Martin was born and grew up in South Africa and attended an agricultural boarding school. There in Africa his passion for animals, especially reptiles blossomed. As an adult, with over ten years experience managing hotels, resorts and lodges in Zambia, South America and the USA, Martin found himself in the beautiful mountains of Santa Fe. Here the idea of Junglecat Panama was born. The preservation of local culture, community and environment is his primary objective allowing him to bridge the gap between tourist and local thus providing an authentic Panamanian experience.
Jose was born and grew up in Santa Fe, his love of horses and livestock comes from a long family history of farming and agriculture in the region. His father, and his grandfather have been working with cattle all their lives and hand in hand with this type of work comes a faithful horse. Jose has been with Junglecat since business started in 2015. His knowledge of local plants and animals has been invaluable in aiding the growth of the business. Jose has a calm and level demeanor allowing him to work peacefully with the horses and clients alike building a strong connection with the rider.
Our youngest team member Jose Carlos is from Santa Fe. His great work ethic and desire to learn has made him an invaluable member of our team. His responsibilities include feeding our working horses twice a day, getting them set up for tours as well as making sure they are all safe in their paddocks at the end of the day.
Co-owner and Founder of Junglecat Panama S.A.
Elizabeth grew up in Botswana and has enjoyed horse riding and competing from a young age. While at university in New Zealand she taught chilren and adults at the Auckland Equestrian Center part time. After having moved to Panama the dream to own a trail riding company has become a reality. The trails here in the mountains of Central America provide some of the most spectacular scenery and you'll often see Elizabeth out and about exploring new routes on horseback. Additionally she and her partner Martin endeavor to support the local horse culture, a big part of the lifestyle here in Panama.
Originally from the Santa Fe district, Gabriela spent her childhood in North Carolina. Now back in the area she can be found either in our office promoting things to do in the area or out on the trail exploring! She may also join a horseback riding tour or river kayaking adventure!
Panama has a long history of horse culture. Starting with the Spanish conquistadors up to modern times, the horse is a desired companion for hard working local farmers to high class competitive riding. Santa Fe continues this culture to this day with most local farmers owning a resilient, reliable horse used for a variety of everyday purposes including transport, carrying farm produce and cattle work. Embracing this culture we have opened a window for travelers to experience local life and see another side of Panama's interior on horseback.
We own all the horses we offer for riding. They are mixed breed, Paso Creole making them very strong, smooth paced and even tempered. With these reliable steeds we have opportunities to forge rivers, cross suspension bridges and traverse the mountainside. We use mostly western saddles and all our horses have shoes to help with the rocky river beds and gravel roads.