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LOCKDOWN

TEAM

Lorraine was born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Her passion for the natural world was fostered as a teenager when she had opportunities to visit Victoria Falls, Hwange National Park, Lake Kariba and Great Zimbabwe. Weekends were spent abseiling and exploring the granite outcrops of the Matobo National Park.

Even while earning her honour’s degree in nursing in Bristol, England and afterwards during her career as an Intensive Care sister she continued to spend time discovering the great outdoors. From cycling the length of the UK, to hiking in the New Territories of Hong Kong, to swimming in the Tea-tree red waters of Lake Boomanjin, no opportunity for adventure was passed by!

After 10 years however, the pull of Africa grew too strong and she returned, taking up residence in South Africa. Deciding that it was time to turn her passion for nature and the outdoors into more than just a pastime she enrolled on a guide training course, qualifying as a Big 5 vehicle-based and walking guide. Lorraine went on to guide at Madikwe Game Reserve and then formed her own training company, Africa Nature Training in 2002. Since 2017 she has had her own column, The Wild Guide, in a South African travel magazine.

In 2018 she became a co-director in Thanda Safari’s Research and Volunteer programme, Ulwazi, and then in mid-2019 accepted a contract as the wildlife manager for Thanda Safari. Together these two posts have allowed her to pursue not only her passion for education but also for conservation. Lorraine also guides for the award-winning, WWF-partnered, American-based travel company Natural Habitat Adventures and is the only woman guide to work for them in Africa.

Name: Mariana Venter

Age: 35

Born in: Kimberley, Northern Cape, South Africa

Role on Thanda: Wildlife Operations Coordinator

Background: Guiding, Wild Dog Monitoring, KNP Wild Dog and Cheetah Survey for EWT, Hyena Research in KNP for Mammal Research Institute UoP, Thanda Research Coordinator, Rhino Monitor, Fences, Boreholes, Priority Species Management etc.

Number of years at Thanda: 13 years

Favorite animal: Elephants and Wild Dogs

Favorite bird: Fish Eagle

Favorite plant: Baobab Tree

Most memorable sighting: Darting a Black Rhino that walked through the fence and had to be walked back for 200 meters

What do you like most about the bush? The peace and closeness to nature

What makes Thanda unique? The focus on conservation by getting guests involved in our conservation efforts

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go? The Grand Canyon and Victoria Falls

Anything else to tell… My aim in life is to make a difference in conservation no matter how small it is or how long it takes.

Name: Ryan Worrall

Age: 37

Born in: South Africa

Role on Thanda: Rhino Monitor

Background: Kitchen Chef

Guiding/Wildlife work experience: FGASA 1 Guide

Number of years at Thanda: 2

Favorite animal: Rhino

Favorite bird: Secretary Bird

Favorite plant: Baobab Tree

Most memorable sighting: Being present at the birth of a Rhino

What do you like most about the bush? Freedom

What makes Thanda unique: The staff

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?  New Zealand

 

Name: Justin Van Doorene

Age: 57

Born in: South Africa

Role on Thanda: Ulwazi Volunteer Coordinator

Background: Army 2 years, studied photography and worked as photographer from 1991 to 2018

Guiding/Wildlife work experience: FGASA 2013, Guiding at Shambala, GKNP, Africa Nature Training Instructor, Level II Nature Guide Number of years at Thanda 2.5 (freelance)

Favorite animal: Warthog

Favorite bird: Blue Waxbill

Favorite plant: Weeping Boer Bean

Most memorable sighting: Elephant (close up!)

What do you like most about the bush? The wide open space, tranquility

What makes Thanda unique: The landscape

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?  Antarctic or Amazon Forest

 

Name: Kent Lovelock

Age: 27

Born in: Johannesburg, South Africa

Role on Thanda: Rhino Monitor

Background: Studied at Rhodes University B.Sc. Environmental Science

Guiding/Wildlife work experience: Reserve and wildlife work in the Eastern Cape

Number of years at Thanda: 1

Favorite animal: Leopard

Favorite bird: Fiery Necked Nightjar

Favorite plant: Spekboom

Most memorable sighting: Black rhino, cow and calf

What do you like most about the bush? The quiet and the sense of community and camaraderie

What makes Thanda unique? Our high quality game viewing and the strong Zulu culture

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go? I would love to live and work in the Okavango Delta.

