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Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti

  • Central Serengeti, Serengeti National Park, P.O. Box 14321, Arusha, Tanzania
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Oli Dreike

Discovery Centre Manager
"While at university, I took a month-long study trip through East Africa to see mountain gorillas and migrations in the Serengeti - I knew I had to return some day."

Four Seasons Tenure

  • Since 2012
  • First Four Seasons Assignment: Discovery Centre Manager, Four Seasons Safari Lodge, Serengeti

Employment History

  • The Bushcamp Company, Zambia; Volcanoes Safaris, Uganda & Rwanda; Uncharted Africa, Botswana

Birthplace

  • London, England

Education

  • Masters Degree in Conservation and Tourism, The Durrell Institute of Conservation & Ecology (DICE), University of Kent, UK; Bachelor of Science Degree in Zoology, University Nottingham, UK

Languages Spoken

  • English, French and German

Growing up in London, only minutes walk from Richmond Park in the UK, Oli Dreike would spend much of his childhood summers there, enjoying its wildlife and being outdoors. Then in the summer of 1998, while studying zoology at Nottingham University, he discovered a different type of wildlife and what it truly means to be outdoors - in Africa. After a month long overland trip through East Africa - to see mountain gorillas and the migration in the Serengeti - he knew he had to return.

Upon graduation the following year, and with aspirations of becoming a wildlife photographer or research biologist, Oli saved enough money to buy an old Land Rover and worked for board and lodgings for a wildlife consultant on a game ranch just outside Nairobi. His love for the continent continued to grow, and from there he was able to land his first job as a safari guide, working for two years at Jack’s Camp, on the edge of Botswana’s Makgadikgadi salt pans. There he learned how to guide and run safari camps, and also worked with enthusiastic young research biologists who were setting up pioneering mammal behavioural studies and conservation projects.

After two years in Botswana, he returned to London for a brief spell working for a specialist tour operator, planning safaris and travelling to parts of Africa (and the rest of the world) he had only dreamed he might one day visit. He was also able to work with renowned wildlife photographers and artists, including Jonathan and Angie Scott, David Shepherd, Mark Carwardine, Nick Garbutt and Jonathan Truss.

A safari to Zambia called him back to the bush; he left the UK and for eight years worked in Zambia for the Bushcamp Company, running their bush camps, developing conservation and education projects and guiding in the magical South Luangwa National Park. During the low season in Zambia he would work for Volcanoes Safaris, at their eco-lodges near the mountain gorilla parks of Uganda and Rwanda, working on capacity-building, training and developing their partnership programs.

In 2006 he was able to further his interest in responsible tourism and development by returning to university to study for an Masters degree in Conservation & Tourism at the Durrell Institute of Conservation & Ecology; his thesis looked at the safari industry in the Luangwa.

Over the years he has been able to take advantage of his breathtaking surroundings and indulge in a passion for wildlife photography, having had several images published in BBC Life, Wanderlust, Travel Africa and Travel Zambia magazines, as well as various brochures and websites.

In an attempt to make a small difference in the areas in which he has worked, in 2008, along with his father and brother, he set up the Dreike Scholarship Fund to help educate African children living near wildlife areas - it currently sponsors more than 60 students.

In 2012 an exciting opportunity arose, to move to the Serengeti to set up and run the new Discovery Centre at Four Seasons Safari Lodge.