Board of Trustees

In 2008, we were created by a group of passionate, like-minded people who believed more needed to be done to conserve wildlife in the region surrounding Victoria Falls. Our Board of Trustees are based all across the world, and each member volunteers their time to ensure that The Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust achieves what we set out to do.

Chairman of the Board

Bruno DeLeo

Treasurer

Barbara Murasiranwa

Shane White

Craig White

Simon Rowlands

Simon Rowlands

Bronwyn Young

Chairman of the Board

Bruno DeLeo

Bruno De Leo has been a Trustee of the Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust since it was formed and currently serves as Chairman of the Board. Bruno was brought up in Zambia and schooled in Johannesburg, South Africa. After completing his Business Management diploma, Bruno moved to Chobe, Botswana where he started his career in the tourism industry and eventually moved to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. Bruno has a genuine passion for wildlife and the environment and is totally committed to supporting the Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust achieve it’s objectives and play an integral role in the conservation of wildlife in the region.

Treasurer

Barbara Murasiranwa

Barbara Murasiranwa is a local Zimbabwean lady who is an accomplished Chartered accountant. She holds various accounting and other qualifications and her experience in these fields spans for over 30 years. Barbara is currently the Business Development and Corporate Affairs Director for Wild Horizons – A leading Tour Operating and Ground Handling Company in Victoria Falls and the Region.  As an active member of the Victoria Falls community, Barbara kindly volunteers her time with Rotary International where she has held various strategic posts and received numerous and significant awards in her roles in assisting humanity.  Barbara has been involved in tourism in the region for the past 22 years where she has held positions like Financial Director and Managing Director for 16 years during highly turbulent and harsh economic conditions. She owns and runs her own Company- Vimbiso Safaris and Tours.  In addition to Rotary, Barbara kindly volunteers her time as a Board member with Victoria Falls Primary School (currently the Board Treasurer), and the Zimbabwe Council for Tourism (now Tourism Business Council of Zimbabwe) as a regional representative and Spokesperson. Barbara is a passionate minister of religion and a very active conservationist, supporting various anti-poaching initiatives.  She has held positions and has been instrumental in the following organizations before: – Chairperson of Victoria Falls Women in Business; –  Counselor and advisor of the Zimbabwe Parents of the Handicapped Children Association VF; – Sat on the Victoria Falls Mayor’s advisory Board; – Chairperson and Treasurer for Zimbabwe Women in Tourism; –  Local Organising Committee for the 2013 UNWTO.

Shane White

Shane was born in Zimbabwe in 1968, and was raised in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. Having been brought up by parents that were involved in the safari industry Shane always had a love for nature and it was a natural progression for him to join the family safari business when leaving school.

Shane immediately enrolled as an apprentice guide under the tutelage of Professional Guide Gavin Best. Shane passed his Full guides license in 1991, being one of the youngest qualified guides on the circuit at the time.

Shane worked as a manager and professional guide at Imbabala safari lodge for 3 years before taking over the company’s mobile safari operation. Shane managed this for 6 years leading mobile camping and walking safaris in the Hwange and Kazuma National Parks.

Soon after the arrival of his second child Shane took up the role of Marketing Director at Wild Horizons, allowing him more time at home to spend with the family. He has held this position for the last 15 years. Over this time Wild Horizons has grown from a relatively small family run safari business to one of the leading tourism business in Zimbabwe.

Craig White

Craig Ward White was born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe in 1963, and attended Baobab Primary School in Victoria Falls. He then went on to Gifford High School in Bulawayo for secondary education, after which he attended the Zimbabwe Polytech College, studying Civil Engineering. Craig qualified as a Civil Engineering Technician in 1982 and went on to work for the Zimbabwe Government in the department of Water Development, designing & building dams in Zimbabwe’s rural areas. In 1984 Craig moved to Botswana to work for a safari company in the Okavango Delta as a Safari Guide, fulfilling a life-long ambition of a career in Wildlife.

In 1987 Craig moved back to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, to start a safari company known as Wild Horizons, with his father, Ron White. Together they built their first Safari Camp known as Imbabala which opened its doors in 1989. Craig qualified as a Professional Safari Guide 4 years later, and together with his brother Shane and brother-in-law Gavin, started overland safaris throughout north-western Zimbabwe. In 1991 Craig together with his father Ron, built Jijima Safari Camp near Hwange National Park, and shortly thereafter went on to build The Elephant Camp in Victoria Falls. The latest addition to the Wild Horizons portfolio of lodges has been The Old Drift Lodge, built in 2018, within the Zambezi National Park at Victoria Falls.

