Meet our People

Wild Zambezi travel network partners • 17 July 2020

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Zimbabweans are well-known for their warmth, friendliness and “can-do” approach to life.

The people who work in our country's tourism industry are no exception – in fact, they shine, whether it comes to planning tours or safaris,  managing a camp, professional guiding, driving a boat, a plane or a 4x4, or producing delectable treats from a safari kitchen.

For this feature Blog, WILD ZAMBEZI asked our travel network partners to send us images of the wonderful, smiling Zimbabwean faces that visitors are likely to meet when they take a holiday or a safari in our magnificent wild areas, and to tell us a bit about each of them.  

Enjoy meeting our people! 

INDEX (click to link)

1.  Ace Air & Ambulance - Terence Mlambo  (Paramedic, Remote Rescue Administrator and Events Co-ordinator).
2.  Bumi Hills Safari Lodge (African Bush Camps)  - Steve Chinhoi (Professional Guide)
3.  Camp Mana - Steve Bolnick (Director & Guide)
4.  Caribbea Bay Resort - Shorayi Kapere  (Hotel Maître D)
5.  Changa Safari Camp - Tanaka Nyashanu (Head Chef)
6.  Executive Air - Christina Jaffray (Booking Administrator)
7.  Heartveld Adventures - Bryony Scrooby (Travel & Booking Agent)
8.  Ingwe Pan Camp (Machaba Safaris) - Caitlin Wetzlar & Siraaj Gardner (Management Couple, Learner & Professional Guide)
9.  John Stevens Safaris – Caroline dos Santos  (Administrator/Travel Planner)
10. Natureways Safaris - Jenni van Zuydam (Operations Manager)
11. Off2Africa - Chloe Cottrell  (Travel Advisor)
12. Safaris 4 Africa - Jan Hounsell (Travel Planner)
13. Simwenge Fishing Lodge - Crispen Nhete Chataika (Chef)
14. Stretch Ferreira Safaris - Reuban Nyamande (Assistant Camp Supervisor & Learner Guide) 
15. Tafika Zambezi - Albert Kanyemba (Boat driver & Fishing Master)
16. Travel Portfolio - Hayley Idensohn & Ruvimbo Makomva  (Travel Planning Specialists)
17. Victoria Falls River Lodge (Zambezi Crescent) - Peter Dunning (Manager of the Island Treehouse Suites)
18. Wild Dog Tours – Nikki Blyth (Booking & Management Agent - Kariba Specialist)
19. Zambezi Cruise & Safaris - Artllen Makaza (Manager, Kariba Safari Lodge)
20. Zambezi Truth – Hideaways – Sulet Berger-Prinsloo  (Ground Operations Manager)
 

1.  ACE Air & Ambulance - Terence Mlambo (Paramedic, Remote Rescue Administrator and Events Co-ordinator).

Meet Terence Mlambo, who is a Basic Life Support (BLS) Paramedic at ACE Air & Ambulance. He is also the Administrator for Remote Rescue and our Events Coordinator.  His main duties are to manage the Emergency Rescue Package Memberships that ACE offers. This involves marketing of the product, signing up members, managing members' accounts as well as customer care – our top priority here at ACE! Terence also books and oversees the Events Management side of ACE – making sure the crews and ambulances have the right teams present, and are punctual and smart at all times.  Terence has been with Ace Air & Ambulance for 3 years, and in this time he has been a huge asset to the company – always eager to learn, travel and support the dedicated ACE Team!        Back to Index


 2. Bumi Hills Safari Lodge (African Bush Camps) - Steve Chinhoi (Professional Guide)

With more than 22 years’ guiding experience, Steve Chinhoi can be seen as the ‘father’ of guides on the Bumi Hills concession on Lake Kariba. Lion tracking is his ‘thing’ and, behold, once you approach wildlife, Steve is one to get up close and personal during encounters!  Steve’s safari know-how is as in-depth as his political knowledge. Feel free to ask him to elaborate on Zimbabwe and the country’s journey ahead of its 40 years of independence. Your mind will be filled with much more than the everyday safari experience. Be sure to free up some headspace for storytelling of note.      
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3.  Camp Mana - Steve Bolnick (Director and Guide) 

