As well as being part of the tour operating team at Africa Direct, where he is famous for planning spectacular journeys around Africa, Mike Karantonis heads up the Specialist Safari division. He is a specialist game ranger that has been guiding for 21 years in all parts of Africa and is now dedicated to privately hosting safari tours around Africa with his guests.
He was based at Phinda Private Game Reserve as a Specialist Ranger for CCAfrica/andbeyond until the end of 2008.
Mike has wanted to be a game ranger since the age of eight! After school he obtained a prestige diploma in game ranging and private lodge management. He slowly worked his way through the ranks and qualifications and after four years’ of guiding he was appointed Head Ranger of Phinda Forest and Vlei lodges.
His qualifications also include being a trails guide, bird guide, canoe guide, evaluator, mentor and trainer for the CCAfrica/andbeyond group. Mike also has FGASA qualifications. Some of the Specialist Safaris that Mike conducts are leopard research, white rhino darting, photographic safaris, specialist birding safaris, big cat safaris, predator safaris, bush skills and 7 wonders in 7 days (Phinda only). He won the Munyawana Ranger of the Year award in 2004 and the CCAfrica Ranger of the Year award in 2007.
These prestigious awards of course made him the CC Africa/andbeyond Ranger of choice to conduct the safaris of any high profile clients. He has also had a long standing relationship with the local community hence his in-depth involvement with the communities.
Mike has also experienced parts of East Africa such as Kenya and Tanzania, exploring the wonders of the great migration and the magnificence of Ngorogoro Crater. He has conducted ranger training at Matetsi in Zimbabwe and at Sossusvlei in Namibia. One of his favorite pastimes, is enjoying sundowner drinks on the banks of the Khwai River in Botswana…..
Mike has recently been sponsored by Nikon SA to be an ambassador for the brand because of his photography and passion for the industry of guiding.