Our Contributors

  • Deon de Villiers

    Deon de Villiers

    I have always had a passion for photographing wildlife and the natural world in any aspect. My aim has been to photograph the beauty around me and to ultimately build a database of images which will remind me of the road I have travelled... it's a personal thing, which luckily I am today able to share with those that are interested and who share the same passion. Today Kym and I live in Botswana with our two little children, and I manage the operations for number of Wilderness Safaris Delta based camps.

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  • Nic Proust – Environmental Ecologist. Botswana

    Nic Proust – Environmental Ecologist. Botswana

    "It is a huge privilege to work as a conservationist in one of the most beautiful and wild areas in the world! At the beginning of 2012 I joined the Environmental Department of the Wilderness Safaris team in Botswana - working as their Environmental Ecologist. Having grown up spending almost every weekend and holiday in the fynbos or bush somewhere in southern Africa, I continued to follow my lifelong dream of working as a game ranger and eventually worked as a guide in the Greater Kruger National Park area for just short of two years. A few years of travelling and working in a photo studio but I was desperate to work back in the wild. A combination of my love for the area, the people I work with and meet as well as the variety of tasks keeps me learning while the overall conservation importance of my job keeps me hopelessly addicted!"

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  • Mr Willem Botha

    Mr Willem Botha

    Mr Botha, his assistants, his Land Cruiser and all his equipment are out on the Hwange roads every day attending to breakdowns, routine maintenance and refuelling and servicing our pumps and engines to ensure that water is pumped from beneath the Kalahari sands to sustain and give life to our concessions in the great wilderness of Hwange. He says, “Managing the game water supply is like being out on a new frontier; each and every day brings a new experience, a new sighting, a new adventure. I see so much and have so many stories to tell…” Photo © Rachel Lang, Bush-Bound Girl

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  • Shuvanayi Taruvinga

    Shuvanayi Taruvinga

    Shuvanayi Taruvinga comes from a humble pastoral family and has travelled around Zimbabwe since a young age. She is passionate about nature and the diversity of the country and has worked in the tourism industry for 12 years. She firmly believes that humankind should have a vested interest in the environment in which we live and believes that the heritage we enjoy today is borrowed from future generations, so feels it is imperative that we are actively involved in the way in which we live our lives for continued sustainability. Shuvanayi has worked with Wilderness Safaris for the past five years and now joins the CITW Zimbabwe team, where she looks forward to getting involved with school and community projects in her supporting role as Administrative Assistant.

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  • James Mwanza

    James Mwanza

    James Mwanza hails from Zambia's South Luangwa area - specifically, the Lupande Game Management Area. He has joined Wilderness Safaris as CITW Programme Coordinator/ Development Liaison for Zambia. Mr Mwanza has 12 years work experience in NGO project management and is the holder of an Advanced Diploma in Business Management, Advanced Diploma in Nature Conservation and Transfrontier Conservation Management and a Diploma in Social Work. Mr Mwanza previously worked for the World Wild Fund for Nature in their Land Use Planning Project and was the Programme Coordinator for Livingstone Tourism Association.

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  • Stefanus Nangombe

    Stefanus Nangombe

    Stefanus Nangombe hails from the far north of Namibia where he attended school in Oshakati. Stefanus studied for a bachelor’s degree through the International University of Management before pursuing further studies in community-based work with children and youth. Even before attaining his qualifications, Stefanus always harboured a desire to help less privileged young people so working with Children in the Wilderness as the Project Coordinator for Namibia ideally fulfills his objective. His motto “Be positive always and see good in bad” perfectly sums up Stefanus’ sunny character.

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  • Carel Loubser

    Carel Loubser

    Carel is the web administrator and developer for Wilderness Safaris. Even though he spends most of his time in the office he believes “a bad day in the bush is much better than a great day in the office”. With a B.Comm in Tourism Management and extensive experience working for a small tour operator in South Africa, his interest in website development and optimisation led him to his current venture within Wilderness Safaris. Over the years he has visited a number of destinations within southern Africa, allowing him to express his love for Africa’s natural beauty, bird- and wildlife through his interest in photography.

