DEAN OELOFSE & NICOLE MATHESIE
Wilderness Magashi Managers
Dean and Nicole’s Wilderness chapter began in 2023. With their primary focus being on the management of Wilderness Magashi, Dean will also take on the role of Head Guide and Maintenance Manager for the camp. They look forward to working alongside the exceptional Magashi team to offer their guests unforgettable wildlife experiences.
Dean grew up in the Free State, South Africa, where his fondest childhood memories were of his time spent on a friend’s game farm. His passion for the wilderness was nurtured from a young age and he always knew he wanted to work in the bush.
After school he immediately pursued a career in hospitality and obtained various qualifications in Game Lodge Management, Wildlife Management and FGASA guiding. Dean gained valuable wildlife experience in Botswana, as well as during five years spent on a private concession in Pafuri, in the northern Kruger National Park. His roles included Field and Trails Guide, Wildlife Manager and Head Guide.
Nicole’s childhood was spent in a small town in Thuringia, Germany. She grew up with a fascination for Africa and the natural world, spending as much time outdoors as possible. Inspired by creativity, Nicole studied Tourism Economics with a focus on marketing and pursued a tourism career, working for a luxury hotel brand in Germany.
Through the years her interest in wildlife and conservation grew. After several trips to Africa, Nicole took a sabbatical and returned to the continent to qualify as a FGASA Field Guide and Trails Guide – and has never looked back. She spent time guiding for an overland safari company, volunteering as a Trails Guide at a guiding school and further qualifying as a Lead Trails Guide. In 2019 fate intervened when Nicole was offered a position in Pafuri, where she met her now-husband Dean, and they have been working alongside one another ever since.
Dean and Nicole went on to work together in management and guiding positions at Welgevonden Game Reserve in South Africa’s Waterberg region, before embarking on their biggest adventure, to guide in the deep jungles and remote swamps of the Republic of Congo in Central Africa. Through this invaluable experience they saw how fragile Earth’s ecosystems are and learnt the importance of protecting these wild areas.
Dean and Nicole joined the Wilderness family in 2023, after returning from the Congo. They are excited to personally contribute to Wilderness’ goal to positively impact our wildlife and local communities. “Wilderness’ core values regarding conservation and how the company focuses on the wellbeing of its people and guests make us very proud and grateful to be a part of the journey”, they agreed.