Meet Katherine Ochsman (Part Time Tour Leader)

Katherine Ochsman

My passion for the wilderness was born from the purity of childhood explorations with my younger brother in the creek behind our house outside of Washington DC. We’d use little nets to capture and touch the silky bodies of minnows. Picking up rocks we’d find treasure and curiosity in purple-red crawfish. As I got older, I too got caught in a net, the net of the urban world. After almost a decade in the film industry in Los Angeles, I left the glitter and gold of Hollywood for the glittering stars and golden sunsets of the South African bush.

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    I spent a year living in a canvas tent in unfenced camps in Big 5 areas as I slowly became a woman comfortable in the wild. Changing a 50lb tire on a safari vehicle by using a high-lift jack was my month-one crowning achievement. That was perhaps my invocation into my own capabilities. I’m still proud of that. After a year, many wildlife encounters, many photos and a few busted and repaired tires, I became a certified South African Safari Guide. I worked, travelled, conserved, photographed, guided, lived/laughed/loved my way around Southern African and parts of Europe for a number of years. 2020 changed things for many of us, and it landed me serendipitously in Montana with Yellowstone National Park for a backyard. I am falling in love with America all over again. I have the privilege of living in the American bush, spending my days with iconic American wildlife, interacting with a passionate conservation community and photographing the beauty, dignity, hardships and travails of the wildlife in the American West. Things have come quite full circle for me in unexpected ways. Even though I’m a bit older and have a bit more experience, I’m still that same little girl exploring her backyard, seeking connection, adventure and beauty.