1. Inspire, educate and empower young people. We create wildlife, conservation and traditional cultural experiences for young people that give them a life-changing opportunity to learn from local guides, conservationists and mentors in South Africa’s nature reserves. This type of beyond-the-classroom education opens students’ hearts and minds to the diverse world they live in. Through experiences such as these, young people begin to learn the most important life lesson of all: the essential role they play in building and shaping a sustainable future for all.
2. Operate a sustainability-driven eco-education business.
As a company, we believe it is our responsibility to be the change we want to see in the world. We are committed to building a business that is grounded in sustainability. It is our mission to have a positive effect on both the environment and on the communities within which we operate.
Established in 1996, to date we have hosted over 12 000 students.
Susi and Andrew Anderson
Co-founders and directors of African Insight
Both born in Africa, Andrew and Susi love their African heritage dearly and spend their free time exploring its natural bounty at every opportunity. Andrew qualified in professional conservation and wildlife management and Susi is a veterinary nurse. After they got married, they lived and worked in Umfolozi Game Reserve in various conservation and hospitality positions.
The limitations of working within an autocracy eventually resulted in them leaving to set up their own business in 1996 … which is today African Insight. Their vision from the outset was to play a significant role in educating and mentoring future generations to be responsible global citizens with regards to the environment and specifically conserving biodiversity, which sustains human life on earth.
Living and leading by example is important to them. African Insight, in its various forms, is the realisation of their vision. They strongly believe that success has no financial value but is measured by the positive difference one makes.
They live on a small holding in the beautiful KwaZulu Natal Midlands of South Africa where they strive to achieve self-sufficiency and a “carbon-negative” footprint. Each member of the African Insight team is hand picked and encouraged to work to, and grow, their natural strengths.
Academic Lead Facilitator
Stef Steyn is a true South African, born and raised in the Midlands of KwaZulu-Natal where he was fortunate to enjoy good quality life, fresh air, blue skies and clear mountain water. He has a passion for the outdoors, wildlife and conservation.
He started his career in professional guiding in 1995 after retiring from the South African Police Services, where he held the rank of Colonel. His list of qualifications includes: National Nature and Cultural Guide, Level 2 Field Guide, Mountain Guide and Rock Art Guide. It is this knowledge and experience that secured him guiding contracts with the BBC during the filming of various documentary programmes.
Stef is stimulated by sharing his great knowledge of the history, culture, fauna, flora, geography and geology of Southern Africa. His strong people skills combined with being highly organised and the ability to handle pressure makes him the ideal expedition leader. He has been leading African Insight groups for almost 20 years.
Abe Nzuza is one of the Zulu pioneers of post-apartheid professional conservation, serving in many positions within formal conservation organizations such as Natal Parks Board and KZN Wildlife, as well as the renowned NGOs, Wilderness Leadership School and Foundation. He has had a close relationship with African Insight spanning over two decades!
His in-depth experience in conservation management, guiding visitors through South Africa’s prime wilderness areas and passion for his native Zulu culture is a unique and invaluable asset to African Insight. Over the last 20 years he has facilitated numerous international academic field trips and private safaris.
Abe holds a Diploma in Protected Area Management obtained from Southern African Wildlife College and recently completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies from the University of the Western Cape.
Field Programme Facilitator
Thabani comes from solid conservation stock; his father is regarded as one of the pioneering “black” African conservationists in the hitherto “white” dominated apartheid professional wildlife conservation landscape. Thabani graduated from a unique high school where he was positively influenced by teachers that groomed learners to be ready for the changes happening in South Africa. Thabani knew that in the new South Africa his calling was for public service and initially thought that a career in the police was for him.
Whilst waiting for his application to police college to be processed, he signed up for a three-month African Insight Academy internship and never looked back. After finally completing a one-year internship he joined the permanent Academy as a trainee guide.
Thabani’s talent for making people feel at home and at ease is invaluable when introducing foreign participants to the cultural perceptions and authentic cultural immersion components of the academy’s programmes. In African Insight he has found his true calling for service in being an ambassador for the Zulu culture and wildlife conservation.
Field Programme Facilitator
Shadreck is Zimbabwean born and has 15 years’ experience as an outdoor adventure and education instructor. His passion for working with youth has given him the opportunity to travel and work internationally. “Shaddie” joined the African Insight Academy team on a freelance basis in 2015, leading youth development programmes.
In 2017 he joined the African Insight permanent team on Somkhanda Game Reserve where he has added a wildlife/nature guiding qualification to his list of qualifications. Shaddie’s greatest strength is his ability to make groups feel at home and safe in no time at all.
Field Programme Facilitator
Nokuthula (Nox) is always smiling and chatting as she goes about her work as our amazing camp cook. A member of the Gumbi community adjacent to Pongola Game Reserve, Nox signed up as a hospitality intern with African Insight in 2013 and, not ever having considered cooking as a career, she found her calling. In 2014 she joined our permanent team as a kitchen assistant. She completed a certificate in Tourism Services (hospitality) and worked her way up to cook’s assistant and finally cook. Our groups love her cooking which blends some favorite local Zulu dishes and traditional South African dishes into our unique “safari kitchen”.
Volunteer Intern Co-ordinator
Vicky hails from Winchester in the United Kingdom where she achieved the highest level in the Scouts and is a registered Scout Leader. She came to South Africa on an academic field trip with her college (Sparsholt). On this trip she learned about African Insight Academy’s Internship programme and after graduating she applied to do a three-month internship …. and another one …. and another one …. three in total. It was obvious that a position with African Insight Academy was a perfect fit, so when she proposed a three-year volunteer visa it was agreed, and Vicky joined the team as a volunteer intern co-ordinator.
Vicky brings passion, commitment to being organized and the ability to see beyond the obvious to the team, which are invaluable when working in remote locations. Vicky’s achievements are the tangible result of African Insight Academy’s slogan – Inspire, Educate, Empower.