Dolfi Stoki is a self-taught, internationally acclaimed and award-winning artist whose work transcends many different media, styles, and genre.
He was born in Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe in 1977. Deciding that university would be stifling, he chose to follow his driving passion for nature, and became involved in the safari industry. He undertook a gruelling five-year apprenticeship under some of the most well respected professional safari guides in the industry and completed his qualifications as a specialist walking guide. This unusual vocation has given him the privilege of working in some of the most remote and untouched regions of Africa.
After many years in the wilds of Africa, he decided that he’d had enough “excitement” and reference material to start painting professionally at home with his family. Armed with thousands of pictures, sketches, and a profound understanding of his subject matter, Dolfi started work on his first series of wildlife paintings and has not looked back.
Though Dolfi paints full time these days, he still conducts personal safaris throughout Africa with his wife and son.
Dolfi has held numerous international exhibitions, and his highly sought-after paintings can be found in private collections around the world, on the covers and inside some of the world’s top selling art magazines and books.
“People ask me all the time what I enjoy painting and the truth is, I paint whatever inspires me, from animals through to figurative art. I have been truly blessed to live and paint in some of the most unspoilt regions on the continent. It is only natural that I try and bring what I feel and what I see out here onto canvas. If I can sit down and bring a little bit of that African magic I see every day to a painting, then have I achieved something... “
Dolfi currently resides with his wife and son in Zimbabwe and has shared his love of nature with his child. “It has been a real privilege to watch my son grow up in the bush, he has such a profound love for the intricacies of nature, there are very few places left in the world where this is possible"
Fun Facts about Dolfi Stoki
Dolfi is rated as a specialist walking safari guide - his specialty is herpetology, which is the study of reptiles and amphibians.
Dolfi has conducted safaris and expeditions across the African continent from the rolling plains of the Masai Mara, the steamy jungles of the Congo to the parched deserts of North and South West Africa.
"I love African Elephants - they are incredibly smart animals; in fact, it's quite hard not to draw parallels between people and elephants once you've spent time observing them in nature"
Least Favourite Animal
"I love nature in general - but I am no fan of mosquito's and tsetse flies... Malaria is no fun at all!"
Dolfi grew up in a very artistic household. Both his parents were/are very successful artists in their own right.
What Dolfi does in his spare time in his studio
"A few years ago, I started teaching really talented kids how to paint. It has progressed over time to kids that really have a knack for art, but come from under privileged back grounds where they normally wouldn't have the funds or resources to paint. I can safely say that I have actually learnt more from teaching other people than anything else..."
The Typical Weekend
"My son is nine, and every weekend, we try and spend it outdoors. He is an incredible naturalist and for his age has a huge wealth of knowledge of our African flora and fauna - our favourite time of year is during the rainy season when we go "frogging" and try and record new species of frogs in various locals"
Scariest life and death moments
"I have had a few scares in the bush... I once had my land rover flipped by an elephant. Ive had a black rhino charge past me so close that I could have slapped it's flank. I have been charged by both lion and buffalo whilst walking in the bush - I can tell you it's fantastic for your blood circulation.... The one creature that almost killed me was the little mosquito!"
"I plan to keep on painting - the one thing you soon realize about art and painting is that you are continuously learning; there are very few vocations in life that are like that"