Throughout the years involved in the Safari industry in Zimbabwe, Craig’s passion for wildlife and wild places has remained, with conservation and sustainability at the forefront. His engineering background has enabled the company to remain at the pinnacle of lodge design and management, whilst still maintaining the ethos of sustainable and eco-friendly tourism

Simon Rowlands

Simon is a founding partner of Cinven, one of Europe’s largest private equity firms, with offices in London, Paris, Frankfurt, Milan and Hong Kong. Prior to joining Cinven, Simon worked with an international consulting firm on multi-disciplinary engineering projects in the UK and Southern Africa. Simon lived in Zimbabwe for 2.5 years and whilst doing so observed the pressures and challenges that exist at the interface of wildlife and ever growing human populous. Simon has an MBA, a BSc in Engineering and is a chartered engineer.

Bronwyn Young

UK Board of Trustees

The role of the UK Board of Trustees, as well as seeking donations, is to collaborate with the Zimbabwe Board to oversee the financial governance of funds donated from the UK. Their focus is on providing oversight of transparency, accountability, and compliance with regulations, ensuring effective financial management of donations.

Comprised of dedicated individuals with diverse expertise and a deep understanding of Zimbabwe, they work closely with the Zimbabwe Board to implement the Trust’s mission, programs, and initiatives at the local level.

While not responsible for overall strategy development, their valuable insights and expertise contribute to shaping the organization’s initiatives, which reflect the unique wonders of Victoria Falls and the surrounding KAZA region.

 

Chairperson

Andrew Weir

Secretary

Val Swanson

Treasurer

Graeme Dacomb

Barry Hemans

James Murray

Helen Buckworth

Chairperson

Andrew Weir

Andrew Weir started his career over 30 years ago at Saatchi & Saatchi in London then, following a short three year posting in Hong Kong in 2001, he returned to the London HQ of the Publicis Media – a global communications consulting and investment agency. He currently has a leadership role at Publicis working with blue chip global clients; on strategy, creativity and new ways of working a new communications world driven by changes in technology, digital and data.

Secretary

Val Swanson

Retired from a long and varied career working with charities and running small businesses, Val is now a voluntary teaching assistant and Governor at a primary school in Gloucestershire.  She is passionate about conservation , joined the Board of Trustees in 2016 and visits Victoria Falls several times a year keeping in touch with the team on the ground.

Treasurer

Graeme Dacomb

Graeme was born in Harare, Zimbabwe and grew up in the South East Lowveld on a sugar farm – spending frequent holidays in Gonarezhou National Park where he developed his love of wildlife. After completing a degree in Accountancy at the University of Cape Town, he joined Ernst & Young, spending 4 years with them in Cape Town before moving to Los Angeles for 2 years. Graeme moved to EY in London in 1988 and retired in 2018. He has an interest in two boutique hotels in Victoria Falls and visits Zimbabwe frequently. He joined the UK Board of the Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust in 2017 and currently serves as the Finance Trustee.

Barry Hemans

Barry Hemans was born and brought up in Zimbabwe, before going to university in South Africa were graduated as a Chemical Engineer. Barry worked for 37 years in the chemical industry, starting off in South Africa and then in the UK for most of his career, apart from a 5 year assignment in China. Barry travelled extensively on business mostly in commercial roles – sales, marketing, product management, business management and strategy. He retired in 2021 with view to getting involved in conservation and humanitarian causes in his homeland.

James Murray

James Murray has over twenty years’ experience supporting international conservation and development projects across sub-saharan Africa and Southern Asia. His career started as a Chimpanzee Research Assistant working for Jane Goodall in Gombe National Park, Tanzania and his international experience is mainly focused on fragile states and during complex emergencies.  He now works as an advisor supporting development programme design and funding.

Helen Buckworth

Helen originally qualified as a solicitor and practiced in London and Hong Kong before leaving to look after three children and three dogs! After serving on various boards and committees she became a trustee of a Nepali charity which supported child rescue for three years. However, she also discovered a love of Africa after a family holiday in 2005 and has since travelled widely including driving around rural Uganda in a 33 year old Land Cruiser. She has visited Zimbabwe several times and is planning many more African adventures in the years ahead.

 

Our Team

Our team of dedicated staff work full-time at our operational base in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.

