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David Gutierrez

Africa & Asia Sales Manager

I specialise in Central Africa and gorilla tracking and together with my colleagues, we form the Africa team here at Natural World Safaris. Born and raised in Spain, I started travelling quite late in my life, but I haven’t stopped since I crossed the border for the first time.

I’ve lived in four different countries and travelled to many more, and I spend hours every day thinking about my next adventures.

A trained sommelier and big food enthusiast (married to a chef), I worked in the restaurant business for a long time, and discovering new local things to eat and drink is a huge part of my travels.

Is there a standout destination in your mind?

The triangle formed by the Congo(s), Central African Republic and Rwanda is fascinating, full of off-the-beaten-track destinations and with plenty of wildlife interaction. Also, getting to know the history of these countries, and the impressive efforts that they are making in order to preserve their natural wealth, sometimes against all odds, is something that makes you want to go there and try to contribute.

What is your best travel souvenir?

I especially love a hand-painted skull we got in Oaxaca (Mexico) on the Day of the Dead, a few years ago. It was part of the decorations of a private home, and when the festivities ended, the owner saw me taking pictures of it and gave it to me. It had been in his family’s Day of the Dead decorations for many years.

What is the best travel advice you have received?

After getting ripped off in Cuba when I was 19 on my first trip to the island, someone told me “ignore the locals who approach you, even if they seem very friendly; if you want to talk to a local, go to a bar and buy a drink for someone who is not paying any attention to you”.

What’s your favourite thing about working at NWS?

All the knowledge that I get from not only my colleagues but also the clients I speak to. Every day you learn something different, and that makes coming to work exciting and motivating.

Do you have any travel habits or rituals?

I always buy a couple of books from a local author on my first days and that’s all I read during the trip. It doesn’t have to be history books at all - novels, fiction, it doesn’t matter, but it helps me understand the country and the culture.