At Bhejane Nature Training we develop Nature Guides and Conservation Entrepreneurs with a strong character and proud work ethic. Join us to become a part of the Zululand Conservation Legacy...

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Meet the Team

Owners:

Dylan Panos

Dylan Panos Owner and Assessor | Specialist Trails Guide

His qualifications and experience include:

  • FGASA Level 3 Trails Guide
  • FGASA Marine Guide Level
  • SKS Birding (Special Skills and Knowledge)
  • PADI Rescue Diver
  • CATHSSETA Assessor and Moderator
  • Qualified Professional Hunter
  • Registered ITA Firearm Instructor and SASSETA Assessor

Dylan has got over 18 years of experience as a guide and trainer and started his career in the lowveld where he started working as a trainee guide under the mentor-ship of Master Tracker Wilson Masia. After guiding for a number of years, Dylan started working as a trainer and instructor for various Field Guide Training organzations prior to starting Bhejane Nature Training in 2009. Dylan became the national programme head for the Damelin Game Ranging and Lodge Management progamme and developed the African Modules for the Hons Degree in International Wildlife Biology offered by the University of Glamorgan (UK).



Christa Panos

Christa Panos Owner and Programmes Director

Christa has got varied experience in the fields of environmental education, guiding, hospitality, cultural guiding and education and training.

Her qualifications and experience include:

  • Hons BA Geography & Environmental Science
  • FGASA Terrestrial and Marine Guide
  • PADI Rescue Diver
  • CATHSSETA Assessor and Moderator

Christa spent many years working alongside husband Dylan in various South Africa Game Reserves before joining Damelin as a lecturer for Game Ranging and Lodge Management. Christa developed a passion for education and training and progressed to become the Head of School for Damelin's Leisure and Lifestyle Faculty. She moved from Damelin to the Independent Institute of Education where she led the Leisure Faculty as Senior Head of Programme. Christa's in depth knowledge of programme development and training and assessment practice is applied extensively in the development and management of Bhejane's academic and practical learning programmes.

Christa is also a CATHSSETA Assessor & Moderator.


Training Assistants and Camp Coordinators:

Nicolene Meiring

Nicolene Meiring

Nicolene Meiring is a qualified Level 1 Nature and Marine Guide. She is also a PADI Rescue Diver, and has achieved a long list of qualifications while completing the 3 Year Bhejane Advanced Course. Nikki assists with coordination of some of the Advanced Course Modules, assists with course administration and travel logistics.



Nicole Panos

Nicole Panos

Nicole is a qualified PADI Instructor, and Level 1 Marine Guide. Nicole assists with supervision of water skills on Marine practicals, travelling logistics and Identification Skills.



Charles Onwood

Charles Onwood

Charles is a qualified Nature and Marine Guide and PADI Rescue Diver. He has a special interest in Marine Life and assists with group coordination, camp logistics and social media.



Musa Mofokeng

Musa Mofokeng

Musa holds a Diploma in Ecotourism, and is a qualified Level 1 Nature Guide. Musa assists with Practical Field Skills, travelling logistics, Zulu Lessons and runs several smaller modules for Bhejane.



Ngcebo Mlhambo

Ngcebo Mlhambo

Ngcebo is also a DUT Graduate with a Diploma in Ecotourism and a Level 1 Nature Guide. Ngcebo assists with practical field skills, travelling logistics, Zulu Lessons and runs several modules for Bhejane.



Robyn Murray

Robyn Murray

Is a qualified Level 1 Guide, and is responsible for the smooth running of Ebandla Camp.



Graham Adams

Graham Adams

Is a qualified Level 2 Nature Guide and Trails Guide. Graham oversees Ebandla Camp and leads practical field training at Ebandla for various groups. Graham also assists our various Guest Facilitators and Subject Matter Specialists.


Guest Facilitators and Subject Matter Specialists

Nick van de Wiel

Nick van de Wiel Senior Instructor (Part-time)

His qualifications and experience include:

  • FGASA Level 3 Guide
  • MSc Biology
  • FGASA Marine Guide

Nick is passionate about guiding, training and photography and when not working at Bhejane, also runs his own private safari company, Tailor Made Safaris.



