ABOUT Mankazana Safaris North America

John Gunnels

John Gunnels started at a young age enjoying the outdoors with his dad. Time was spent with his family at their cement block cabin on Smith Lake just northwest of his hometown of Birmingham, Alabama, fishing for Bream, Catfish, Crappie and Largemouth Bass. During the fall and winter, he and his dad hunted small game as well. After graduating from college he expanded his hunting horizons and began bow and gun hunting Whitetail Deer in his home state.

At the age of eight, he watched the John Wayne movie "Hatari" and from that point forward was fascinated with Africa. John read as many articles on Africa as he could find in Outdoor Life, Field and Stream, and Sports Afield magazines. In 2009 his dream became a reality when he went on his first Safari to South Africa. John now has several African hunts under his belt and cannot wait until the next.

For 50+ years, John has enjoyed camping, fishing, and hunting. He has been blessed to have hunted the Southeast in his "Sweet Home Alabama”, Western States, Northeastern States, and the Eastern Cape and Limpopo provinces of South Africa.

At the Alabama Chapter of SCI's 2017 banquet and fundraiser, John booked a hunt with Joe Dabney, owner and founder of Mankazana Safaris North America LLC. At dinner that evening, Joe casually mentioned that he would be retiring. During this conversation, John decided that he wanted to become the next booking agent for Mankazana Safaris.

John took his booked hunt in May 2018. In the process of this hunt John quickly became friends with his guide, Frans Bussiahn, owner of Mankazana Safaris. Half way through the hunt John approached Frans about joining him as his booking agent for North America. To make a long story short, John will be taking over Joe's business at the end of 2018, and is looking forward to working with Kenvin Kayn (Joe’s partner in the northeast) to carry on the legacy of Mankazana Safaris North America, LLC.

Kevin Kayn

Both Kevin and Sherry Kayn are lifelong residents of Upstate New York. Kevin has been hunting small and big game since the age of 14. He bagged his first whitetail deer over 35 years ago.

He has been blessed to hunt several states, including Alaska, for a variety of game. Kevin has also hunted in a number of Canadian Provinces and South Africa’s beautiful Eastern Cape.

Kevin had always dreamed of hunting in Africa, but with him and Sherry, his wife of 25 years, raising a family on a construction worker’s salary he had decided his dream would never come true. Then he discovered Mankazana Safaris.

In 2013 Kevin, Sherry and son Joshua made their first trip to South Africa. As with most hunters who make it to Africa the first time, Kevin did return. To quote Kevin, “If I can do it, anybody can!”

Sherry is not a hunter but has been to Africa and would be more than glad to talk with any ladies who are thinking of going on safari with their husbands/significant others.

So, for those of you who live in the northeast, Kevin is more than willing to help make your African dream come true.