Jen and Simon Bellingham
After qualifying with a Master’s Degree in alternative health care (Chiropractic) Jen’s passion for nature and calling for travel has resulted in a career that spans from marine guiding to community development to tour operations.
Her “lodge career” included a number of years living and working in the Kruger National Park (andBeyond’s Ngala Private Game Reserve), the Sabi Sand (Richard Branson’s Ulusaba Private Game Reserve where she managed the community development wing) and the Maputaland Coastal Forest and Marine Reserve (Wilderness Safaris Rocktail Beach Camp).
Jen’s love of the marine environment led to her qualifying as a dive master and spending many years working as a marine guide before authoring the Dive Guide to Aliwal Shoal, with all proceeds going towards WWF marine conservation.
She has also assisted her husband Simon in his conservation work involving Projecto Oncafari and bringing Africa’s ecotourism model to Brazil.
When she is not in the office she is out in the field, getting her boots dirty and exploring new product – Jen has travelled extensively curating the best safari experiences for Bellingham Safaris.
Jen lives in Cape Town with Simon and their son Marlin where she directs Bellingham Safaris.
Simon Bellingham developed a passion for wildlife as a young child growing up in rural Zimbabwe where he fostered his love of the bush during holidays in remote regions such as the Zambezi Valley and Hwange National Park. Although he went on to obtain a Master’s Degree in Chiropractic, his passion for nature could not keep him away from the lure of the great outdoors and he soon resigned from the comforts of life as a Doctor for a career in wildlife.
He began his guiding profession at &BEYOND’s Ngala Private Game Reserve and Londolozi where his passion for everything natural blossomed and he soon joined the ranks of senior guide. Here he also had the opportunity to work with legendary trackers such as Richard Khosa. During his time Simon has guided many celebrities, most notably Kofi Anan, Mary Robinson, Graca Michel, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Jimmy Wales and Richard Branson . He maintains that his most cherished sighting whilst living in the bush was of Nelson Mandela.
Simon has traveled to all 7 continents and led tours as far afield as China, India, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Borneo, Papau New Guinea, Antarctica; and extensively in East and Southern Africa. This has given him a broad based knowledge and a wonderful understanding of mammal behavior.
Simon spends much of his time in the field exploring new destinations and helping design exciting wildlife getaways. He currently lives in Cape Town with his wife, Jenifer and his son Marlin. Simon loves guiding family tours and is very popular with children, his infectious enthusiasm combined with excellent field and people skills make traveling with him nothing but a delight.
Simon is a co-founder of Projecto Oncafari and Wildlife Conservation and is currently working with Brazilian conservationists and government on Jaguar Conservation in Brazil.
Simon is a member of the Field Guides Association of South Africa and has obtained the highly esteemed level three qualification in guiding and tracking.