 

Name: Vincent Myeni

Age: 40

Born in: Ngwenya Community, KZN, South Africa

Role on Thanda: Wildlife Team Member

Number of years at Thanda? 1

Favorite animal? Leopard

Favorite bird? Grey-headed Bushshrike

Favorite plant? Marula Tree

 

Name: Zakaria (Hlapo) Myeni

Age: 36

Born in: Ngwenya Community, KZN, South Africa

Role on Thanda: Wildlife Team Member

Number of years at Thanda? 6

Favorite animal? Lion

Favorite bird? Ground Hornbill

Favorite plant? Red Ivory

 

Name: Msizi Dlamini

Age: 26

Born in: Mandlakazi Community, KZN, South Africa

Role on Thanda: Wildlife Team Member

Number of years at Thanda: 1

Favorite animal: Cheetah

Favorite plant: Marula Tree

 

 

Name: Isithole Bhekemonyeni –

Age: 49

Born in: Mandlakazi Community, KZN, South Africa

Role on Thanda: Wildlife Team Member

Number of years at Thanda: 4

Favorite animal: Cheetah

Favorite plant: Knob Thorn

 

Name: Sichivolo Myeni

Age: 37

Born in: Ngwenya Community, KZN, South Africa

Role on Thanda: Wildlife Team Member

Number of years at Thanda: 7

Favorite animal: Spotted Hyena

Favorite bird: Black Coucal

Favorite plant: Fever Tree

 

Name: Halalisani Vilance

Age: 21

Born in: Mandlakazi Community, KZN, South Africa

Role on Thanda: Wildlife Team Member

Number of years at Thanda: 2

Favorite animal: Elephant

Favorite bird: Dark-capped Bulbul

Favorite plant: Weeping Boer Bean

Name: Gerhard van der Westhuizen
Age: 28
Born in: Cape Town, South Africa
Role on Thanda: Head Guide
Background: Nature College Guiding/Wildlife work experience 4 years guiding at Kariega Game Reserve | 4 years at Sanbona Wildlife Reserve | 1 year at Elephant Plains Game Lodge | almost 1 year at Thanda Safari
Number of years at Thanda: almost 1 year
Favorite animal: Snakes – no real favourite
Favorite bird: All birds from African Crowned Eagle to Kingfishers
Favorite plant: All big trees – from baobab to Karoo Boer Beans
Most memorable sighting: Too many
What do you like most about the bush? Everything you can find in the bush
What makes Thanda unique? The variety of wildlife you can find at Thanda Safari
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go? Botswana

Name: Mike Roy

Age: 41

Born in: Pretoria, South Africa

Role on Thanda: Assistant Head Guide

Background: Always loved the bush

Guiding/Wildlife work experience: 5 years

Number of years at Thanda: 1.5 years

Favorite animal: Leopard

Favorite bird: Eastern Nicator

Favorite plant: Woolly Caper Bush

Most memorable sighting: Lioness caught a warthog and waited for cubs so they could learn how to kill

What do you like most about the bush? The tranquility, animals

What makes Thanda unique? The diversity of the terrain

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go? See the gorillas and the great migration (wildebeest).

 

Name: Christian Sperka

Age: 58

Born in: Olten, Switzerland (German Citizen)

Role on Thanda Resident: Wildlife Photographer and Field Guide Background Information Technology Manager and Executive (23 years)

Guiding/Wildlife work experience: 8 years of guiding. 20 years of photography

Number of years at Thanda: 8 years

Favorite animal: Clouded leopard

Favorite bird: All kingfishers

Favorite plant: Weeping Boer Bean

Most memorable sighting: A baby leopard and its mum (2002)

What do you like most about the bush? Taking pictures of wildlife in their natural habitat (motion photography)

What makes Thanda unique: Fantastic people, in the heart of Zululand, with exceptional wildlife sightings

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go? Into space (looking back at earth); and if that is not possible: Australia

Anything else to tell… Shooting with Canon camera equipment, Apple iPhones and DJI drones. I love to take guests on luxury photographic tours to my favorite places in KwaZulu Natal.

 

Name: Martin Teuteberg

Age: 28 Born in: Wynberg, Western Cape, South Africa

Role on Thanda: Field Guide

Background: Grew up next to the beach but found my way to the bush

Guiding/Wildlife work experience: 5 years (2 years marine guide, 3 years field guide)

Number of years at Thanda: 2 years

Favorite animal: Serval

Favorite bird: Lilac-breasted Roller

Favorite plant: Jackal-berry tree

Most memorable sighting: The first time I saw a serval, which became my favorite animal

What do you like most about the bush? The bush takes all your worries away, a place to reconnect

What makes Thanda unique: The people here are incredibly special | buffalo are amazing

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go? To some remote island with a hammock …

Name: Vincent Hindson

Age: 33

Born in: France

Role on Thanda: Field guide / photographic guide

Background: Musician (Saxophone) – communications officer in the music industry – photographer

Guiding/Wildlife work experience: Started at Thanda

Number of years at Thanda: 1 year

Favorite animal: Forest Elephants

Favorite bird: Temmick’s Courser

Favorite plant: Lebombo Wattle

Most memorable sighting: First close encounter with a black rhino

What do you like most about the bush? Just being out there

What makes Thanda unique: Diversity of environments & close encounters

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go? Loango in Gabon Anything else to tell … Shooting with Pentax Equipment.