Steve Bolnick is resident guide and director at Camp Mana in Mana Pools. He has been guiding for decades, throughout southern Africa and into East Africa, with some interruptions for academic study. He has conducted research for WWF and Washington University and has trained guides in South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe. He has also been actively involved in community-based conservation. In his early years, Steve was based in Hwange and Victoria Falls, but he has now drifted down the Zambezi to Mana Pools.  Steve believes that the bush is ancestral home for all of us and his passion is to welcome guests to it in Mana Pools and take them on a walking safari to learn more about it.  He has always loved trees, but living in Mana Pools has rekindled his childhood fascination with birds. Camp Mana is committed to being an example for environmental sensitivity. Together with the team, Steve relishes the opportunity to provide guests with an immersive and authentic bush experience in comfort, without damaging the environment.     Back to Index 

4.  Caribbea Bay Resort - Shorayi Kapere (Hotel Maître D)

Shorayi Kapere was born and bred in Kariba.  His story began when he completed his secondary education and started selling vegetables as a means of survival. The selling skills of the vegetable vendor impressed owners of the Most High Hotel, Lester and Peggy Salor, who offered him a job as a Catering Tailor. The industry became his passion and he has never looked back since then. Bill Bruce and Judith Nyakuni identified the potential in Shorayi and convinced him to join the team at Caribbea Bay Resort in 1994 as a waiter. Interacting with guests and exceeding their expectations was no hurdle for him as he enjoys the service industry. Those that work with Shorayi can attest that sharing local knowledge is his greatest skill that has made him a key employee at Caribbea Bay Resort. Shorayi has risen through the ranks over the years to the position of Hotel Maître D, a role that allows him to share his vast knowledge of Kariba with all visiting guests while making sure that he delivers an unforgettable Leisure Experience.      Back to Index

5.  Changa Safari Camp - Tanaka Nyashanu (Head Chef)

“Hi I’m Tanaka, and I’m a food enthusiast!  I say that because food isn’t just a job, it’s my heart. I grew up and studied in Bulawayo, moved to Harare and then onto London to finish up high school. I did my culinary training in around beautiful France and Italy! In my spare time, you’ll find me meditating, exercising, or doing yoga for fun. I believe self-confidence is critical when it comes to enjoying life.  What is my favourite meal to cook at Changa Safari Camp? I would choose the spinach ravioli with red wine sauce to start, pork belly stir fry with peanut butter and maple spinach for the main course and to end the evening, I would make a blueberry and white chocolate mouse with Tulipe cookies and sesame seeds. I am so looking forward to welcoming our guests back at Changa on Lake Kariba to try all the delicious cuisine we offer!”      Back to Index

6.  Executive Air - Christina Jaffray (Booking Administrator)

Christina Jaffray joined Executive Air in 2019 and is your first point of contact when you make your booking with our airline. Always pleasant and friendly, Christina ensures that all customers are treated as VIPs and enjoys liaising with people from all over the world and helping our clients choose the right aircraft for their private charter. Her trusty PA Hunter is always at her side to give his advice! Christina and Hunter ensure that all logistical issues are covered to make your connection an enjoyable experience. Contact Christina and she will be happy to provide you with a private charter quotation for your next Zimbabwe adventure!  We are here to fly you there!       Back to Index

