Former Carmel resident serves as African tour guide

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By Mark Ambrogi

Since going on his first African safari when he was 12, Evan Heckman was hooked on the beauty of the African wildlife.

“It’s been my passion, and I decided to make a career out of it,” he said.

Heckman made several safari trips with his mother, Karyn, who died in November.

A former Carmel resident, Heckman, 28, is a private safari guide working for Africa Inscribed, based in Johannesburg, South Africa. He said these safaris are for photographical purposes, not hunting.

“We specialize in trips for families or multi-generational families or groups of friends,” Heckman said. “It’s mainly for groups of two to 18 people.”

Heckman travels with his clients throughout Africa. He has been working in African tourism for the past three years.

After earning his Field Guide Association of Southern Africa certification, Heckman learned from working with some of the top guides at Camp Hwange in Zimbabwe. He then got his trails guide license so he can do walking safaris.

Heckman will conduct his first walking safari tour later this month. He will lead groups in a regular safari tour by Land Rover in June.

Heckman was born in Noblesville and his family moved to Carmel when he was nine. After his parents moved to Florida after his seventh grade year at Clay Middle School, Heckman returned to Indiana to attend Culver Military Academy, graduating in 2006. When in the United States, Heckman splits time living with former neighbors in Carmel and with his parents in Sarasota, marketing his safaris in both areas.

Heckman recently partnered with the Indiana Retired Teachers Association to offer a 12-day Southern African tour. Five percent of each trip Heckman books goes back to the retired teachers group.

To Heckman, the male lion is the most beautiful animal.

“From an observation standpoint, I love watching elephants and their behavior and all the tendencies they have,” he said.

For more, visit evanheckman.com

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