John & Debbie Addison

Pioneers and safari champions

John & Debbie Addison

John and Debbie Addison established Wild Frontiers in 1991 as a specialist tour operator, based in Johannesburg, offering safaris into East and Southern Africa, with the aim of "taking you to wild, beautiful places to DO, SEE and EXPERIENCE Africa".

If ever I got into a tight spot in Africa and had one call I could make, it would be to John Addison at Wild Frontiers.No one knows his way around the place better than he.David Bristow, author and editor of Getaway magazine.

John has personally guided tours through Africa for over 35 years, and their team of well-travelled “travel designers” are all passionate about sharing their first-hand experience to assist planning and executing the perfect African safari.

John opened Wild Frontiers with Debbie, and the business has grown from one typewriter, one land-cruiser, and one telephone to employing close to 200 people in Africa.

John himself has been to over 30 African countries, climbed mountains, walked the Serengeti, canoed the Zambezi, met people from many cultures and countries, and still loves what he does.

John & Debbie were one of the first tour operators to identify Uganda as an up-and-coming safari destination and opened a number of camps and lodges in that country when few people were doing so. He also pioneered walking safaris in the Serengeti (at that time not permitted inside National Parks) and continues to operate a safari operations in both Uganda and Tanzania under the Wild Frontiers banner. He is also enthusiastic about the potential of West and Central Africa for tourism and continues to lead and promote tours to these locations for the more adventurous.

In the "good old days" when we first started Wild Frontiers in 1991, we had an open book to play with, as regards pioneering areas. Who would have thought that we would be amongst the first people to run trips into Chad, Congo – both of them, Libya, Gabon, Sao Tome and Principe, paraglide off Kilimanjaro, fish in the Nile in Uganda ... the list is long. These lead to us opening up businesses in Tanzania and Uganda, so we now have camps, lodges, boats, staff, vehicles etc – and over 200 people in the family now. - John & Debbie 2019.


Wild Frontiers are the organisers of two epic marathons on the African continent (to promote Africa as a destination and to raise funds for worthy causes):

- The Kilimanjaro Marathon (42.2km), Half Marathon (21.1km) and Fun Run (5km) is going into its 16th year! The race is run in the town of Moshi in the shadow of the world’s highest free standing mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, and is held annually at the end of February/early March.

- The Victoria Falls Marathon ( 42.2km), Half Marathon (21.2km) and Fun Run (7.5km) is hosted in the charming town of Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. The marathon is well known for its scenic beauty as the route crosses the Victoria Falls bridge offering spectacular views of the Falls – one of the natural wonders of the world. Held annually at the beginning of July.


Wild Frontiers - The story of where it all began (video).

Interview with Debbie and John Addison BY TRAVEL AFRICA magazine 2017 (PDF)

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