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  • Tim Gaunt

    Tim Gaunt

    Although Tim grew up in Cape Town, his family spent a lot of time exploring the great game reserves and wild places of southern Africa. All this time outside fostered a love for nature that been pumping through his veins since a young age (in a grade 1 “essay” he wrote how he wanted to be a game ranger when he grew up). After finishing school, he got a degree in Nature Conservation and started working in Etosha National Park in Namibia in 2005. In addition, he was trained as a guide by Wilderness Safaris. Since then, he has worked as a guide at Mala Mala (on the border of the Kruger) and Amakhala (Eastern Cape) game reserves, managed Rocktail Bay Lodge (on the KwaZulu Natal coast), completed a postgraduate degree in education, and for the past 2 years, managed Seba Camp in the Okavango with his wife, Hailey. For Tim, it’s all about the peace and drama of the bush. “You never know what you’re going to find out here... every day is different, every day there’s something new to learn.”

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  • Cindy Swart

    Cindy Swart

    Cindy is the Executive Chef of Jao Camp in the Okavango. She originally hails from Pietermaritzburg in Kwazulu-Natal in South Africa, but her profession has taken her to the Drakensburg Mountain Range in South Africa, the Savute in Botswana and to Oxfordshire in the UK. With more than a decade of experience in not only the culinary trade, Cindy boasts experience in all aspects of lodge management and has an Outdoor Adventure Instructor qualification to add even more excitement to lodge living. Cindy’s passion for wildlife and cuisine is evident when you are in her company and when served one of her masterpieces. Her particular fondness for birds has often led to Cindy's casual strolls around the lodge resulting in a trail of guests in pursuit. Her outlook on the Delta is refreshing and warm, and is ever apparent in her literary contributions to this blog.

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  • Jermain Ketji

    Jermain Ketji

    Jermain Ketji has been in community based conservation and tourism sector for over 12 years, starting as a research assistant doing work in the Kavango and Caprivi regions of Namibia to piloting cultural tourism concepts in the Omaheke region. He served as a business advisor for Namibia Community Based Tourism Association and Namibia Rural Development Project before venturing into business as a tour operator specialising in cultural tours. He joined Wilderness Safaris as a freelance guide in 2005 before taking on a full-time role in 2006 as a community liaison officer. He has since served as a guide and moved up the ranks to Relief Manager, Concession Manager to his current position of Community Liaison Manager focusing amongst others on managing joint venture agreements with conservancies well as liaising with key stakeholder in conservation, tourism and grassroots community development with a focus on education.

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  • Caroline Culbert

    Caroline Culbert

    Caroline is the Image and Video Coordinator for Wilderness Safaris. In this capacity Caroline is tremendously inspired by amazing wildlife photography on a daily basis, while working with the Wilderness Creative Resource Team has taken her own photographic interests to new heights. "I have been generously encouraged by the talented team of copywriters, web and graphic designers and professional photographers with whom I work. I feel privileged to have been able to visit some of the most pristine wildlife areas in the Wilderness Safaris portfolio." Caroline's recent travels have taken her to the Arctic, exploring polar bear territory from Svalbard, and wild gorilla and primate tracking in Central Africa. Her other passions experienced in rather different climates include a love for snow skiing in the Alps.

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  • Bongani Baloyi

    Bongani Baloyi

    Bongani Baloyi is CITW's Regional Programme Coordinator, assisting Dr Sue Snyman with various projects as well as playing a role in assisting with developing a standardised curriculum for the Youth Environmental Stewardship (YES) programme and assisting on Mentor/Teacher training in the regions. Bongani is a graduate in Administration and Management from Tshwane University of Technology with extensive experience in stakeholder relationships and working with communities, CBOs and NGOs. A stint with Statistics South Africa also gained him invaluable administrative experience. He has previously worked as the CITW Eco-Club Community Liaison in his home village, Makuleke in Limpopo Province. As the Implementation Officer in the Makuleke Communal Property Association, he was involved in the implementation and stakeholder liaison of various community projects at grassroots level.

