We are proud of our team – a dynamic, creative group of professionals in Australia and South Africa. Each and every one of them is absolutely crucial to our business of tailor-made luxury safari holiday creation for our guests. Thank you for your commitment and belief in the EA Way…
JONATHON WILSON Africa is my birthplace and somewhere I will always return time and time again. The idea behind Encompass Africa has always been to bring to life childhood dreams of incredible journeys amongst Africa’s famous wilderness and wildlife. It’s about giving guests the opportunity to encounter inspiring, immersive experiences with Africa’s animals, tribes and people on a continent that for me, is the most exciting, rewarding and life changing destination on earth.
Growing up in Africa, living, working, guiding and continuously travelling means each journey the team and I create is based on our ongoing learning, passion for authenticity and preference for immersive style travel where you get to really see, feel, touch and smell the world around you as much or as little as you like. That’s the beauty of tailormade travel, it’s designed to fit you precisely.
Our guests value our professional expertise, personal insight gained through first hand experience and of course our commitment to service and care. A tradition of fine Africa safari holiday tailoring, we are known for handcrafting bespoke itineraries that flatter your interests and exceed your expectations.
To spend time as a couple, group of friends or a family on a safari created just for you is the luxury of the experience. Some of my fondest memories are with my family and friends in Africa. Being able to share these incredible experiences with you on your own journey and have the trust in us to deliver your holiday of a lifetime is what Encompass Africa is all about.
Want to work with me to design an African safari trip? Drop me a line [email protected] or give me a call +61 (0)7 3266 2377
GEN THURGOOD South Africa was my birthplace and I lived just outside Johannesburg for the first four years of my life. We then moved to Melbourne, Australia and annually returned to South Africa for holidays with my Grandparents who owned a game reserve in the Greater Kruger region. Nothing beats growing up with a fine appreciation for the bush and its wildlife. My cousins would take me on bush walks and I soaked up every bit of information shared. My uncle was a proud guide, so our game drives were fascinating and fun. When an opportunity arose to work in the Africa travel industry I of course said yes. Six years later as an Africa travel specialist in Melbourne, I decided to move to the sunshine state. Work took me in a different direction for a few years and I longed to return to a job where I could give people the opportunity to live their dream of a safari holiday. So here I am at Encompass Africa.
Some of my fondest adventures were the active safaris in remote off the beaten track locations so I could get away from the crowds. Walking in South Luangwa, falling asleep with a herd of buffalo congregating under my room on stilts on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater are two I recall with great fondness.
I look forward to sharing my experience, passion and enthusiasm for Africa and designing an itinerary that will bring your safari dream to life. Please email me on [email protected] or give me a call in the office Monday to Friday on +61 (0)7 3266 2377
DANICA WILSON Over a decade ago, I met and fell in love with Africa and a South African. A self-confessed adventurer, I quickly agreed to travel the world and much of Africa. Since then life has been full of great adventure and endless rewards. Since 2003 I have been involved in the Africa safari holiday industry, learning about how it works, who is who in the natural world zoo, where to go on safari holidays and other things that are essential to know.
I love what I do every day and want you to share the same passion and excitement when you return from your African safari holiday. Everything we recommend to you is based on our own experiences across 15 different countries in Africa. I’m one of a highly skilled team that’s committed to creating inspiring journeys to Africa made up of sustainable travel experiences that create lifelong memories.
I ask lots of questions, I talk (perhaps too much) and share my passion for safari holidays, enthusiasm for Africa and knowledge with my guests. I’m a perfectionist too, so I won’t stop until I get your Africa safari holiday right.
Mother of two under the age of 5, life is busy inside the office and out. I like it that way and wouldn’t change it for quids! So as you can imagine, family safaris have become my favourite because I have been on safari with the kids 5 times in 4 years. I know what you need as a family, as a mother and what is great for kids as every child is different – their interests, their temperament and their tolerance levels!
