The safari dream team: 40 years of Wilderness

Our Collective

Janine Avery


Four decades of creating unforgettable safaris

It's a remarkable milestone for Wilderness, and as we celebrate this achievement, we reflect on the amazing journey that has brought us to where we are today.


Over the past 40 years, we've been fortunate to share the beauty and wonder of the African wilderness with countless travellers from all corners of the globe. But behind the scenes, it's our team of employees who have made this journey possible. Join us as we take a moment to appreciate the hard work, passion, and dedication of our team members – and hear from some of them about what it means to work here and their hopes for the future.


The future ahead of us is unlimited

“The Wilderness Way is a passion. It’s a culture. A living organism. A moving animal. With a respect for wildlife and the people. I have the great privilege and honour of leading an incredible group of very gifted and talented passionate people, and an incredible business. We all know that helping save the planet and its wild areas is really what is going to save mankind in the future. I’m very proud that we as a business are going down that road. That’s what drives me on a day-to-day basis. The future ahead of us is unlimited”. – Keith Vincent, Wilderness Chief Executive Officer.

Keith Vincent

“Wilderness celebrating 40 years is certainly a momentous occasion, made all the more personal for us since we met while we were both working for Wilderness in Namibia in 1990 – 33 years ago. In 1991 we moved to Botswana and in those days Wilderness had only two camps in the Okavango, one of which was Wilderness Mombo, which we managed. In the early days things were simple and adventurous, but the ethos of protecting the environment, conservation, looking after our staff and creating memorable experiences for our guests was already a solid foundation that bonded us all.



The friends we made during those times have lasted a lifetime and our experiences made us realise how fortunate we were to be living and working in such an amazing environment and having the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives.



"In 1997, in partnership with Wilderness, we opened Chitabe and Chitabe Lediba camps, and have been operational ever since. Wilderness has played a big role in our lives and even though so much has changed in the last 40 years, the core values and guiding principles are still the same. From all of us at Chitabe and Chitabe Lediba, we would like to wish Wilderness a very Happy 40th Birthday, may you continue to lead the industry with integrity and innovation and to instil in all of us the enduring hope for a bright future”. – Helene and Dave Hamman, owners of Wilderness Chitabe and Chitabe Lediba, Botswana.


Dave and Helene Hamman


“I have probably been with Wilderness since birth. My mom was one of the first eight employees at Wilderness with my dad joining in the 90s, and I’ve had an awesome upbringing seeing Wilderness grow. I wouldn’t change anything for that experience. What I love is the staff – but of course, the main thing we do is help protect these wild places. And you can see how the wildlife has boomed in the various regions where we operate. You can see the results. To me, that is what makes it so special. I do believe Wilderness is a pioneer. A trendsetter. We set the benchmark. We lead the way. For a shared purpose of protecting what we all love. But what we did in 40, let’s see if we can do it in 10, or less. Let’s push ourselves. Let’s double what we can protect. We have a great opportunity here. To leave an everlasting footprint of conservation and community. I’m very excited to see what we can do in the next 40 years”. – Scott Vincent, Sales Director and Head of Wilderness Direct, London.

Life begins at 40

Neuman Vasco

“This company that has held steadfast to its commitment of protecting the Earth's fauna and flora – its purpose – for 40 years! I am humbled to have been a part of this journey for the past 13-odd years, and look forward to many more years of impact to come. For me, it’s the people, the like-minded individuals who have walked the path with Wilderness. It is through us that impact reverberates for miles across land and ocean, moving small rocks and tall mountains. There’s an old saying that life begins at 40. Well, we at Wilderness are realising life has just began, and all we have achieved in the past 40 years has been preparation for further discovery and a greater sustainability footprint across the globe. We all celebrate our own Wilderness story this month, a story that has changed lives since 1983. The journey is worth a sequel!” – Neuman Vasco​, Wilderness Concession Manager, Botswana.

“Having the privilege to have worked for Wilderness for 18 years I have seen some of the evolution of this company, the highs, the lows and the in-betweens. Good people have joined, good people have left, great people have stayed and what always stands out to me, no matter what we are going through, is the ability to be authentic, dedicated and passionate about what we do, while keeping our focus on our why as our beacon, our truth.



The true essence of Wilderness is definitely our culture, or what I call our fairy dust, and our ability to demonstrate courage by continuously charting new paths for the industry. At the end of the day, no matter how hard things have been or how well we have done, Wilderness people always have a way of putting that all aside and having loads of fun as colleagues and friends.



