PHOTOKING SAFARIS (PKS)

Background info on wildlife photographer, Mark Fitzsimmons.


Originally from the UK, Mark started photography at age 12 with a 35mm camera purchased from a friends dad. After leaving school, he pursued his passion for photography working in London as an assistant for a variety of photographers and also studied photography part time at Paddington Green (City of Westminster).

Wanderlust beckoned and Mark then started to travel around the world (partly funded by selling his travel images) over the next few years before finally settling in Australia in his twenties. It was here that opportunity presented itself to get into aviation and extend his passion for photography into the air. Not content with just taking aerial images, he became a commercial helicopter pilot in 1996.

Sydney Airport based, Blue Sky Helicopters was formed the same year and over the next 23 years, he built a successful aviation business specialising in aerial photography/filming, media, aerial firefighting, charter and tourism. In 2019, he sold the brand but continued with my other aviation business (formed in 2015), BLACK OPS HELICOPTERS. Along with being an experienced business owner, he is a 8500+hr helicopter pilot & now splits his time between flying & wildlife photography.

As a professional wildlife photographer and experienced business owner Mark has been able to build trusted relationships with individuals & like-minded companies in the safari, photographic & expedition travel markets… he states “Having spent many hours in the wilderness building valuable experience I now feel qualified to lead other photographers and nature enthusiasts. Through Photoking Safaris I, along with my business partner Elia Mollel will take you to some of the most outstanding wildlife locations on earth to engage in our shared passion of wildlife and the great outdoors!”

You can see more of Mark’s photographic work, understand his creative philosophy, ethics and style here…

PHOTOKING SAFARIS (PKS)

Background info on PKS Guide, Elia Mollel.


Raised by his Maasai grandfather in the shadow of Kilimanjaro, (close to the Tanzanian/Kenya border), Elia showed from a young age, a deep understanding of animal behaviour and a love of the natural world. Now, as a respected and knowledgable Tanzanian safari guide, his ability to spot game including lions, leopards, and cheetahs at a distance is incredible. Using lifelong bush skills combined with real world experience, he uses that knowledge to ensure PKS clients are witness to incredible animal interactions that are not only safe but place the welfare of the subject animals as paramount importance.

After completing guiding school in Arusha, Elia (fluent in English as well as local dialects) then went to work for the Asilia Group as guide for 7 years before branching out on his own. Combined with his insights into the geology, cultures, and history of the region Elia takes great pride in providing clients with unforgettable and life-changing experiences, his enthusiasm and passion is infectious. Prioritising safety and sustainability, Elia also ensures that every safari is eco-friendly and respectful of all wildlife and local cultures. With his extensive knowledge of the bush he aims to provide every guest insightful context and to help PKS clients understand the complexities of the African ecosystem.

Mark and Elia first met in 2018 in the Northern Serengeti and have completed many safaris & photoshoots together since. Many of Mark’s images from Tanzania have been with Elia skilfully finding animals and positioning the LandCruiser for him to capture indelible images… Sharing a deep love and passion for the breathtakingly beautiful African wilderness, both are committed to providing clients with outstanding safari experiences with memories that will last a lifetime…