About Tom

Inspiration
I was privileged to be a part of this team as camp manager in 2013. The 8 months I spent in South Luangwa National Park changed my life. The experiences and the friendships made wil last a life time. First Light Safaris was inspired by each person you see in this picture. Because of them and many others like them, we are able to preserve the natural world through responsible tourism.  Tom Mazzarisi, First Light Safaris

Naturalist
Nurtured by my grandfather’s appreciation for all creatures, I achieved a genuine intellectual curiosity for nature. The biological world continues to fascinate me with the same childlike enthusiasm of an aspiring naturalist marveling at his mentor mimicking bird calls at a backyard bird feeder. My educational background is biology and conservation. As a safari planner or guide, my goal is to facilitate the best wildlife viewing and learning opportunities to enhance your overall experience.

Preservationist
A resume of experience underscores my passion to safeguard our remaining wild places. The status quo is not good enough. It will take a herculean endeavor by humanity to make sure opportunities to witness the natural world are protected for future generations. Promoting preservation through sustainable and responsible tourism is a major impetus of First Light Safaris.

Africa Experience
My first trip to Africa was in 2009. My wife and I enjoyed our honeymoon in Zambia and spent two weeks exploring the wilds of South Luangwa and Kafue national parks. I returned to Zambia in 2013 where I managed the Bilimungwe Bushcamp in South Luangwa National Park.

Managing Bilimungwe was life changing. Being immersed in the safari industry proved invaluable. Night and day was spent in nature’s classroom. Learning from world class guides was enlightening. Sharing my newfound knowledge with clients was the proverbial, “icing on the cake.”

Career Snapshot
− Bilimungwe camp manager in South Luangwa National Park, Zambia.
− 12 years as a Yellowstone park ranger.
− Wildlife research (including grizzly bears).
− Former local chapter president of a national environmental organization.
− Degree in environmental conservation and biology.
− University wildlife biology teaching assistant.
− Safari planner for a U.S. based travel company.