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  • Rukariro Katsande

    Rukariro Katsande

    Rukariro (Rockie) Katsande is a well-travelled anthropologist pursuing a PhD through the University of Witwatersrand. His passion is to keep abreast with changing cultural representations. His interests include rural development, cultural, medical, and social anthropology. Rockie is a family man with a pigeon pair of adolescent children.

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  • Freedom Nxele

    Freedom Nxele

    Meet Premier Camp Chef Trainer in Botswana, Freedom Nxele – a professional Fine Dining and A la Carte chef who originally hails from KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. After school Freedom trained at the prestigious Fern Hill Training College where he achieved a Diploma in Professional Cookery and enjoyed the distinction of being the top chef student of the year for two years in a row. He is currently studying for a degree in Food & Nutrition Science.

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  • Nick Galpine

    Nick Galpine

    The call of the wild – and too many BBC wildlife documentaries – persuaded Nick to abandon the smoky steelworks of his childhood for the clear waters and immense skies of the Okavango Delta. Arriving at Mombo on the same truck as the first reintroduced white rhinos in late 2001, Nick soon realised (as did the rhinos) that this truly was heaven and earth. With the ashes of his return ticket to the UK cooling in a campfire somewhere on Chief’s Island, Nick spent the next several years helping monitor the first wild rhinos in Botswana in a decade. Several years of camp management across the Wilderness portfolio subsequently ensued but by early 2014 it was time to check out a different kind of jungle and Nick relocated to Johannesburg to focus on marketing the Collection properties, and pursue his interest in the manoeuvres of the world’s finest taxi drivers.

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  • David Luck

    David Luck

    Dave Luck joined Wilderness in 1998 and is an Explorations Specialist Guide. He conducts photographic safaris in Botswana particularly the Okavango Delta and the Linyanti area.

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  • Ilana Stein

    Ilana Stein

    Ilana has been writing and editing for Wilderness Safaris for over ten years now, and has been lucky enough to have written about Children in the Wilderness and the Wilderness Trust, and to see many of the amazing places that Wilderness operates. She has a particular fondness for baobab trees.

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  • Lopang Lops Rampeba

    Lopang Lops Rampeba

    Lops joined the Wilderness Safaris team in Botswana in 2009 as a trainee manager. He has since worked at a number of Wilderness camps and has gained great knowledge and experience. He is passionate about guiding as well as photography… making the Botswana wilderness a great place to work in.

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  • Cayley Christos

    Cayley Christos

    After glamming it up in the diamond industry for a while, Cayley handed in her glittering Laboutins to enjoy a sweeter life in the African bush. As founder and supporter of the I.A.I.T (Impala Are Important Too) initiative, she spends her days giving impalas the attention they crave, while leopards, aardvark, elephants and the occasional Pel’s fishing owl pass by.

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  • Hailey Gaunt

    Hailey Gaunt

    Hailey is in her second year managing Seba Camp in the southwestern region of the Okavango Delta. Before moving to Botswana she spent five years working as a writer and journalist in South Africa. The wildlife, landscape and people have taken hold of her imagination and every day she’s inspired to pick up a camera and a pen.

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  • Hamish Henderson

    Hamish Henderson

    Born and raised in Botswana, Hamish has always been a lover of the great outdoors. Having previously managed Vumbura Plains South Camp with his wife Millie - and now happily ensconced at Little Mombo - Hamish shares his sightings and experiences with us.`

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  • Helicopter Horizons

    Helicopter Horizons

    Whether it's a scenic flight over the Okavango Delta, a private charter to the next leg of your holiday or a flight to a remote island for sundowners, bush-based Helicopter Horizons will be there to show you the hidden jewels of the magic place they call home.

