Wilderness Kenya CEO
Hein is welcomed back into the Wilderness Family after 20 successful years progressing his hospitality career through East Africa. Fortunate to work in some incredible ecosystems, Hein is passionate about the wilderness and protecting our iconic wild places. He is looking forward to his next Wilderness journey, where he will focus on product diversification and unique guest experiences.
Born and raised in South Africa, Hein grew up learning about the bush and wildlife from a young age. After completing his schooling in Gauteng in 1990, he followed his love for the wild and studied for a Diploma in Nature Conservation at Tshwane University of Technology (TUT), previously Pretoria Technikon. After graduating in 1993, his career path led straight into the hospitality industry, where he took on the role of Assistant Manager for Kapama Game Reserve, South Africa.
Highly motivated, Hein continued his studies and association with numerous conservation groups and clubs while progressing through his career. In 2006 he completed a Professional Management Programme through the UNISA Graduate School of Business Leadership and in 2012 graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Wildlife Management and Tourism from TUT.
Hein’s successful career has seen him living and working for several award-winning camps in South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Tanzania and Kenya. He’s held esteemed roles in companies including The Selous Safari Company, andBeyond Tanzania, Ker & Downey Tanzania, Abercrombie & Kent Tanzania (A&K), African Habitat Conservancy and Elewana Africa Limited in Kenya. His career highlights and successes include opening the Wilderness Vumbura Concession, opening Jongomero Camp in Tanzania, managing A&K Tanzania, during which time they were voted best DMC two years in a row, and proudly producing significant business growth for A&K during his five years in the position. Hein also opened DMCs for A&K in Rwanda and the USA.
Hein is no stranger to Wilderness. His first introduction to the business was in 1994 when he worked for Maputaland Wilderness Safaris as Assistant Manager & Guide. He then moved across to Okavango Wilderness Safaris as Jedibe Island Camp Manager in 1996, Vumbura Plains Concession & Project Manager & Community Liaison Officer in 1997, Wilderness Jao Project Manager in 1999 followed by General Manager of Mobile Safaris until 2002.
East Africa has been home to Hein and his family for over 18 years. He is an outdoor enthusiast and in his downtime enjoys nothing more than birdwatching, fly fishing and exploring single-track mountain bike trails. He has travelled extensively and adventured through 39 countries around the world.
“It feels like I am coming back home after 21 years”, he says about his new Wilderness journey in Kenya. Hein is eager to work with the East Africa team, encouraging collaboration and enhancing communication across regions to ensure Wilderness’ success in East Africa.