With an unparalleled passion for conservation tourism, and 20 years’ experience in the industry, Simon Stobbs was promoted to Chief Sales Officer in September 2020, taking on additional responsibilities as the company’s MD for its South African business in June 2021.
Simon Stobbs completed a postgraduate degree in psychology before working as a Human Resources Manager at an IT company for three years. However, in 1999 he decided to follow his passion, and began working as a guide in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve in South Africa; now, 20 years later, he has never looked back!
During his subsequent years as a private guide, Simon developed a profound understanding of many African countries through both lodge-based and private guiding in Botswana, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. He also ran a tour operating business, working closely with Wilderness Safaris as a valued partner for many years.
His journey with Wilderness Safaris began in 2005, when he joined the company as a guide to pursue his dream of working in the Pafuri section of the Kruger National Park. It was during this time that he was exposed to a Children in the Wilderness camp – a humbling experience that introduced him to some of the company’s core philosophies.
After two years of guiding, and another few years in sales, Simon then joined Wilderness Safaris’ North America sales team as a Business Unit Manager. During this time, his passion for conservation tourism grew immensely, as did a sincere appreciation for the company’s commitment to conservation and community empowerment.
“It has certainly been an interesting time leading our expert sales team through the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, and subsequent lockdowns and travel restrictions that have so affected our industry. I have always taken great pleasure in seeing the delight on peoples’ faces as they were exposed to the wonders of Africa. Not having visited the bush and thus being deprived of this joy over the last year made me realise how much this meant to me”.
Being appointed as the MD of Wilderness Safaris South Africa in June 2021 is an exciting step in Simon’s journey with Wilderness Safaris. A passionate and dedicated leader, Simon is deeply committed to the welfare of his team, and ensuring that the South African business continues to drive many of the company’s commercial streams as effectively as possible.
“I am greatly looking forward to this next leg of my own personal journey, as well as those that we craft for our guests, ultimately growing our positive conservation footprint”.