CEO

Jessica Dawson

Dr. Chris Foggin, BVSc, MRCVS, Dphil
Wildlife Veterinarian

Dr. Chris Foggin

Wildlife and Research Manager

Roger Parry

Community Conservation Representative

Bongani Dlodlo

Conservation Education Officer

Nancy Mutungwazi

Administrative Assistant

Guendolyne Bere

Laboratory Technician

McDonald Shiri

Veterinarian

Dr. Harley Peacocke

Communications Coordinator

Melusi Thebe

Community Development Coordinator

Edith January

Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinator

Nicorll Maenzanise

Media Coordinator

Vus’ Moyo

Laboratory Technician

Herman Ncube

Laboratory Technician

Nelson Mpofu

CEO

Jessica Dawson

Jessica was born and raised in San Diego, California.  She received a B.S degree from California Polytechnic, San Luis Obispo in Business and a minor in Viticulture.  After completing her undergraduate degree, Jessica then went on to do a Master’s in Business Administration at San Jose State University. During her undergraduate studies Jessica traveled to Africa and enjoyed spending time there with family and friends. Jessica worked in compliance and international trade in California and shortly in Washington D.C. After completing her Master’s degree she returned to Zimbabwe and soon met Roger Parry her husband.  Roger and Jessica have been involved in setting up and running of the Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust since it was established in 2008.  Jessica has always had a deep love of nature and wildlife and hopes that the work VFWT does will help others to have the opportunity to enjoy nature as much as she does.

Wildlife Veterinarian

Dr. Chris Foggin

Dr Chris Foggin (BVSc, MRCVS, Dphil) was born in Salisbury (now Harare), Zimbabwe, in 1947 and did his schooling in Zimbabwe. He completed his Batchelor of Veterinary Science degree at the Onderstepoort Veterinary Faculty, University of Pretoria, South Africa in 1970. After five years in private, mixed veterinary practice, he joined the Central Veterinary Laboratory, in the Ministry of Agriculture in 1976. He has remained in the Government Veterinary Services since then.

For the following 13 years he was in charge of the Pathology and Rabies sections, and was awarded his D Phil in 1988 by the University of Zimbabwe, Faculty of Medicine, on the Epidemiology of Rabies and Rabies-related viruses in Zimbabwe.

In 1989, the Wildlife Veterinary Unit (WVU) was formed within the Dept of Veterinary Services, in response to a rapidly-expanding wildlife industry in Zimbabwe. Dr Foggin was appointed Head of this Unit, a position that he held until his age-compulsory retirement in August 2012.

The Unit remains responsible for wildlife diagnostic, regulatory, extension, research and conservation veterinary medicine work throughout Zimbabwe’s commercial wildlife properties, including wildlife conservancies, as well as within the Parks and Wildlife Estate. For over a decade since 1996, after the two veterinarians employed by the Parks and Wildlife Management Authority left Zimbabwe, Dr Foggin was the only veterinarian in the country attending to rhino veterinary requirements. In this work he has had to perform some 1400 field immobilizations of black and white rhino for routine management operations as well as for translocations and treatments of snares and other injuries.

Wildlife and Research Manager

Roger Parry

Roger Parry is the Wildlife & Research Manager for the Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust

Roger comes to the Trust with more than 15 years experience in the Wildlife Tourism industry. Additionally, he spent 10 years working for the Zimbabwe Department of National Parks and Wildlife where he ascended to the rank of Senior Warden of Chizarira National Park. Roger also did the occasional flying for National Parks. Roger’s qualifications include 15 years of darting and using chemical and physical capture of wildlife. Roger oversees the community outreach programs and wildlife research. He works together with other staff to manage the human wildlife conflict project, carnivore research, elephant mitigation, vulture research and rehabilitation, and the litter team.

The Vic Falls Wildlife Trust works very closely with the Victoria Falls Anti-Poaching Unit – Roger does a lot of the darting of snared and injured animals in the region, and assists when requested with local wildlife authorities and partners in Botswana and Zambia.

Community Conservation Representative

Bongani Dlodlo

Bongani joined the Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust full time in 2010 to assist with working in the field. Bongani is from the Monde area near Victoria Falls, and is fluent in both Ndebele (the local language spoken in the Region) as well as English. Given Bongani’s experience, he is able to run our school’s conservation interaction, human wildlife conflict project, and helps with many of the research efforts in the field. .

Twelve years ago Bongani started off as a cattle herder, and over time due to his keen interest in wildlife and conservation, he improved his position. He now also helps with managing the human wildlife conflict hotline and responding to the local community reports of conflict incidents. Bongani has extensive training in everything from telemetry (for tracking collared animals) to tracking wildlife in the bush. Bongani works on a range of projects but specifically assists with our projects with local communities. He is a huge asset to the Vic Falls Wildlife Trust and we thank him for his help.

