About Paul Oliver
Paul in Mahale with Bonobo the chimp, November 2005
Paul Oliver was born in Bolton, UK in 1956 but he left the UK in 1977. It seems that accountancy was not his destiny!
Since 1981 Paul has been exploring the varied wilderness areas of Africa. His explorations took him to sixteen countries and he has guided his guests to eight of them. In 1983 he started to make Tanzania his home and spent eight years there after, taking guests all over the country to share his new passion, camping in a classic luxury and traditional bush style.
During these quiet years of tourism activity in Tanzania he concentrated on the Serengeti / Ngorongoro ecosystem, took some of the first visitors to the Mahale Mountains and Mkomazi and explored the Greater Maasai Steppe, the Usambaras mountain ranges, the Rift Valley system and many other wonderful wilderness areas.
A passion grew stronger, and a focus emerged.
Two areas became of real interest to him. One was the Tarangire National Park, and the other the Gol Mountains of Eastern Serengeti. In 1992 he opened Oliver's Camp on the border of Tarangire and continued to lead groups to the remote Gol Mountains on private camping safaris.
More recently, (2001) he moved his Base Camp into the Tarangire National Park to pioneer walking safaris there, and also took this well known bush camp up into the Gol Mountains for a season. The Tarangire camp has now become a member of Asilia Lodges and Camps, and this has freed Paul up to resume his wanderings and explorations.
So, Paul invites you, and all past guests, to join him on his future safaris to the wilderness areas of Tanzania, Uganda, Botswana, Zambia and Kenya.
The conservation scene in Tanzania is lively and dynamic and having been involved for over twenty years, Paul Oliver is seen as a contributor, a responsible operator and a resource person. The history of conservation in Northern Tanzania over the past twenty years does therefore include his contributions and influences.
Since the early eighties he has been involved with, and actively promoted 'responsible tourism’ by developing practical approaches that work in the field. To lead by example is not that easy. Furthermore as with all individuals that try to 'push the envelope' he has made both friends and generated some less than friendly feelings towards his ideas and work in conservation!
“The survival of our wildlife is a matter of grave concern to all of us in Africa. These wild creatures amid the wild places they inhabit are not only important as a source of wonder and inspiration but are an integral part of our natural resources and of our future livelihood and well-being.
In accepting the trusteeship of our wildlife we solemnly declare that we will do everything in our power to make sure that our children's grand-children will be able to enjoy this rich and precious inheritance.
The conservation of wildlife and wild places calls for specialist knowledge, trained manpower and money, and we look to other nations to co-operate in this important task - the success or failure of which not only affects the Continent of Africa, but the rest of the world as well”
Low impact and sustainable tourism practices require the coming together of local residents and the tour operator. Influencing Park Policies and District level approaches to tourism developments takes years of experience and today the Tanzania Tourism development landscapes are changing fast. Paul’s knowledge of just where we have come from and how to proceed is knowledge to consult and enjoy on safari.
It is vital to keep alive the message delivered by Tanzania’s first President, Julius Nyrere, and continue to protect and wisely develop this wonderful heritage for the people of the United Republic of Tanzania.
But beware, since childhood Paul has always fancied "birds".
In fact it seems he was quite confused over which type of bird he fancied! Particularly between the ages of 6-12, he just couldn't decide between a goldfinch or blue tit or Cara Smith or her sister Paula who lived next door.
It does seem that all young bird enthusiasts do decide their passion orientation at around 12 years old, and sadly it is usually the same story. The Cara and Paula Smiths of this world win over the young men and many a potential world class birder gets stopped in his career at this important decision making time of life.
Thankfully late bloomers emerge and Paul Oliver certainly bloomed - was it his travels in Asia or the Americas from 1977 to 1981, or was it the African Continent that rekindled his bird watching passion? Whichever, today he has become one of Tanzania's most knowledgeable birders and has turned many a visitors' eye to the wonderful birds of East Africa.
Or go to the Contact Paul page to sign up for news of his ongoing safari adventures and conservation work.
Paul’s humour and enthusiasm combines with his special ability to communicate well on a great variety of subjects and issues to make him an ideal companion for a wilderness safari in Eastern or Southern Africa. Experience counts!