Mike Wassung is the current CEO of Wilderness Safaris Namibia. Mike started in the hospitality industry in 1976 as a junior guide at Mala Mala Game Reserve. He later moved into management, and was part of the development of Rattray Reserves, where he left them 1983 as the General Manager, in charge of four lodges and the reserve. He joined Halcyon Hotels in 1983, running their country hotel division until 2000 as the Managing Director, in charge of four restaurants and three hotels, including the five star Bay Hotel in Camps Bay, The Lanzerac Hotel in Stellenbosch, and the Arniston Hotel near Cape Agulhas. He then did due diligence exercises and executive consulting for the Makalali Reserves Group before joining Wilderness Safaris in 2001 to take up the position of Concession Manager / Assets Director in Botswana. He moved to Namibia in 2008 to take up a similar position, and took over as the CEO of Wilderness Safaris Namibia in 2011. Mike has been married to his wife Sue for 32 years, has one daughter who lives in London and a son who is journalist working in South Africa.
Jermain Ketji has been in community based conservation and tourism sector for over 12 years, starting as a research assistant working 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 fulltime role in 2006 as a community liaison officer. He has since served as a guide and moved up the ranks to Relief Manager, to Concession Manager to his current position of Community Liaison Manager focusing on managing joint venture agreements with conservancies as well as liaising with key stakeholder in conservation, tourism and grassroots community development, with a focus on education.
David Bishop is currently the Marketing and Promotions Manager at Radiowave 96.7FM, a private commercial radio station in Namibia. David has spent the majority of his career at the station, having been a presenter on all of the time slots broadcast by the station as well as starting and building up the highly popular weekly chart show: BRIT40. Apart from his years studying at Rhodes University and a year and a half spent in Cape Town, David has always called Namibia his home. He is a keen cyclist, and an avid reader, though he does not take as many photographs nor write as often as he would like to.
Cynthea Martin Haihambo is a highly respected role model and, through her motivational talks and mentoring programmes, is an inspiration to thousands of people around Namibia, particularly women. As with she tackles, Cynthia empowers by example. She herself is “A Reason to Believe” anything is possible and one of her greatest talents is instilling this belief in others. She is currently engaged with many Namibian companies, private as well as public, to assist in the design and implementation of appropriate Corporate Wellness Workplace Programmes. These programmes entail incorporating training interventions with an emphasis on people-centered factors and elements. She owns the Greiters Hotel and Conference Centre where she created a learning platform for the organisations and companies to transfer skills and knowledge. She is also the brainchild of the Hebhizibah Rehabilitation center was she provides a 20 day in-house programme for substance abuse dependence for people all over Namibia. She is also engaged in a number of companies and social trusts as both director and trustee, which include Renlyn Namibia (Pty) Ltd, Ulimwengu Health Care, Disability Benefit Trust, Women of Destiny Trust, Pluto Energy and Minerals. Her qualification stems out of her 15 years’ experience within the Namibian private as well as public sector. She has a four year Diploma in Social Work, Honors in Social Work through the University of Namibia, Diploma in Human Resource Management, and a course in Social Work Management from the University of Pretoria in South Africa.
Chris Weaver is a well-respected Community-Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) practitioner, having extensive involvement in the technical implementation and managerial aspects of a suite of natural resource projects and programmes. Mr. Weaver has more than 35 years of experience working with communities, assisting them to find innovative ways of addressing common property management issues. Starting his career in the southwest United States in 1977, Mr. Weaver worked with several Native American Tribes (i.e., Navaho, Hopi, Apache, Tohono O’odham), federal agencies, and private landowners on the conduct of natural resource. From 1982-1992, Mr. Weaver moved to Africa, where he worked in Lesotho on the USAID-fund Land Conservation and Range Development (LCRD) Project, and thereafter, the Lesotho Agricultural Production and Support (LAPIS) Project, assisting rural communities to gain from improved rangeland, livestock, and agricultural practices. In 1993, Mr. Weaver moved to Namibia to serve as the Chief of Party for the highly regarded USAIDfunded Living In a Finite Environment (LIFE) Project (1993-2008) and continues to serve as the Managing Director for the WWF In Namibia Programme. During his tenure in Namibia, Mr. Weaver has assisted stakeholders (Government, NGOs, communities, and private sector) to establish the internationally renowned communal conservancy movement, which is seen by many as one of the leading community conservation efforts in the world.
David Tjivava has been in the tourism industry for 16 years. He has been a tour guide, managed operations extensively and owns a tour operator company. He has completed his guiding license with the Namibian Academy of Tourism and Hospitality, a website designing course, National Diploma in Accounting and is currently studying towards an Accounting degree at the University of Namibia. David is a community activist, with a special focus on education outreach for marginalised communities and has been nominated as a community development custodian for the Otjombinde constituency. He is very passionate about nature, people and cultural diversity.