Freya van de Wiel

Freya van de WielSenior Instructor (Part-time)

Her qualifications and experience include:

  • MSc Marine Biology
  • FGASA Level 2 Terrestrial and Marine Guide
  • Advanced Open Water Diver

Freya is a FGASA qualified Terrestrial and Marine Guide and holds a Masters Degree in Marine Biology with specialisation in Marine Mammals.

Apart from teaching our Marine Guide modules, Freya also owns and runs Tailor Made Safari's together with husband Nick van de Wiel, specialising in both terrestrial and marine safaris in Zululand and Southern Africa in general.



SMART I

SMART I (Andrew Miller)

SMART is our official training partner Wilderness First Aid Level 1-3, as well as Fire Fighting and Marine First Aid.



Sharklife South Africa

Sharklife South Africa

Grant Smith and his team at Sharklife in Sodwana , facilitates our lectures on Sharks and Rays, and offers Shark Diver Courses.



John Kinghorn

John Kinghorn

John Kinghorn has been interested in the bush and nature since he was a child and has been travelling to the Kruger National Park since he was eight months old. He has a variety of varying interests but Biodiversity as a whole is where his heart lies with bats and birds occupying most of his time when he is not studying toward an LLB degree through the University of South Africa. John is also a Member of the Field Guides Association of Southern Africa (FGASA) and is a qualified Terrestrial Level 1 Guide and National Bird Guide. He also works as a guide and office staff for Birding Ecotours, a company which runs custom and set departure specialist birding tours worldwide, is Chairman of Youth Africa Birding and regularly helps raise awareness and funds for various conservation related organizations.

Being one of Southern Africa’s foremost young birders, having observed over 820 species on the subcontinent, John has also traveled to many exotic countries in different parts of the world, including China and Australia, and recently (2014) broke the record for the youngest person to see 800 species of Southern African birds in a calendar year, making him only the sixth-ever person to accomplish this feat.



Themba Birding

Themba Mthembu - Founder St. Lucia Birds and Birding

Themba is an award winning Nature and Specialist Birding Guide. He is also a Tourism and Conservation Guardianship Facilitator and Assessor. He is a born and bred local with an exceptional knowledge of our local bird species.



Nick Evans

Nick Evans – KwaZulu Natal Amphibian and Reptile Conservation

Nick is the founder of KwaZulu Natal Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Group and facilitates all our Herpetology modules.



Monica Maroun

Monica Maroun – Chrysalis

Monica is a qualified Nature, Marine and Trails Guide. Previously a full time team member, Monica now operates as an organizational trainer, assessor and consultant on a wide range of subjects such as Communication Skills, Leadership Training, Conflict Management.



Samantha Lindgren

Samantha Lindgren – Mbali Cup

Samantha has been part of the Bhejane team since we started out in 2009. She is a full time team member in an administration capacity (Registrations) but also facilitates several sessions with students, putting her knowledge, qualifications and experience in Hospitality Management and Recruitment Industries to work to the benefit of our students.



Colin Patrick Training

Colin Patrick Training

Colin Patrick Training is our specialist tracking partner, and do the Cybertracker Tracker training and assessment on all of our longer courses.



Dr. Americo Bonkewitzz (PhD Zoologist)

Dr. Americo Bonkewitzz (PhD Zoologist)

Americo is a Butterfly Specialist, and offers short and longer courses for Bhejane students, wishing to gain some extra knowledge and skills as Butterfly Guides.



Ukuhamba Guiding

Ryan Tippett – Ukuhamba Guiding

Ryan Tippett is a freelance guide with 12 years' experience. He also spent 4 years as a Guide Training Instructor. He has attained the F.G.A.S.A. Level 3, SKS Birding, Lead Trails Guide and Marine guiding qualifications. Ryan has been a keen birder for 25 years and maintains an interest in all aspects of nature. His interests are varied and include Birding, Spiders, Dragonflies, Frogging, Butterflies, Plants, Fossils and experiencing big game on foot.