M15500 is an adventure company specializing in walking safaris. It was first formed in 1987 by Leon and Mags Varley. From the outset it was decided the company would remain small and personalized and endeavor to give it's guests the very best of a walking experience in Africa. Areas of operation were carefully chosen for scenic beauty, wildlife and a true wilderness experience.
Leon has personally guided over 220 walking safaris in the Chizarira area. Leon firmly believes that the only way to truly see Africa is on foot. Leon and Mags have both remained true to their original commitment for personal attention, small groups and quality service, maintaining Leons reputation as one of the best guides in Africa. Wildlife is the prime focus of the safari. However we attempt to make your safari a complete experience. Not only observing but also learning. The evening talks on animal behavior and characteristics, bird life, plant ecology and medicinal uses, geology, astronomy and history are to enable you to understand what you have seen during the day's walk. We dislike the word luxury but the comfort and safety of our guests are our priority and every effort will be made to ensure your safaris are enjoyed to the fullest.
Leon Varley has been a fully qualified guide for 18 years and was among the first three guides to qualify in the post independence period. This was the first time guides had to qualify for the full license after serving an apprenticeship and be tested in a series of written and practical exams. Leon was brought up on a farm in North Eastern Zimbabwe and before starting Backpackers Africa he worked as a Pro-hunter, Army Tracker, Miner, Prospector, Farmer, Journalist, Forestry Game Ranger and Tsetse Control Officer. It was while working in the Chizarira National Park as a tsetse control officer in 1980 that he first formulated the idea of a walking safari operation. This area has always remained a favorite. Mags Varley was brought up in Zambia and as the daughter of a world renowned botanist spent almost every weekend and holiday in the bush collecting plants. She has run safari camps, worked for National parks.