Meet the Team

We are a small team of passionate and professional conservationists actively protecting the future of endangered animals. The founding members of Wildlife ACT are Dr Simon Morgan, Chris Kelly and Johan Maree. Together they have over 30 years of ecology experience.

Knowledgeable and competent wildlife monitors conduct the monitoring sessions and run the day-to-day activities on the reserves. They are charismatic conservationists who are mostly from research or field guide backgrounds. We all share a love for animals, adventure and preserving the unique South African environment.

After completing a degree in Zoology at Stellenbosch University, I moved to Zululand where I was employed as a Black Rhino monitor. It was during this process that we noticed the need for the enhancement and outsourcing of existing monitoring programs, now called Wildlife ACT.

Chris Kelly

Director
After working on a fair number of reserves across South Africa, I realised the need for properly managed and funded monitoring programs on reserves which had priority species. Following this Jo, Simon and I got together and established Wildlife ACT in Zululand in 2009.

Johan Maree

Director
Growing up in rural Africa, I have always been aware of the fact that wildlife conservation efforts and community development needs did not always meet. This is when I made the decision to leave the 9 to 5 world and help establish Wildlife ACT. You can call me Jo!

Taryn Gilroy

Manager: Zululand
I was born in Zululand, and although I grew up and was schooled in Durban, I spent the majority of my time on various KZN game reserves with my grandparents, who worked for the Natal Parks Board. I went on to complete a BSc. Hons. in Conservation Biology.

Michelle Swemmer

Operations Manager
I was born and raised in Durban, and by Grade 10 I already knew that a 9 to 5 office job in the city was not for me. I've always felt a strong pull towards the "bush", especially northern KwaZulu-Natal, where I spent many happy family holidays.

Bronwen Kelly

Reservations Manager
I grew up on a farm near Pietermaritzburg, in KwaZulu-Natal. After completing high school I worked for a few years before attending the University of KwaZulu-Natal to complete my honours degree in BSocSc Media. My husband and I are now based in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi.
I have had a career in bookkeeping for many years, but working for Wildlife ACT is the merging of my loves of accounting and conservation – basically it is my dream job!

Galen Schultz

Digital Marketing Manager
Hello Internet! I'm Galen which means “curious person” in ancient Greek. Jo found me during an Internet search in July 2015. Next thing I knew I was in the Zululand bush meeting the entire team! I am extremely chuffed to be working for such an inspiring, hard-working and passionate group...

Robyn Hartley

Botswana Director
Having grown up in the rural areas of Namibia and Kenya I developed a passion for the wild places of Africa, those that are still untouched by the human footprint. Following my schooling in Kenya, I attended Rhodes University and the University of KwaZulu Natal where I completed my Honours...

Marumo Nene

Priority Species Monitor: iMfolozi
I was born in Hlabisa, a town in Northern KwaZulu-Natal (Zululand). I grew up and attended school there, after which I moved to Durban to study Public Relations through UNISA. Public Relations was not what I really wanted to do - my real desire was to work in the outdoors.

Pippa Orpen

Priority Species Monitor: Hluhluwe
I joined the Wildlife ACT team in July 2014 after spending nine years as a winemaker on my family farm in Stellenbosch. I am particularly lucky to be a part of a rather large pack of African Wild Dogs.

Kelsey Hattingh

Priority Species Monitor: uMkhuze
I have always wanted to be involved in work that served a greater purpose and made a difference not only in the conservation of African wildlife but also in the lives of other people.

PJ Roberts

Priority Species Monitor: uMkhuze
Growing up in Cape Town with the mountains, valleys and ocean surrounding you, it is difficult not to have a real appreciation for the intrinsic value of nature. Inspired to ensure that the natural world continues to function, I embarked upon an adventure I’ve never looked back on.

Thandiwe Knutson

Priority Species Monitor: Leopard Survey
After taking my chicken with a broken leg to the vet when I was very young, I knew I wanted to work with animals. I have a passion and admiration for nature and the conservation of species...

Zama Ncube

Head Black Rhino Monitor & Community Conservation Liaison
I grew up next to a game reserve and listened with fascination to the stories my granny and father shared about the bush, but the decision to become a Rhino Monitor came to light when I was lucky enough to help with the introduction of Black Rhinos to a game reserve as part of the WWF Black...

Hayden Rattray

Priority Species Monitor: Tembe
I became the new Tembe monitor in 2016. I originally studied marketing but quickly realised it was not an industry I wanted to be in. I then completed a FGASA course, got in contact with Wildlife Act, and immediately knew that I wanted to be part of conservation in Zululand.

Megan Hudson

Priority Species Monitor: Manyoni
Since childhood I’ve had a powerful pull towards the wild. Growing up visiting reserves has been one of the most eye-opening experiences and has had a huge impact on my becoming a conservationist.

Richard Steyn

Priority Species Monitor: iMfolozi
My passion for the bush started from a young age and continues to grow. I find it extremely relaxing and peaceful out here. I also find myself in the perfect place to pursue my interest in wildlife photography.

Thokozani Mlambo

Community Conservation Liaison
Thokozani worked as a guide and wildlife ambassador for many years before joining Wildlife ACT. In 2015 he was honoured with a Conservation Hero Award from the Disney Conservation Fund - an award that recognizes local citizens for their outstanding efforts to protect wildlife and wild places...

Danielle Theron

Priority Species Monitor: Tembe
I decided there was nothing else I would rather do than preserve our beautiful land and chose a career in Nature Conservation. My third year was a real eye-opener which I spent in Senegal.

Ben Lavin

Priority Species Monitor: uMkhuze
I am living the dream here in Zululand and feel immensely proud and privileged to be associated with such passionate individuals and to be a part of such a focused team.

Stacey Klein Snakenborg

Priority Species Monitor: Hluhluwe
I studied Nature Conservation through the University of South Africa and completed my practical year at Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park. During this time, I learnt a lot about the need for conservation and started working with lions and just got hooked. This is now my fourth year in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi...

Ryan Mitchell

Priority Species Monitor: Leopard Survey
When I was still very young my grandfather started to teach me about birds, mammals and fish from his library, which sparked my love for wildlife. I have always been happiest when outside and in the bush.

Frede Benade

Priority Species Monitor: Manyoni
At the beginning of November 2016, I made my way to Zululand for the first time and fell in love with the bush and all its wonders. I haven’t looked back since.

Sboniso Mazolo

Community Conservation Liaison
Sboniso has been involved in conservation for many years. Even before joining the Wildlife ACT Team Sboniso had started a few of his own wildlife ambassador clubs. Here he teaches community members about conservation which involves discussing ways to encourage sustainability and reduce...

Christian Du Plessis

Trainee wildlife monitor for Khwai - Tau Camp
I am currently happily based at Wildlife ACT’s Tau camp in the NG18 concession and am studying a degree in zoology and botany at the same time as following my particular interests of medicinal plants and tracking.