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Meet The Team
Sophie Niemann: Director and Owner
Sophie is the director of Bushwise. Sophie has an MSc and spent 7 years setting up and running GVI programs in Africa. She started out working for CCAfrica for a number of years as a field guide on the Makalali game reserve and then moved over to student programs, predator research, program planning, logistics and management with GVI. Sophie ran over 15 research and training programs in Africa (Namibia, Uganda, Kenya and South Africa), including a South African National Parks training and internship program; wildlife and marine programs in Kenya working with the Kenyan Wildlife Service; and predator research programs in South Africa. She brings huge experience in student management, training and logistics to the team.
Shirell Lynch: General Manager
Shirell is the General Manager of Bushwise. She is responsible for the short term and long term operation of the training centre. She is in control of all meals prepared for you, the management of staff and all the behind the scene aspects of running the training centres including bookings, administration, accounting, quality control, marketing, budgets, finances etc. Shirell has a Bachelor of Commerce in Human Resources Management and a Certificate in Sales & Marketing, with an extensive business background. Shirell has travelled and lived in various countries all over the world, such as the UK, Ireland and Australia. Shirell has a keen interest in Birding and Wildlife Photography and has recently completed a Diploma in Photography.
Rachel Greenwood: Communications Manager
Rachel is Communications Manager at Bushwise, and also GVI’s Country Expert for their South Africa wildlife conservation projects, based in Cape Town. She has a Masters in Visual Anthropology and a background in wildlife documentary filmmaking, having worked on productions across the world for National Geographic, Discovery Channel, Animal Planet & the BBC, amongst others. She gained several years’ experience in marketing in the UK, before returning to South Africa to volunteer on GVI’s predator research projects in Limpopo. She has since become an integral part of the staff team for both Bushwise and GVI and, within Bushwise, handles all bookings, pre-departure support and marketing/PR for the Bushwise Field Guide Course and Hospitality Internships.
Charles Delport: Senior Trainer
Charles is the Senior Trainer at Bushwise and has almost a decade of guiding experience in various lodges across South Africa. Charles is a FGASA level 3 fully qualified trails guide with advanced rifle handling and first aid certification. Charles has also formally studied guiding in the form of a two year Diploma in Game Ranging and Lodge Management and has attended various nature courses. He is a qualified FGASA assessor. Charles is very passionate about guiding and nature, especially in the Birding and Astronomy fields and is currently completing his SKS Birding qualification.
Conraad Loubser: Trainer
Conraad is an instructor at Bushwise. He has almost 6 years guiding and lodge experience in the Lowveld and Waterberg regions within Big 5 reserves. Conraad currently holds a level 2 FGASA full trails guide qualification, with advanced rifle handling and level 2 first aid certification. His dedication lies within all aspects of the African bush, but in particular he has a great passion for reptiles and birds.
Trevor Myburgh: Trainer
Trevor is an instructor at the Bushwise campus. He has FGASA level 2, a level 3 first aid qualification, advanced rifle handling and various business certifications and has been in the guiding industry for around 8 years. Trevor has a keen interest in birding and anti-poaching initiatives.