Conservation in Africa - Working with Desert Elephants in Namibia
EHRA Operations Director and Founder
Johannes hails originally from South Africa where he was raised with a close affinity with nature. He studied political science, development studies and anthropology, later moving on to nature conservation. He has worked in various parts of the conservation sphere in Southern Africa, from game reserve management, professional hunting, tour guiding, reserve development, anti poaching, guide training, rural development and more. Over the past 12 years he has been living in Namibia, first working with Save the Rhino Trust, developing systems to facilitate conservation independent of outside funding. In this time he witnessed the expansion of the elephant populations into the south, and realized he should apply a multi-angled approach to help solve the problem. Hence the creation of EHRA.
Rachel, originally from the UK has been with EHRA in Namibia for the last 6 years. Previous to this she spent 5 years in Events fundraising for a high profile charity in London. In the main she organised overseas fundraising expeditions and has taken large groups of volunteers to Namibia, Ecuador, China, Brazil, Morocco and New Zealand. Through these trips she developed a passion for travel and a firm belief in sustainable tourism and the ability of individuals to make a huge difference through projects such as EHRA. Through expeditions and trips to Namibia she feel in love with the country where she now lives and manages the administration of the organisation, including the volunteer trips.
Volunteer Coordinator and Head Tracker
Mattias has been with EHRA since June 2010. Mattias has a wealth of knowledge about the area of Damaraland that EHRA operates in, having worked for The Save the Rhino Trust for many years as a tracker. Mattias, along with Neil coordinates the volunteer groups during the building week and during patrol his fantastic tracking skills kick in! Mattias has a large family, his son Johannes has also recently started working for EHRA and he has two young children attending A.Gariseb School.
Chief Tracker and Community Liaisons Officer
Hendrick joined the EHRA team in June 2008 and has brought with him a wealth of experience. He spent 13 years working for the Namibian Ministry of Environment and Tourism and 3 years working with Operation Raleigh. During his time with the Ministry he covered many different areas of work including training with the Save the Rhino Trust and guiding and tracking elephants and lions in the Huab River area for a number of years. His knowledge and background makes him an integral part of the team and is vital to communications with the local communities and their understanding and cooperation to what EHRA is trying to do. When not working with EHRA, Hendrick spends his time on his farm amongst his family.
Volunteer Project Coordinator
Victro has worked for EHRA since February 2009. She is a Damara who was born and bred in Swakopmund, in fact Victro spent her first ever night camping at the EHRA Base Camp on the volunteer project! Victro is super organised and coordinates all volunteer arrangements and keeps the EHRA office running smoothly.
Dr. Betsy Fox
PEACE Project Leader and Research Consultant
Dr. Betsy Fox, originally from the USA has lived in Namibia since the 1990. Betsy, a trained vet, has led an amazing life amongst Namibia's wildlife. Betsy lived for 7.5 years in Etosha National Park, working for the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, before transferring the to the nearby town of Outjo to become Conservation Scientist for the Kunene region, a post she held for 9.5 years. Since retirement in May 2008, Betsy has been working with EHRA on a consultancy basis and heads up the PEACE Project. Betsy is a devout elephant enthusiast with a wealth of knowledge and experience. Betsy is also one of the most fascinating characters you may ever meet and has been a great friend of EHRA since it started.
Camp and Logistics Assistant
John, a Herero, is employed at our base camp on the Ugab River and assists Gerson in the maintennance of vehicles and the camps infrastructure. John is from the local area and is always the highlight of the end of year party with his amazing dance moves!
EHRA Base Camp Assistant
Adolf, also a Herero, manages the EHRA base camp. Adolf is very particular about the camp and is often seen raking the banks of the Ugab River! Adolf also lives locally and has first hand knowledge of the problems involved in living with the resident herds of elephants.
Freelance EHRA Tracker/Guide
Originally from Zimbabwe, David almost stumbled across his work with EHRA. An outdoor Jack of all trades, with an artist’s eye, David has brought his own creativity and commitment to the work of the project. He was seduced by the lifestyle and with the simplicity and directness with which EHRA addresses a very obvious problem – the need for water and the human / elephant conflict which arises from this. Dave works for EHRA on a freelance basis.
Director US Operations
Doreen first came to EHRA as a volunteer for 4 weeks in 2006. During this time she developed an unstoppable passion for the work EHRA does and returned just a few months later. In 2007 Doreen spent 3 months with EHRA predominately helping with the school project. Doreen has set up a partnership with her local library in the States to provide books and funding for A.Gariseb Primary and has raised a huge amount of money to further the development at the school. Doreen is now responsible for EHRA's operations in the states.
EHRA Trek Coordinator
Beverly has managed more than 8 overseas treks to countries as diverse as Namibia, Morocco, China and Brazil. Based in London, Beverly has over 10 years of experience supporting trekkers and charities on all issues concerning overseas challenges.
We look to Beverly to support our trekkers prior to the trip with fundraising ideas, key training tips as well as offering advice on clothing and equipment. Beverly provides much needed admin support in the UK.
Beverly personal enthusiasm for travel has led her on many independent trips across the world, the Trans Siberian express through Russia, Mongolia before finally arriving in China; back-packing throughout the turbulent Middle East and trekking in the Nepalese Himalaya.
Hannibal, Tsaurab & Kiki
The EHRA Dogs! Hannibal and Tsaurab maybe huge but are scared of elephants! Kiki, who spent her first years as a goat herding dog on the Ugab found us when we were camping with the school group and has lived a much more luxurious life since. All are incredibly friendly and often at Base Camp. Watch out for Hannibal who will become your best friend just to get some space on your bedroll and will throughout the night push you off!