"This is the true spirit of our pioneering collective and I love it! Congratulations Wilderness on this big occasion. May the journey of success continue for the team, our stakeholders and our beautiful planet”. – Alexandra Margull​, Wilderness Chief Operating Officer.


“Wilderness is not just a company; it is a movement, a force for positive change, and a symbol of environmental stewardship. It symbolises a commitment to conserving the environment and promoting sustainable tourism. The smiles of the staff are a universal language, instantly making you feel at home from the very first moment. They are not just employees; they are stewards of a profound purpose. The pride I feel as part of this exceptional company is genuinely heart-warming. It's about understanding the impact each of us can have, one day at a time. It's a human experience, one that connects us to the world we live in and the incredible beings that share it with us”.  – Jason Glanville​, Environmental & Marketing Content Manager, Wilderness Rwanda.


Jason Glanville 

We are proud to be part of a remarkable journey

Cathy Kays & Family

“Turning 40 is a significant milestone representing four decades of hard work, dedication and success and is a testament to the enduring strength, resilience, and vision of Wilderness. Throughout the years Wilderness has consistently demonstrated its commitment to conservation, excellence, innovation, and guest satisfaction. We have partnered with Wilderness for 24 of these 40 years, sharing many happy and momentous occasions. We value the memories we have created and the achievements we have accomplished together. We are proud to have been part of such a remarkable journey. Congratulations on reaching this remarkable milestone and we wish you continued success. May this anniversary serve as a reminder of the past achievements and as a source of inspiration for the future endeavours that lie ahead”. – Cathy Kays, Co-owner Wilderness Jao Reserve.


Wilderness talks a lot about community but when I actually came to King’s Pool, I realised it’s not just community, it’s actually family.



"You can see it in the people. The way we laugh with each other, the way we talk and interact. We’re a big family that is compassionate and driven. It’s beautiful.” - Aicha Phiri, Waitress at Wilderness King’s Pool.


Aicha Phiri


“My journey of 17 years working at Wilderness started in a one-roomed office in Lusaka as a mechanic/driver. I saw the construction of all the Kafue camps and I was given a great chance – to transform from a mechanic to finally being the Zambian Field Operations Manager. I have also seen the transformation from using HF radios to communicate, to satellite phones, to the internet, and how these simpler methods of communications have changed bush life and brought us closer to people. We as Wilderness have played a major role in contributing to the dissemination of information and how a carbon footprint affects the areas we operate in. Every day that I wake up in the middle of the wilderness with birds singing at 04:30 and getting louder as the sun brightens, the more I realise how lucky I am to be part of this great family. It’s been a life-changing experience. I celebrate 40 years of Wilderness proudly."



I have gained a lot of knowledge which has been passed on to the next generation to keep the Wilderness flag flying high, and I say thank you to Wilderness for what it has done for my life and my children.



– Arnold Mulimba, Wilderness Zambia Field Operations Manager.


Arnold Mulimba and Shumba staff


“I’m very proud to be part of this organisation. Looking back on the successes of the last 40 years, I think it shows that we’re in a really good place to go forward and take what we’ve learned, to come up with something that pushes the boundaries of how we view our planet and the beautiful natural habitats that it has. I believe we’re in a prime position to be at the forefront of that. To learn a lot, to give back a lot, and to really set the standard as to what a wildlife area can mean to people and how we look after it”. – Iain McConachie, North America Retail Manager.

Untamed, Untouched Wilderness

“Wilderness is a very passionate company and this rubs off on everyone who works here. I’ve learned a whole lot of new things. Not once did I ever think I would be wearing boots and khakis in the bush, but I’ve fallen so much in love with it. It has totally changed the way I think".


Wilderness Impact Empower Local Staff
To wake up in an untamed, untouched place and connect with yourself and nature. It is totally priceless.
Faith Moutloatse
Wilderness Botswana Hospitality Trainer


– Faith Moutloatse, Wilderness Botswana Hospitality Trainer

Celebrating 40 years of Wilderness

Thank you for getting us to where we are today. Here's to the next 40 years of exploration, conservation, and unforgettable experiences! Our journey is far from over, and we invite you to join us for the next chapter of our great adventure.
01 / 05

Let’s plan your next journey


When we say we’re there every step of the way, we mean it, literally. From planning the perfect circuit, to private inter-camp transfers on Wilderness Air, and easing you through Customs. We’re with you on the ground, at your side, 24-7, from start to finish. Ready to take the road less travelled? Contact our Travel Designers to plan an unforgettable journey.