Email me anytime on [email protected]
EHAN HENDRIKSE Another South African so you’ll hear my accent when you call! I was born and raised in South Africa and later in life, met and fell in love with a Swiss lady and together we now call Australia home. I regularly return to South Africa and love nothing more than time with family and friends in the countryside or the vibrant city of Cape Town. My job here is to ensure Encompass Africa stays organised in the office and I manage the accounts and finance! Phew… big responsibility but I love it along with a good Africa safari holiday.
KATIE BRANSON While not born in South Africa like the majority of the Encompass Africa team, I found my appreciation for the natural beauty of the land by growing up on a farm in Queensland’s Darling Downs region. With a long held love for history and culture, the travel and adventure bug was quickly ignited in me while on a school trip to the United Kingdom.
This fascination for other countries, and the unique history and sights they have to offer, prompted me to attend the University of Queensland to study political science, graduating with a degree in Peace and Conflict Studies and History. My degree certainly furthered my interest in travel, and helped me make my way to the amazing team at here Encompass Africa in early 2016. My role is in the Guest Services side of things; working closely with both our specialists and guests to help ensure your safari adventure is as great as it could possibly be!
My dream African safari adventure would have to be first to Ethiopia to explore Gondar and Lalibela; then off to Rwanda for an amazing gorilla trek and a long and emotional visit to the Genocide memorial. I’d finish off with a Tanzania safari as my finale. Overall a great mix of history, culture, and safari!
I returned in 2014 and threw myself into the travel industry working as a consultant and promoting destinations worldwide. Whilst fulfilling, I wasn’t sharing my passion for Africa and when an opportunity arose with Encompass Africa, I jumped at the chance. My dream is to travel throughout Africa, extensively exploring far corners of the continent to learn about different cultures, landscapes and witness its wilderness and wildlife beauty. My role here is looking after our guests when you are travelling in Africa. It’s a 24/7 commitment for peace of mind if, on the rare chance an issue or emergency crops up.
NATASHA DUMBRILL (Tash) I am another South African in the team, born and raised in Johannesburg and my love for safaris began when I was just a kid. Fond memories are easily recalled on game drives with my parents spotting animals. One of the best memories is on game drive watching an impressive herd of buck running in front of the vehicle and it looked like they had springs under their feet as they ‘plonked’ across the road. I remember how much we all laughed… It was a no brainer to study travel and tourism and it has offered me the opportunity to visit exciting destinations in Africa and further afield.
I left South Africa in 2009, moving to Dubai with my husband and two small children on a transfer that led us then to Singapore. Both were stunning experiences because I learnt so much about new cultures and met people from all over the world. Africa was still calling us. You can take a girl out of Africa but you cannot take Africa out of the girl. So we regularly returned home with the children and of course went on safaris. December 2016 saw us move to Brisbane, Australia with another transfer and now it’s home. I met Jonathon through mutual friends and so it was a pleasure to accept an offer to join the dynamic team. I’m on the guest services side of things, here to help you once you’ve booked.
DEREK BURCHELL BURGER Derek joined Encompass Africa in June 2017 after a chance meeting with Danica in Cape Town over dinner with a group of luxury travel industry friends. Derek had just arrived back into South Africa (born and raised here) after years of living and working all over the world from Canada, Thailand, Australia and beyond. Danica and Derek immediately clicked and within a matter of days Derek was brought onboard to work on the digital space. Well versed in communications, marketing and digital media, Derek’s niche is luxury travel and Encompass Africa defines good old fashioned personal service with a luxury safari offering like no other. You are not likely to encounter Derek answering the phones as he’s based in Cape Town and always out in the field generating content, exploring new territories and networking with industry and creatives. Like us, Derek will live vicariously through the many itineraries that we create and he will be promoting as part of his work – luxury safari holidays are certainly a privilege that we hope you savour. Remember to share your stories with us so we can spread the word about Africa and our tailor-made, highly personalised safari holiday planning service.