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Meet the team

Bushwise Field Guides was founded by a passionate conservationist who, after a fruitful career in conservation, realised there was a need for professional field guides to help ethically sustain our natural environment.

 

This passion gave birth to Bushwise in 2006. Over the years we have evolved according to industry needs, and added to our collection of experienced trainers.

 

The Bushwise team is made up of highly qualified, professional, and ethical field guides that have over 100 years of combined guiding experience.

 

In their midst are professional field guides, professional trails guides, mentors, bird specialists and even an entomologist.

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The

  Bushwise 

family

Co-founder

Bushwise

Sophie

I came to South Africa from the UK in 1996, where I began my career as a safari guide and predator researcher before working for GVI. Before starting Bushwise in 2006, I was GVI’s Director of Africa and ran conservation and community programs around the continent. I enjoyed 16 rewarding years as Director, with amazing colleagues who make a real difference. In 2022 I stepped down as Director to spend more time with my family and pursue a career as an artist. I will always have a special interest in Bushwise and look forward to seeing how the organisation grows over the years! 

Director

Head Office

Eugene

I was born and bred in Durban but have called various parts of South Africa home. I’ve always had a passion for wildlife. I studied operations management and over the past 15 years I’ve been in roles that range from restaurant owner, project and operations management as well as sales manager for various leading tourism and safari organisations. I joined Bushwise in 2021 with a mission to ensure we train the next generation of ethical ambassadors of the natural world by providing unmatched skills and experience.

Training Manager

Online Courses

Nico

I was exposed to the bush early on. My grandfather played a massive role in my life, sharing his passion, knowledge and stories of the African bush with me. I have been in the tourism industry for 11 years and actively guiding for 9 years. My current qualifications are Professional Field Guide, Professional Track & Sign, Trailing Level 3, Tracker 3, Regional Birding, and Trails guide. I am working towards SKS qualifications such as birding and walking.

Head Trainer

Mahlahla Campus

Darryn

My passion for the bush came from my parents, spending many holidays all over South Africa in various game reserves or on birding trips. I completed my training course in 2012 and began my career in the Waterberg region of South Africa. I have since gone on to work in several reserves around South Africa including Entabeni, Madikwe, Klaserie and Greater Kruger National Park. My qualifications include Professional Field Guide, Professional Trails Guide and SKS Birding. I’m currently working towards mentor status.

Head Trainer

SAWC Campus

Wayne

As a child growing up in Johannesburg, I always knew that I would be doing something nature-related when I grew up. I completed my training course in 2012 and began my career in the Lowveld close to Hoedspruit. I have worked in reserves around South Africa including Kapama, Madikwe and Greater Kruger National Park. I currently hold FGASA Field Guide and Trails Guide qualifications. I am working towards Professional Field Guide and an SKS qualification.

Trainer 

60-day Safari Guide Course

Pioneer

My passion for nature comes from my childhood growing up in the remote Nkayi region of Zimbabwe. I would tend the family’s cattle, collect firewood and wild fruits, and fetch water from rivers and dams. I did my FGASA course in 2007 in South Africa and have since worked as a field guide, tour operator and field guide trainer. My qualifications include Professional Field Guide, Professional Trails Guide, Trail Guide Mentor, SKS Birding, Specialist Track and Sign, Tracker 3 and FGASA Assessor. My next goal is the Professional Trailing and Cyber Tracker Assessor qualification.

Trainer

SAWC Campus

Sophie

I have called the South African bush home for seven years and hope to do so for many more to come. My career path has been varied, from work with global accountancy firms, oil and gas business and CNN, to field guide, Pangolin Project coordinator and conservation volunteer. My path finally brought me here to Bushwise. I am a qualified Field Guide and Lead Trails Guide with Track and Sign Level 3, and I’m currently working towards my Professional Field Guide qualification.

Trainer

SAWC Campus

Fred

Originally from the Free State, I hold a degree in Nature Conservation and I’m working towards getting my Professional Field Guide qualification. I did a practical year with the Veterinary Services of SANParks before moving into guiding in 2015. I’ve worked at various lodges around Kruger and Northern KZN province. During my time at the lodges I got involved with training and mentoring new guides; I realised this is where my passion lies! I joined Bushwise in February 2023.

Enrollment Manager

Head Office

Kim

Starting from the age of 18, I worked my way through the ranks in the hospitality industry, from a golf resort to beach resort, boutique lodges and luxury private game lodges. At the age of 30, I achieved a major goal, becoming a general manager at a luxury bush lodge. I have a keen interest in the travel industry, especially the bush. Eventually I shifted towards sales and combined my passion for conservation and the game lodge industry by helping people pursue their career goals by becoming field guides with Bushwise.

Trainer

Mahlahla Campus

FP

Growing up, my holidays and weekend consisted out of catching snakes and exploring wild valley in the Magaliesberg mountains, thus a career in the bush came naturally. After receiving my FGASA qualifications, I set out to explore and work across Africa. I also worked on some groundbreaking conservation projects in Northern KwaZulu-Natal. My passion lead me to Bushwise! I am currently working towards my Professional Field Guide qualification as well as my specialised tracking qualifications.

