"All that remains is for you to enjoy the people, the smell of dust, the sunsets, the wildlife and all the little things that have made us so passionate about Africa. May the magic of this continent find its way into your heart - if it has not done so already."
I guess it is sometimes nice to attach a face to a name. More often than not in our business we end up building a relationship with the client.
Sometimes a file can grow to a rather impressive heap of communication and the process of finalising an itinerary (because we always tailor the safari) can take weeks and even months.
So if you do have the pleasure of dealing a lot with any of our team members – here are their faces.
Leander was born in Swakopmund and studied BA Arts at the University of Stellenbosch.
He is married with three children and now lives in Windhoek. Leander is owner and managing director of Naturefriend Safaris; enjoys cycling, running, hiking, and swimming. A healthy lifestyle and plenty of adventure keeps him charged.
"Over the years I have cycled most parts of Namibia, also taken part in some stage races both in South Africa and Namibia. I have successfully completed the desert dash (longest single stage mountain bike race 369km through the Namib Desert) as a solo rider in 2012 and walked from the Atlantic to Sossusvlei (60km) through the dunes unassisted in 2013.""
I have an incredible passion for our business - the fact that we can be creative, make people happy, get involved in conservation and community work, travelling all over Africa, experiencing loads of fascinating product - and having the privilege to work with real tourism professionals not just within our own company but all over the world ".
Product Manager and Director
Anne-Mari was born in Otjiwarongo and grew up on a farm in the area. She studied B Com Tourism Management at the University of Pretoria and has been with NatureFriend Safaris since 2001
“I am in the privileged position to be working from home which gives me the opportunity to spend time with my two boys, my most precious gifts. I love traveling and reading. The NamibRand Nature Reserve with its red sand dunes and spectacular sunsets is undoubtedly my favourite place in Namibia.
The Okavango Delta with its lush green and abundance of water and wildlife is another destination at the top of my list.”
Senior Consultant, Marketing and Website content
Mate was born and raised in Windhoek and completed her formal education in Cape Town by graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Travel & Tourism Management. She joined Naturefriend Safaris straight after completing her studies in 2003.
“I have travelled extensively in Namibia and during the past 10 years gained widespread product knowledge of Southern Africa. I am very passionate about selling Namibia. Namibia is a real jewel; you have to experience it to understand its beauty. Pinpointing a favourite place in Namibia is not easy, but I must say the NamibRand Nature Reserve stands out, with the barren Damaraland a close second. Nothing beats the rewarding feeling of knowing that you have been part of helping people have the time of their lives while travelling in Namibia.
In my free time I am working on a new interest in amateur photography and baking.”
Senior Consultant, Charter coordinator
Florida was born in Okahandja and raised in Swakopmund. She spent most of her childhood school holidays at their farm, deep in the heart of Damaraland where she developed her love for nature and the outdoors. Florida joined Naturefriend Safaris in 2005 and is one of the senior consultants. She is also responsible for scheduling our aircrafts, making sure all flight legs are well utilized. Her talents lie in her ability to personalize and customize tours to guests’ individual wants and needs.
“Wanting to explore more than just my own country, I decided the best way to do this is to study Tourism. My most memorable trip is when I had the opportunity to travel to Botswana combined with Vic Falls Zimbabwe and also a bit of Zambia. It was an exquisite experience and I totally fell in love ….bungee jumping from the Vic Falls Bridge, game drives in the Moremi game reserve, boat cruises on the Chobe River.
Now this is the life...”
Senior Consultant, NatureWheels
Malory joined Naturefriend Safaris in 2008 and besides being responsible for senior consulting is also in charge of coordinating the scheduled fly in departures. All our Jeep Wrangler 4x4 vehicle bookings are also managed by her.
“When I am not glued to a computer screen, I love to spend time with my two children and to travel through Namibia. What I love about Namibia is its cultural diversity, its wild and untouched destinations. I am driven, enthusiastic and always willing to give a helping hand. Despite a lifetime of often falling short of my own true potential, I’ve always held onto a quote by Martin Luther Jr. “If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.”
Charlene has joined us towards the end of 2013 as a Tour Consultant. Born in Windhoek, Charlene is a real social butterfly, enjoys dancing, music and spending time with her sons. She is studying towards a Human Resources Degree through the Business Management Training College of South Africa.
“I am an energetic and enthusiastic person who enjoys a challenge and achieving personal goals. I enjoy our office environment and find the work interesting and satisfying. Apart from this, I am offering excellent interpersonal skills. I love traveling and the most beautiful place in Namibia that I have been to is the Okonjima Lodge where I stayed at the Villa. It was an awesome experience…!!!”
NatureWheels and Transfers
Born November 1985 in the Zambezi region (Katima Mulilo), Cliff joined us in 2013. He is currently studying towards completing his Bachelor’s Degree in Tourism Management and is our in-house transfer representative. He also works closely with Malory with our Jeeps, making sure the operations side is running smoothly.
“I enjoy listening to music all the time and am in love with gadgets. I enjoy meeting new people and socializing. The fun part of my job is definitely when I have to drive to all the beautiful places in Namibia.”
Born in Grootfontein and a mother of three adored daughters, Pauline joined us towards the start of 2013 to take responsibility of our accounts. Pauline makes sure all money matters are up to date. An avid farmer, her spare time is spent at the family farm in the Grootfontein vicinity. She loves working in the tourism industry.
“ I enjoy playing with figures, hate them to be inaccurate and always try to stick to my deadlines."
Lee-Ann’s journey started right after school, when she decided to study tourism and was hooked from day one! Born and raised in Windhoek, she is an industry veteran as she has been in the industry for over 14 years. She has worked for several tour operators in Namibia and has joined Naturefriend Safaris as a senior tour consultant in Jan 2014. Through her love for the industry, she has even gone and married a tour guide. Lee-Ann is married to our in-house guide Nico.
“I have travelled extensively in Southern Africa; Namibia taking the biggest part. I have also explored Europe; but definitely prefer this side of the world! One of the most memorable aspects of Namibia is the warm hospitality of its people. My favourite travel moment would have to be skiing in the Alps, coming from a Desert country and having never seen snow before in my life! I am a truly devoted mother to my son, but what defines me is my passion for my homeland.
When planning a Namibian adventure there is no one better to have on your team as exceeding client expectations is my passion.”
Nico was born in the South-Eastern part, also known as the “sheep capital” of Namibia. His journey with Naturefriend Safaris started in 2007 when he moved back to Windhoek from Wolwedans where he concluded his in-house guide training. He has since led safaris through Namibia as well as into neighbouring Botswana and Zimbabwe. Nico’s knowledge of Namibia is exemplified by his qualifications with NATH (Namibia Academy of Tourism and Hospitality). He is currently busy completing his Level 3 badge which will have him become one of the best qualified guides in Namibia.
“I have a love for outdoor life and especially enjoy the south of Namibia where I find my guiding skills tested. In my free time I keep active; if not in the gym I am out hiking.
One of my other interests is reading up on Namibian history and I have collected quite a selection of history books.”