Wilderness Group Impact Manager
Vince Shacks joined Wilderness in October 2022, bringing with him extensive experience in wildlife and environmental conservation, gained through his research and work in diverse African habitats. He looks forward to facilitating and inspiring the Wilderness teams to further positively impact all areas of our operations.
Eager to listen and learn, Vince believes the incredible diversity of species, habitats, and cultures across Wilderness requires a tailored impact approach, adapted to each region, to maximise positive results.
Vince spent his early years on the South Coast of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, and later moved to Zululand where he completed high school. His passion for nature was nurtured during his formative years in the bush there, being exposed to many diverse environments. After high school he moved to the Western Cape and graduated from Stellenbosch University with an honours degree in Environmental Studies.
Vince joined the Okavango Crocodile Research Project in Botswana to conduct his master’s research on Nile crocodile nesting habitats. He was based in the Okavango Panhandle for two years, working as a permanent field staff member, collecting biological samples and data for several post-graduate research projects. His research contributed to the Okavango Panhandle being included in the core protection zone of the Okavango Delta World Heritage Site.
Vince is also a member of the IUCN Species Survival Commission and his work on Nile crocodiles has seen him travel to Angola, Mozambique and Madagascar.
He later co-founded an environmental consultancy in Botswana which led to valuable opportunities in community-based natural resource management (CBNRM), environmental management programmes for ecotourism lodges and the development of community concession management plans. Over this period, he also contributed to a number of biodiversity surveys in the protected areas of northern Botswana and the Okavango catchment in Angola.
After moving back to South Africa with his wife in 2014, he joined WESSA, the country’s longest running wildlife and environmental NGO. His role predominantly focused on marine and coastal environments where he managed South Africa’s most established environmental certification programme. He was also responsible for a national youth training programme which produced over 500 graduates in tourism and environmental fields.
Vince looks forward to making a difference in his new role, saying, “I have always been aware of the strong sense of community within Wilderness and am very excited to join the team. I look forward to building on the strong impact foundations that have already been set by the business and its people”.