7.  Heartveld Adventures - Bryony Scrooby (Travel & Booking Agent)

"Bryony started Heartveld Adventures from humble beginnings, with determination and an enormous passion for tourism and for our beautiful country, Zimbabwe.  One of her best attributes is a gift for organization - a highly desirable quality in the tourism field.  Her attention to detail leaves nothing to chance. Then there is her integrity.  Dealing with peoples’ finances and their holiday packages requires trust.  With Bryony as a booking agent, you know, as an absolute certainty, that she has your best interests covered.  As her husband (and partner in the business), I have been party to being dragged out on a Sunday to resolve unexpected car troubles for clients!  Absolutely no stone is left unturned and there is nothing she wouldn’t do to ensure your BEST holiday in our beautiful part of the world.  I am proud to be on the same team as Bryony.  Anyone working with her is guaranteed an amazing holiday and total peace of mind!"      Back to Index

8.  Ingwe Pan Camp (Machaba Safaris) - Caitlin Wetzlar & Siraaj Gardner & (Management Couple, Learner & Professional Guide)

"Siraaj and I have had the privilege of calling the bush of Mana Pools our home for the past 6 years together.
Our neighbours are Mopane squirrels, lions, hyenas, and elephants and many more.  The sound of traffic in the morning is usually the last grunts of a male lion as he flops to the ground to recover from his night-time patrol, or the last whoops of a hyena at its den with an endless symphony of birds excited about the day ahead. And of course the day ahead for our guests who have travelled from far and wide to see and experience what we have to offer.  With this in mind, you never have to ask us why we love the bush, it’s our passion and a way of life we would be happy to live forever.  Who wouldn’t love being surrounded by nature doing what it does, winding down with the most beautiful sunsets everyday! To top it all off, at Ingwe Camp with Machaba Safaris, we work with a team who love the bush just as much as we do.  Work is never a dull routine. Each day brings a different obstacle to hurdle, with excitement and adventure. That’s the magic of working in the bush, you’re living in-the-moment."      Back to Index

9.  John Stevens Safaris – Caroline dos Santos  (Administrator/Travel Planner)

Caroline, or Caz, as she is happy to be called by almost everyone who comes into contact with her gorgeous smile and within five minutes of meeting her, is the newest member of the John Stevens Safaris family. She has fitted in perfectly with her unbridled passion for animals and knowledge of all things technical, setting up efficient new systems and coming to the (big-hearted) aid of those in the office who are not so inclined!  Caz loves being in tourism; originally from a retail background, she finds the positive, energetic and mutually supportive travel industry refreshing and exciting and can’t wait to learn and share more of the continent she loves with intrepid global travellers!      Back to Index

10. Natureways Safaris - Jenni van Zuydam (Operations Manager)

Jenni van Zuydam is a born and bred Zimbabwean. She has always loved the flora and fauna of Zimbabwe both large and small and has been involved in the safari industry since 1992, managing lodges in the Zambezi Valley.  Jenni joined Natureways in 2007 as our Safari Coordinator and has progressed to being our Operations Manager based in Kariba. She takes great pleasure in knowing guests leave having had a once-in-a-lifetime experience.      Back to Index

11.  Off2Africa - Chloe Cottrell  (Travel Advisor)

"Born and raised in Zimbabwe I was lucky enough to come from a family who adored getting out of town and seeing the beautiful places this country has to offer. I was brought up camping in Mana Pools and Gonarezhou, visiting Kariba, Victoria Falls, Hwange and Nyanga, as well as travelling throughout Southern Africa and behond. I have always had a deep connection to Africa and feel most alive when I am in the bush. I lived abroad for several years working in high end properties in London and Dublin. However, my heart was always in Africa and so I returned to Zimbabwe in 2013. The move back home gave me the opportunity to work in luxury lodges such as Singita Pamushana in Zimbabwe and Singita Sasakwa in Tanzania. It was through this, my passion for safari travel was born and I have not looked back since. Now living in Victoria Falls my heart is truly happy; with the bush all around me and the sound of the roaring falls and hyenas laughing as my night time lullabies."         Back to Index    