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  • Peter Allison

    Peter Allison

    Peter Allison has led safaris in South Africa, Botswana and Namibia. It was his love of animals that first led Peter to Africa at the age of 19, and by the late 1990s he'd graduated from being a safari guide himself to leading the training of guides for Wilderness. Peter has written a number of humorous books based on his safaris experiences.

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  • Dennis Smith

    Dennis Smith

    Now at Kwetsani Camp, Dennis has also guided at Xigera Camp in the heart of the Okavango Delta. He is a passionate guide with an affinity for wildlife photography and making the most of the guest’s experience.

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  • Alex Mazunga

    Alex Mazunga

    Alex grew up in the Linyanti area where he developed a deep passion for the bush. Over the last 14 years he has been involved in the tourism industry, starting out as a tracker, moving on to professional guiding for a couple of years at Mombo Camp and Kings Pool. Alex now manages Vumbura Plains and has a keen interest in wildlife photography.

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  • Duda Souza

    Duda Souza

    Duda was part of the Wilderness family for three months, focusing the Children in the Wilderness camps in Botswana. She is from Brazil and runs a similar community project called Save Xingu. We thoroughly appreciated this great opportunity for all to swop ideas and learn from each other.

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  • Eloise Holton

    Eloise Holton

    After completing her studies in Conservation and Lodge Management, Eloise moved to the Lowveld where she spent a couple of years guiding and leading walking trails. She now manages Tubu Tree Camp in the Okavango Delta with her husband.

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  • Marian Myers

    Marian Myers

    Mike and Marian Myers are living the bush-lovers dream! Follow the bushwhacker and his city girl through their news, views, videos and photos posted on their blog "Mike and Marian on Safari”.

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  • Simon Dures

    Simon Dures

    Simon is a naturalist by nature and is currently researching lion genetics in the Okavango Delta. He shares some of his exciting tales and stories with us from the field.

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  • Dan Myburg

    Dan Myburg

    Dan travels to a range of Wilderness Safaris concessions to take photos for his book and to share his extensive photographic knowledge with our guests and staff.

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  • Sue Snyman

    Sue Snyman

    Sue Snyman, PhD, is the Wilderness community and culture Guru, having recently completed research on the impact of concessions on the surrounding communities in southern Africa.

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  • Brett Wallington

    Brett Wallington

    Brett joined Wilderness Safaris in May 2011 and has been a key player in the company’s progress towards adopting the 4Cs approach to sustainability. Recognised by the influential Mail & Guardian newspaper as a Climate Change Leader in 2014, Brett now heads up the US Sales Business Unit, based in Johannesburg.

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  • Josephine Bestic

    Josephine Bestic

    With a background in wildlife and conservation publishing, copywriter and digital marketer Jo has found her niche happily managing the content for Wilderness Safaris’ social media accounts.

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  • Graham Simmonds

    Graham Simmonds

    As the former General Manager of Mombo Camp, and now based in Zimbabwe's Victoria Falls, Graham is perfectly placed to share all the extraordinary experiences and sightings from his travels to our camps in the pristine southern African wilderness...

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  • Janet Wilkinson

    Janet Wilkinson

    Janet is the Coordinator for Children in the Wilderness South Africa, running camp programmes at Pafuri Camp and Rocktail Beach Camp, followed by Eco Clubs at various rural villages.

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  • Martin Benadie

    Martin Benadie

    Martin is our birding expert and shares his wealth of avian knowledge with us, as well as tips on photography, safari optics and environmental news.

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  • Warren Ozorio

    Warren Ozorio

    After spending some time in the guiding industry, Warren developed a passion for walking trails as well as mountain bike trails through wilderness areas, which he still leads on request.

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  • James Hendry

    James Hendry

    James has worked as a game ranger and researcher on various game reserves in southern Africa. After six years in the bush he went back to university where he completed a Masters in Human Development. James has also worked as a professional musician and is a published author.

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    All Wilderness staff have their say here and share their experiences.

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