Team

Samuel Maldonado

Samuel Maldonado

Grandson of Ivan Dario, and brother to Veronica, Sam is based in Switzerland and takes any chance he can to spend time in Zululand. He grew up spending holidays on the family ranches in Venezuela, learning about plant and animal species and developing a deep respect for mother nature. Sam is passionate about continuing the family legacy of conservation and continues to play an integral part in the initiatives’ sustainability and success. Learn more about the Maldonado family here.

Tim Machpesh

Tim Machpesh

Tim is a qualified accountant but would rather spend his days walking the bushveld of Big Five country. His financial acumen and passion for sustainable business development that truly integrates the triple bottom line is a great asset to CIVA. Tim is resolute and relentless in his pursuit to create a world-class environmental and social asset within the Mkhuze Valley.

Alwyn Wentzel

Alwyn has been in the wildlife tourism business for 21 years managing reserves, guiding activities and lodges. Alwyn has been working for Amakhosi Safari Lodge since 2002 and has a special affection for northern Zululand and its wildlife. His passion for wildlife is not limited to the big game but also the smaller less obvious creatures like frogs. Alwyn has always been passionate about increasing and expanding the conservation area around Amakhosi to ensure that future generations will also have the privilege to experience the natural beauty of the region.

Grant Fowlds

Grant Fowlds

Grant lives and breathes conservation. He has worked tirelessly for over 21 years as an activist, organiser, public speaker and author for the conservation cause. He is the Director of Eliweni Wildlife and founder of Amakhala Game Reserve. He is also the Director of Community Wilderness Conservancies which aim to re-wild parts of Africa. Grant’s impressive career has brought him vast experience and knowledge of the dynamics and roleplayers within conservation. Learn more about Grant here.
Susan Machpesh

Susan Machpesh

Susan, wife to Tim, is an avid adventurer. She thrives on big open spaces and endless trails. A qualified environmentalist, she lends her experience and expertise to the strategic environmental management and fundraising of the organization.
Veronica Maldonado

Veronica Maldonado

Grandaughter of Ven-Africa’s founder, Ivan Dario, and president of the Foundation La Compañia Humana, Veronica is based in Miami and travels the world for her work. She remains an avid wildlife and nature lover, visiting South Africa as often as she can. A proud keeper of the family legacy, Veronica is determined to make her generation count in advancing the success story her Great Grandfather started over 100 years ago.

Rafael “Picu” Antelo

Rafael is a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences, dedicated to the conservation of endangered species (crocodiles and turtles) in Venezuela, Bolivia, Spain, Colombia, and South Africa for the last 18 years. He is a passionate advocate of private conservation as a global tool for wildlife protection and has contributed to the creation and preservation of more than 200,000 ha of private reserves.