12. Safaris 4 Africa - Jan Hounsell (Travel Planner)

 Jan has worked in the travel industry for the last 30 years and has also travelled to many countries in the world.  The travel bug set in after leaving college and it took her to the States, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.  Jan has worked for airlines, run safari camps and worked for numerous travel agencies so she has a “well-rounded” view of travel planning. After enjoying a stint living in Mauritius, Jan and her family moved back to Harare in 2011.  She has been working with Safaris 4 Africa since then.      Back to Index

13. Simwenge Fishing Lodge - Crispen Nhete Chataika (Chef)

Chef Crispen has worked for Halsteds Aviation and Simwenge Fishing Lodge for 13 months, and his incredible kitchen skills and big smile never cease to amaze us.  Crispen trained as an Italian chef in 1992, and has worked in many different home kitchens learning new skills.  Just after joining Simwenge, he attended a sushi course in Johannesburg, so “Sushi Fridays” and a sundowner are definitely the best way to start the weekend!     Back to Index 

14.  Stretch Ferreira Safaris - Reuban Nyamande (Assistant Camp Supervisor & Learner Guide) 

Meet Rueben Nyamande, Assistant Camp Supervisor, Learner Guide and proud father of 3. Rueben comes from Goromonzi and started working for Stretch Ferreira in 2007. Rueben’s uncle used to work for Stretch and was an excellent mechanic. As a young man Rueben would hunt Stretch down at the camp office at the Bronte Hotel only to be chased away many times before finally he convinced Stretch to let him start at the bottom and work his way up to where he is today. Rueben is a nature lover having grown up playing the in the bush, so he feels right at home in the Camp in Mana Pools. Rueben is a loyal and steadfast employee and calm in his demeanour, a good man to work with. Amongst many other responsibilities, Rueben loves looking for fresh tracks, as we need results in this business! Reuben works closely with Stretch relaying information and helping him give our guests the best game walks in Mana! Rueben is also an avid fisherman and catches fresh bream for the staff and guests' meals in his down time! In the evening Rueben tends bar and enjoys  interaction with the thirsty guests.  Passionate about sharing the beauty of Mana Pools, especially the Zambezi River in the hot season when all the game come down to the river to drink, Rueben believes Mana Pools should be on everyone’s bucket list before they die!      Back to Index

15.  Tafika Zambezi - Albert Kanyemba, (Boat driver & Fishing Master)

Say hello to Albert, boat driver and fishing master at Tafika Zambezi.  Albert was born in Kanyemba, (the surname should give that away!) a riverside town on the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia.  He spent his childhood there, and went to the local Chapoto School. He has a home there and is now a father of two girls.  Albert started his career in the conservation industry by being a crocodile egg collector during his time at Maturi Camp, whilst working his way up to a fulltime boat driver (and a fisherman – a very good one!).  Before joining Tafika, he spent 3 years at Elephant Corridor as a boat driver, and now that he has been at Tafika for a few years, he is working towards his professional guides licence so he can expand his passion and knowledge of our beautiful natural world.  His favourite place to be is on the Zambezi River, and if it’s fishing you enjoy, or a lovely sunset cruise – Albert is your guy!      Back to Index

16.  Travel Portfolio - Hayley Idensohn & Ruvimbo Makomva  (Travel Planning Specialists)

Hayley Idensohn (right) and Ruvimbo Makomva (left) together run Travel Portfolio – a one-stop-travel-shop based at the Travel Café, Arundel Village in Harare, offering old-world values with 21st century service.  Hayley started her career in tourism in 1994 with Green Route DMC (which later merged with DragonFly), specialising in Group and Incentive Travel.  She now focuses on tailor-making individual dream safaris and itineraries and assists with the management of The Victoria Falls DMC – a reincarnated Green Route.   Ruvimbo joined Travel Portfolio as a student intern in 2018, and, on achieving her degree in Travel and Recreation from Chinhoyi University of Technology, has now re-joined the company full time.  Ruvimbo’s organisational skills, bubbly personality, contagious laugh and passion for travel are an asset to the company.  She will help you plan a complete “travel portfolio” – sorting out every detail, not only for holidays but for also for flight bookings.        Back to Index