 

Lorraine was born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Her passion for the natural world was fostered as a teenager when she had opportunities to visit Victoria Falls, Hwange National Park, Lake Kariba and Great Zimbabwe. Weekends were spent abseiling and exploring the granite outcrops of the Matobo National Park.

Even while earning her honours degree in nursing in Bristol, England and afterwards during her career as an Intensive Care sister she continued to spend time discovering the great outdoors. From cycling the length of the UK, to hiking in the New Territories of Hong Kong, to swimming in the Tea-tree red waters of Lake Boomanjin, no opportunity for adventure was passed by!

After 10 years however, the pull of Africa grew too strong and she returned, taking up residence in South Africa. Deciding that it was time to turn her passion for nature and the outdoors into more than just a past-time she enrolled on a Guide training course, qualifying as a Big-5 vehicle-based and walking guide. Lorraine went on to guide at Madikwe Game Reserve and then formed her own training company, Africa Nature Training in 2002. Since 2017 she has had her own column, The Wild Guide, in a South African travel magazine.

In 2018 she became a co-director in Thanda Safari’s Research and Volunteer programme, Ulwazi, and then in mid-2019 accepted a contract as the wildlife manager for Thanda Safari. Together these two posts have allowed her to pursue not only her passion for education but also for conservation. Lorraine also guides for the award winning, WWF-partnered, American-based travel company Natural Habitat Adventures and is the only woman guide to work for them in Africa.

Name: Gerhard van der Westhuizen
Age: 28
Born in: Cape Town, South Africa
Role on Thanda: Head Guide
Background: Nature College Guiding/Wildlife work experience 4 years guiding at Kariega Game Reserve | 4 years at Sanbona Wildlife Reserve | 1 year at Elephant Plains Game Lodge | almost 1 year at Thanda Safari
Number of years at Thanda: almost 1 year
Favorite animal: Snakes – no real favourite
Favorite bird: All birds from African Crowned Eagle to Kingfishers
Favorite plant: All big trees – from baobab to Karoo Boer Beans
Most memorable sighting: Too many
What do you like most about the bush? Everything you can find in the bush
What makes Thanda unique? The variety of wildlife you can find at Thanda Safari
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go? Botswana

Name: Mike Roy
Age: 41
Born in: Pretoria, South Africa
Role on Thanda: Assistant Head Guide
Background: Always loved the bush
Guiding/Wildlife work experience: 5 years
Number of years at Thanda: 1.5 years
Favorite animal: Leopard
Favorite bird: Eastern Nicator
Favorite plant: Woolly Caper Bush
Most memorable sighting: Lioness caught a warthog and waited for cubs so they could learn how to kill
What do you like most about the bush? The tranquility | animals
What makes Thanda unique? The diversity of the terrain
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go? See the gorillas and the great migration (wildebeest)

Name: Christian Sperka
Age: 58 Born in : Olten, Switzerland (German Citizen)
Role on Thanda: Resident Wildlife Photographer and Field Guide
Background Information: Technology Manager and Executive (23 years)
Guiding/Wildlife work experience: 8 years of guiding / 20 years of photography
Number of years at Thanda: 8 years
Favorite animal: Clouded leopard
Favorite bird: All kingfishers
Favorite plant: Weeping Boer Bean
Most memorable sighting: A baby leopard and its mum (2002)
What do you like most about the bush? Taking pictures of wildlife in their natural habitat (motion photography)
What makes Thanda unique: Fantastic people, in the heart of Zululand, with exceptional wildlife sightings
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go? Into space (looking back at earth); and if that is not possible: Australia
Anything else to tell: Shooting with Canon camera equipment, Apple iPhones and DJI drones – I love to take guests on luxury photographic tours to my favorite places in KwaZulu Natal

Name: Martin Teuteberg
Age: 28 Born in: Wynberg, Western Cape, South Africa
Role on Thanda: Field Guide
Background: Grew up next to the beach but found my way to the bush
Guiding/Wildlife work experience: 5 years (2 years marine guide, 3 years field guide)
Number of years at Thanda: 2 years
Favorite animal: Serval
Favorite bird: Lilac-breasted Roller
Favorite plant: Jackal-berry tree
Most memorable sighting: The first time I saw a serval, which became my favorite animal
What do you like most about the bush? The bush takes all your worries away, a place to reconnect
What makes Thanda unique: The people here are incredibly special | buffalo are amazing
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go? To some remote island with a hammock …

Name: Vincent Hindson
Age: 33
Born in: France
Role on Thanda: Field guide / photographic guide
Background: Musician (Saxophone) – communications officer in the music industry – photographer
Guiding/Wildlife work experience: Started at Thanda
Number of years at Thanda: 1 year
Favorite animal: Forest Elephants
Favorite bird: Temmick’s Courser
Favorite plant: Lebombo Wattle
Most memorable sighting: First close encounter with a black rhino
What do you like most about the bush? Just being out there
What makes Thanda unique? Diversity of environments & close encounters
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go? Loango in Gabon
Anything else to tell? Shooting with Pentax Equipment