn't the slightest idea who she was. Had to educate him. :)

No other "name" since.

girlpolo33 Feb 24th, 2008 10:50 AM

In 2005 we met Prince Harry as we were leaving Horseback Safari camp in Botswana. He was just arriving, so we only got to speak with him for a few minutes. He offered his hand and said "Hi, I'm Harry"...very normal. We heard later that he was tossed off his horse during a gallop through the Delta. Fortunately, it's a 'soft landing' as it's happened to me, as well! On the same trip we met Donald Sutherland at baggage claim and exhanged a few words. Well, we go for the animals, so these brief encounters aren't nearly as thrilling as tracking leopard at night ; )

sunshine007 Feb 24th, 2008 11:36 AM

I'm with your BF. Who'se Cynthia Moss? Kate's sister?

sandi Feb 24th, 2008 11:51 AM

sunshine -

She's the "elephant lady."

thit_cho Feb 24th, 2008 12:02 PM

Not on safari, but I sat next to the All Blacks while flying from HK to Mumbai (then Bombay). At first, I had no idea who they were, but since I was sitting amongst them, I was also asked to sign autographs, which I obligingly did. Some kids now have my signature on a rugby ball.

pixelpower Feb 24th, 2008 12:10 PM

I saw GW bush once, while on a game drive.

Got a great pic of him.


J. (quickly takes cover)

eyelaser Feb 24th, 2008 03:44 PM

For those who know S.African celebritites, my son and I shared a vehicle at Duba Plains with Kate Turkington in 2001. Kate is a well known radio personality with the longest running radio program in SA as well as a writer of travel articles about Africa. It still remains as about the best couple of days I ever had as she was just a wonderful, fascinating and warm person. We have even kept us with her now and then by email and phone. It was she who turned us into birders as she could identify nearly every bird at Duba as quickly as the guide.
A funny celebrity meeting was going from Duba to Mombo the next year. We had heard that Daryl Balfour (the photographer) was going to be coming on the plane we were taking. My wife hadn't a clue who he was but when I told her the wheels set in motion. When he got off the plane she asked if he would mind taking a picture of our family with her camera...going so far as to explain to him how the camera worked in case he was unfamiliar with it. So we now have a Daryl Balfour family portrait!
We also flew with the All Blacks as they were going to a match...but as Americans without too much rugby knowledge it had little meaning for us but the rest of the plane applauded and sang to them.
I am actually thankful that there have been a paucity of celebs on my safaris as I really think it may possibly detract a bit from the experience.
Oh yes, the celebrities I did not get to meet that I would have loved to are Honey, Bella, Chui and some of their friends :)

Cilla_Tey Feb 24th, 2008 04:28 PM

We were in Botswana about 10 years ago and returning to our hotel one day we noticed quite a bit of commotion and saw the then Miss Universe (Miss Botswana) a few feet away. Later on a camp drive we spotted her again and my other half blew a wolf whistle. She turned and smiled. Off to Namibia in a few weeks but hoping to see 2 of the big 5 five we missed out on the last trip.

atravelynn Feb 25th, 2008 04:40 PM

Pixelpower, your photos are always commendable and this one is no exception.

cary999 Feb 25th, 2008 04:45 PM

pixelpower - I find your posting of the photo disgusting. I will no longer reply to any questions you may have nor provide you with any help that I might other wise have offered. FWIW.

That also applies for atravelynn and any one else that would like to volunteer.


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