17.  Victoria Falls River Lodge (Zambezi Crescent) - Peter Dunning (Manager of the Island Treehouse Suites)

Born in Bulawayo, Peter Dunning started an illustrious career in the tourism industry as a White Water Rafting Guide in Victoria Falls. Part of the 1996 opening crew at Matetsi Game Lodge, Peter left Zimbabwe in 2000 for the open expanses of the Serengeti (Tanzania) followed by a stint in the desert at Sossussvlei in Namibia. In 2007, he was transferred back to East Africa to manage Mnemba Island Lodge off the coast of Zanzibar. After 16 years with &Beyond, Peter left Africa to manage a boutique hotel on the island of Nevis in the Caribbean. Homesick for Zimbabwe and the bush however, Peter returned in 2015 to help re-open &Beyond’s Matetsi River Lodge. As of July 2017, Peter has been a part of the Zambezi Crescent Collection’s “Dream Team” as Manager of Victoria Falls River Lodge’s new and exclusive Island Treehouse Suites – set upon the private Kandahar Island in the heart of the mighty Zambezi River.      Back to Index

18. Wild Dog Tours – Nikki Blyth (Booking & Management Agent - Kariba Specialist)

"I have lived in Kariba for the past 23 years and have always loved the bush and the outdoors. I have 2 children who have been fortunate to have grown up in Kariba. I started my own booking & management agency WILD DOG TOURS in 2012 offering a personal touch to clients with first-hand knowledge of the Kariba area, as well as giving peace of mind to boat owners whilst I look after their interests on the ground.  As I am based in Kariba, it gives me the opportunity to meet the clients and to ensure that all their requirements are taken care of prior to their arrival."     Back to Index 

19.  Zambezi Cruise & Safaris - Artllen Makaza (Manager, Kariba Safari Lodge)

Meet the ever smiling and passionate 27-year-old Artllen Makaza nicknamed “Boss Baby” by those close to him.   Artllen has risen through the ranks, starting as an Intern when he joined the Zambezi Cruise and Safaris family at Pamuzinda Safari Lodge in 2014.  His acumen for hard work and flare for solving problems made him outstanding, and as such he was offered a permanent position after completing his Bachelor’s Degree in 2016.   He worked in the front office and reservations department until he was promoted to Lodge Manager at Chengeta Safari Lodge in 2018. He was later transferred to the recently refurbished Kariba Safari Lodge – voted the Best New Establishment by AZTA - where he is currently serving as the Lodge Manager.    His motto is he would rather do something right the first time rather that dealing with the fall out after!  He enjoys taking a leisurely dip in one of our exquisite swimming pools whenever his work schedule permits, although his passion lies within the industry and the pursuit of excellence. With Artllen you are assured of getting the best of Zambezi Cruise and Safaris.      Back to Index

20.  Zambezi Truth – Hideaways – Sulet Berger-Prinsloo  (Ground Operations Manager)
 
Sulet Burger-Prinsloo – ground operations manager for Hideaways Africa - has been an integral part of the journey of introducing the unique Zambezi Truth dhows into Victoria Falls – from the conception of the idea to the maiden voyage. South African by birth, she loves working alongside the people of Zimbabwe, whose perspective is robed in resilience.   And this unique tourism venture certainly proved an exciting challenge for the team.  Having been traditionally handmade in Tanzania, the dhows endured a cross-continental expedition, and finally arrived in Victoria Falls to be re-constructed and ready to set sail.  The achievement and pride of this venture superseded its challenges, and Sulet speaks into the positive nature of Zimbabweans, and how this has made her job so much easier. She is passionate about travel, loves spending time with another culture and developing connections with people.  Hideaways Africa are extremely grateful to have Sulet as part of their team!      Back to Index

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