Conservation Education Officer

Nancy Mutungwazi

Nancy is our conservation education officer who grew up in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. She is a qualified teacher with a diploma in education from Mutare Teachers College. She holds a BSc honors degree in Geography and environmental science and she holds a Masters degree in Natural Resources Management and Environmental Sustainability. At the Trust she is responsible for lesson development and implementation in line with ecosystems and wildlife conservation. She also coordinates the elephant interaction program  for the rural and urban primary schools every week.

Administrative Assistant

Guendolyne Bere

Guendolyne was born and raised in Zimbabwe.  She completed a Bachelor’s of Arts from the University of Namibia where she developed an interest in conservation and sustainable development.  Guendolyne was an active member of the conservation club at University and undertook projects looking at rhino conservation and community-based tourism. Guendolyne has 10 years’ administrative experience in diverse business settings.

Guendolyne’s role at VFWT is facilitate operations of the organization and people within it. She provides administrative assistance to the CEO and logistical support to multiple projects within the organization. She serves as the point of contact for donors, collaborators, visitors and the general public.

Laboratory Technician

McDonald Shiri

McDonald Shiri (BSc) is our laboratory technician. McDonald was raised in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.  He comes with experience in Genetics acquired through volunteering and working as an intern in various Molecular Biology and Biotechnology labs in Zimbabwe. McDonald holds a BSc Honors Degree in Biological Sciences (Microbiology and Genetics) from the University of Zimbabwe. McDonald has worked on plant genetics previously and developed innovative testing methods.  McDonald has a keen interest in wildlife diseases and research.

At VFWT he conducts our day-to-day laboratory tests and also deals with wildlife forensics cases.

Veterinarian

Dr. Harley Peacocke

Dr Harley Peacocke, BVSc (Hons). Was born and educated in Zimbabwe.  After finishing school, he spent seven months volunteering in Hwange National Park, with a lion research project where he developed a passion for African wildlife.

Harley then moved to Australia and studied for a Bachelor of Veterinary Science, Honours, degree at the University of Queensland, and graduated in 2019. After graduation, Harley worked in general mixed animal practice in Australia before joining our team here in May 2021.  Harley has an avid interest in flying microlight aircraft, a connoisseur of coffee and a love of fishing.  His interest in veterinary medicine and wildlife came from growing up and watching his mother who is also a wildlife veterinarian. Harley hopes that he can make a difference in the conservation of wildlife in Zimbabwe.

Communications Coordinator

Melusi Thebe

As our communications coordinator, he is responsible for a variety of tasks, including overseeing internal tours of our facility and managing our social media pages. He is passionate about public relations and communication, with a talent for making complex concepts understandable to a wide range of audiences.  With his personality and attention to detail, he ensures that our social media presence is engaging and informative, and that every visitor to our facility has a positive and informative experience.

Community Development Coordinator

Edith January

Having grown up in Hwange District, Edith is an individual with nineteen years of experience in community development work mainly working with children, youth, and women in both urban and rural setups. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Development Studies Honors Degree and has a great passion for programs that promote child participation, poverty alleviation, environmental protection, and community empowerment. At the Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust, Edith is coordinating the rocket stoves project

Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinator

Nicorll Maenzanise

Nicorll Maenzanise is our Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinator responsible for maintaining systems that allow for provision of information that the various stakeholder concerned by our community projects need for accountability, management and learning purposes. She holds a BSc Hons Degree in Environmental Science and Technology from Chinhoyi University.

Media Coordinator

Vus’ Moyo

He is an energetic and creative filmmaker, graphics designer, and website creator. He is a team player of note and joined the company just a day after Valentine’s Day in 2023. Thrilled to jump on board and is confident that his skills and contributions will be valuable to the organisation’s collective success.

Laboratory Technician

Herman Ncube

Herman Ncube comes with profound expertise in the fields of Microbiology and Hematology. He is pivotal in implementing and upholding stringent Quality Management standards. Herman’s extensive experience and unwavering commitment have contributed significantly to the organization’s precision and excellence in wildlife and scientific research..

Laboratory Technician

Nelson Mpofu

Nelson Mpofu is a dedicated Bio Scientist specializing in applied biology and biochemistry, with a profound commitment to the preservation and effectiveness of antibiotics in the fight against infectious diseases. He oversees our serology and histology section.

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