Here at Tropical Ice we realise that the people behind the scenes are just as important to ensure a truly spectacular experience. Many of our team members have been with us for over 20 years and we have several members who have been with us since we first started in 1978. We couldn’t be more proud of the fact that many of our retired member’s children have joined the Tropical Ice team.
Each Tropical Ice safari is guided by either Iain or Alex.
Iain Allan, the Founder of Tropical Ice, has lived in Kenya since he was 8 years old. Always drawn to the African bush, he developed an early love for rock climbing and mountaineering, which he describes as an ‘obsession’ during his formative years. He has consequently pioneered many new routes on Mount Kenya and Kilimanjaro as well as participating in frequent climbing expeditions to the Himalayas, Andes, and North America.
A Fellow of The Royal Geographical Society, Iain has written two books, entitled ‘Guide to Mount Kenya & Kilimanjaro’ and ‘Snowcaps on the Equator.’ Iain is also one of the main characters in Rick Ridgeway’s acclaimed book ‘The Shadow of Kilimanjaro’, which describes the first 22 days, 300 mile (480 km) walk from the summit of Kilimanjaro to the beaches of the Indian Ocean.
In 1979, shortly after starting Tropical Ice, Iain shifted his focus away from mountaineering and towards the endless bush country of Kenya’s largest, unspoilt wilderness – Tsavo, home to the largest concentration of elephants in Africa! He is now a leading authority on this area, with a vast knowledge of the region’s animal behaviour patterns and conservation ‘ups and downs’. He has been successfully operating walking safaris along the Tsavo and Galana Rivers for over 30 years.
In 2000, Iain was made an Honorary Warden by the Kenya Wildlife Service.
He is married with three children and lives in the Nairobi suburb of Karen.
A native of the former Soviet Union, Alex moved to Kenya in 1998 after eighteen years in the US. Expecting to stay in Kenya for two years, he was beguiled by the country’s untamed wild beauty and miles of walking terrain. The outdoors required an entirely different set of skills to those in his former mountain playgrounds. Alex quickly made the meadows and snowy peaks of the alpine region on Mount Kenya his second home.
Alex met Iain Allan through the Mountain Club of Kenya where each recognised a kindred spirit in the other and a shared passion for the pursuit of adventure. In 1999, Alex left the teaching profession and joined Iain at Tropical Ice.
With Iain as his mentor, Alex quickly showed his talent for guiding in the African bush, developed a deep appreciation for Kenyan and Swahili culture, and took on the management of a successful outdoor adventure company.
Alex is a widely acknowledged East African climber and has guided numerous professional expeditions, as well as logged many a recreational hour on Mount Kenya and other renowned crags in Eastern and Southern Africa. He is a member of the American Alpine Club and a contributor to its annual journal.
Alex is an Honorary Warden with the Kenya Wildlife Service.
In 2010, Alex guided Tropical Ice’s first commercial expedition from the summit of Kilimanjaro to the Indian Ocean following the route as described in The Shadow of Kilimanjaro.
Alex is married and lives with his wife and their son in the Nairobi suburb of Langata.