Trainer

SAWC Campus

Nic

My guiding career started in 2009 with a Diploma in Hospitality Management. I went from lodge management to guiding, where my passion truly was. I also ran my own business and worked in restaurants, construction and game farm management. I cut my teeth at some of the best lodges from the Eastern Cape, Sabi Sands, Kalahari, Balule and Klaserie. I’m a qualified Field Guide and a Lead Trails Guide and I’m working towards Professional Field Guide and Professional Trails.

Support Coordinator

Head Office

Channel

I am an enthusiastic, self-motivated, reliable person, I developed a love for the bush from a young age. I grew up in Thabazimbi and weekends consisted of trips to the bush exploring new places rivers, waterfalls & mountains. My dad inspired my love of nature from an early age! I have a passion working with people and my background is in sales and beauty. I enjoy seeing people succeed in life and do better; now I do a little bit of both!

Chef

Mahlahla Campus

Rose

Cooking is a passion of mine and I love spending time in the kitchen and experimenting with the food I make. I started as camp chef with Bushwise in 2007. Other than a period from 2012-2015, when I was a freelance chef at various lodges, I have worked for Bushwise. I’ve been the chef at the Mahlahla campus since 2015. One of the most rewarding parts of my job is working and interacting with the students. There is always something new to see and learn on campus! My sister Iris, my best friend, also works on campus which I love.

Housekeeping

Mahlahla Campus

Iris

My career journey began with Bushwise in 2011 as a camp chef. I worked here until 2016 when I briefly worked at the luxury Rukiya Lodge. I decided to return to Bushwise, where I took up the role of housekeeper. I also help my sister Rose out in the kitchen. I love working at Bushwise for many reasons, but the one that sticks out the most is the students. Whether they are from overseas or local South Africans, there is always a lot to learn from them. Plus I’ve made some really great friends!

Housekeeping

Mahlahla Campus

Pulane

I’ve been working as a housekeeper at the Bushwise Mahlahla campus since 2011. I love living and working in the bush, it’s my favourite place. I really enjoy learning about nature and have endless opportunities to do that here. I’ve learned so much about the plants, trees, birds and animals we see around camp. The students have helped me learn some of these things and I always enjoyed speaking with the students and meeting new people.

Communications Project Manager 

Head Office 

Annie

Originally from the USA, I’ve lived in South Africa since 2014. I have a masters in global policy studies and my career has slowly shifted from international relations to conservation. Writing has always been a passion of mine, and after I completed my FGASA course in 2019, I pursued work that combined all of my interests. In addition to managing communications for Bushwise, I’m studying endangered wild dogs in my free time.

Groundsman & General Maintenance

Mahlahla Campus

Philip

The Bushwise Mahlahla campus has been my home and place of work since 2018. I’m responsible for all the groundskeeping and maintenance of the camp. I enjoy making sure that everything looks good and is in running order for the rest of the staff and students. Before coming to Bushwise, I worked in anti poaching, which is where my love of nature began. I find it peaceful and relaxing in nature. I have a great time working with the students, I enjoy chatting with them and getting to know a little more about them.

Groundsman & General Maintenance

Mahlahla Campus

Philip

The Bushwise Mahlahla campus has been my home and place of work since 2018. I’m responsible for all the groundskeeping and maintenance of the camp. I enjoy making sure that everything looks good and is in running order for the rest of the staff and students. Before coming to Bushwise, I worked in anti poaching, which is where my love of nature began. I find it peaceful and relaxing in nature. I have a great time working with the students, I enjoy chatting with them and getting to know a little more about them.

Communications Manager

Head Office 

Annie

Originally from the USA, I’ve lived in South Africa since 2014. I have a masters in global policy studies and my career has slowly shifted from international relations to conservation. Writing has always been a passion of mine, and after I completed my FGASA course in 2019, I pursued work that combined all of my interests. In addition to managing communications for Bushwise, I’m studying endangered wild dogs in my free time.

Operations Manager

Head Office

Sharin

My passion for the bush came from growing up on a farm and spending most holidays in Kruger National Park. I have worked for many years in the corporate industry and gave it all up for the bush. From working as a leopard researcher to managing 5-star lodges all over South Africa, with a bit of overlanding in between, I realised my passion is definitely people and conservation.

Campus Coordinator

Head Office

Claudia

Growing up, I was fortunate enough to experience the eastern coast of South Africa through to the west coast. Only in 2017 was I introduced to the bush. It has taken a hold of my soul and I am so privileged to be able to assist the next generation of field guides in becoming the best they can be!

Administrative Assistant

Head Office

Rohandi

I grew up in Cape Town, where I wanted to become a marine biologist growing up. I am now based in a beautiful town called Hoedspruit where my love for the African bushveld grows every day. After 10 years in the real estate industry, I finally decided to follow my passion and joined the amazing team at Bushwise. I am a mother of three beautiful children, and I love teaching them about nature.

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