Mary-Anne Bartlett set up Art safari in 2002.  Mary-Anne is an accomplished artist, experienced in painting and drawing in Africa

The first Art Safari weekend was in 1999 in Liwonde National Park in Malawi, the first holiday was in 2003 in Malawi and Zambia.  Since then Mary-Anne has made it possible for hundreds of adventurous artists, of many different nationalities, to travel and paint with Art Safari in Africa, Asia and the Polar Regions, always taking home sketches and precious memories.

As the great great great granddaughter of Sir John Kirk, Mary-Anne has Africa in the blood. Kirk explored East Africa on the Zambezi Expedition with Dr David Livingstone in the 1850-60s before becoming Consul General of East Africa in Zanzibar. She takes after these early explorers – both Kirk and Livingstone also travelled everywhere with their sketchbooks.  

Mary-Anne first travelled to Africa in 1999 to follow the footsteps of her great-great-great grandfather.  She and a group of Cambridge students walked the length of the River Shire in Malawi recreating the explorers’ route.

Mary-Anne studied Fine Art at Exeter University (BA Comb Hons) and L’Ecole des Arts Décoratifs de Strasbourg (DNSEP), where she graduated with a first class masters degree in 1993.

Her artwork ranges from the detailed to the expressive and she is well-known for her minimal representations of animals which verge on a Japanese distillation of fleeting moment. Her detailed water-colours of landscapes lead you wide vistas of timeless beauty, whilst her minimal drawings and prints of African wildlife capture those fleeting moments of interaction between wild animal and the silent human watching in awe.

Mary-Anne’s expert knowledge and deep love of Africa is a special ingredient that adds sparkle to an African Art Safari!

She welcomes artists of all standards – and non-painting partners who just want to enjoy the peace of it all!  

Read more about Art Tuition on Safari here.

Mary-Anne’s Bradt Guide book to Malawi was published in Sept 2006 and was so popular it was reprinted 3 times.

The Art Safari Sketchbooks Volumes I & II are sold in aid of the Art Safari orphan feeding centre in Ulongwe that Mary-Anne set up with one of her safari guides, Danger. The sketchbooks were published by Urban Fox.

New beginnings: Close Encounters Africa 

In 2011 Mary-Anne took over the specialist safari company Close Encounters Africa from a close friend so that others now can benefit from our particular knowledge and creative planning to build your own tailor made tour.