Management Team


The safety management of our business is overseen by a highly experienced Regional Group Director, Group Safety Officer and Group Quality Assurance Manager. They maintain a culture in which all team members are encouraged to report any safety- or quality-related issues or concerns.

Our current Group Safety Officer and Quality Assurance Manager both have extensive aviation experience and the stature to command the respect and attention of our line pilots, senior management and the Board’s Risk Committee on all aspects of aviation safety.

In each region, a trained designated Safety Officer with the qualifications required by the relevant Civil Aviation Authorities reports to the Group Safety Officer. Safety monitoring is carried out in accordance with ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation) standards. Our online Safety Management System (SMS) ensures that all safety reports are shared promptly, enabling immediate corrective steps to be taken where necessary.

Group Air Support

Ashleigh Saaiman (Barker)
Service Manager
Ashleigh Saaiman (Barker)
Service Manager

Having been in the travel and tourism industry for nearly 20 years, Ashleigh has vast knowledge and experience in the eco-tourism field. After working in the groups and incentive department for Wilderness Safaris, Ashleigh moved across 7 years ago to Sefofane Air Charters (now Wilderness Air) in the position of Sales and Marketing Manager. After business strategy changes to the company Ashleigh has been in the role of Wilderness Air Group Service Manager for the past 4 years focusing on Client Services and the Wilderness Air brand.

Brian Cartwright
Safety Officer
Brian Cartwright
Safety Officer

  • Gained South African Air Force wings and qualified as SAAF flying instructor
  • After the SAAF, spent 40 years with SAA flying all types in the fleet during that time and retired in 2010
  • Certified by SACAA as a qualified safety officer and quality assurance manager
  • Joined WA in 2011 as Group Flight Safety Officer with oversight of all regional safety personnel.

Ian du Rand
Operations Director
Ian du Rand
Operations Director

  • Air Force of Zimbabwe and South African Air Force Wings
  • Transport pilot, fighter pilot and maritime pilot
  • Qualified fight safety and aircraft accident investigator
  • After 18 years military flying entered civilian general aviation flying humanitarian aid throughout Africa, Middle East/Asia
  • Joined Sefofane Namibia (Wilderness Air Namibia) in 2008 as MD
  • Wilderness Air Group Flight Operations Director 2011 with oversight all regions

Shaun de Beer
Quality Assurance Manager
Shaun de Beer
Quality Assurance Manager

Ulrich Wilgenbus
Legal and Compliance Officer
Ulrich Wilgenbus
Legal and Compliance Officer

Ulrich is an admitted attorney to the High Court of South Africa with 10 years commercial experience and experience in aviation management and compliance.

Regional General Managers

Alex Henderson
Botswana
Alex Henderson
Botswana

Alex Henderson re-joined the Wilderness Air Botswana team as General Manager in March 2016 after heading up the company’s air operation in the Zambezi region for five years. During this time, Alex contributed immensely to the success of Wilderness Air in both Zambia and Zimbabwe and played an important role in growing its staff, as well as promoting both the Wilderness Air and Wilderness Safaris’ brands in the region.

Alex was born, and grew up, in Zimbabwe just outside of Harare where his love for flying and the outdoors began. After completing his Commercial Pilots License at 43 Air School in Port Alfred, South Africa in 2004, he joined Sefofane Zimbabwe as a line pilot flying a Cessna 206. In 2009, Alex moved to Maun to join Sefofane Botswana in order to gain more experience flying a Cessna Caravan.

After two successful years in Botswana, Alex re-joined the Wilderness Air Zimbabwe team in 2011, taking with him the first Cessna Caravan to be operated by Wilderness Air Zimbabwe – a definite highlight of his aviation career. It was during this time that he decided to pursue a new career path, accepting a managerial opportunity within Wilderness Air Zimbabwe and Zambia. As General Manager for the Zambezi region, Alex oversaw the operation of four planes, comprising three C206 and one C208, and managed 15 employees, of which six were pilots.

“Even though I have always wanted to be a pilot (my dream was to fly in the airlines), I am extremely passionate about the Wilderness’ brand and its core sustainability ethos and am therefore proud to have chosen a managerial career path within Wilderness Air. I am looking forward to working closely with our Wilderness Air Botswana team to continue providing excellent service delivery and efficient schedules to our guests and staff”, Alex said.

Alex will also be focusing on service delivery in terms of Safety, Compliance and Risk Mitigation, and heading up a team of 85 employees, of which 29 are pilots. He will also oversee the operations of 15 aircraft – four C206, seven C208 and four GA8 Airvans.

He is married with two children and is looking forward to making Maun their long-term home.

Hein Cronje
Namibia
Hein Cronje
Namibia

Hein Cronje has a long history of achievement in aviation maintenance and management and was appointed as the Acting General Manager of Wilderness Air Namibia in August 2017. His first involvement with aircraft took place in 1994 when he began his apprenticeship with South African state-owned aerospace and defence technology company Denel. Having qualified as an Aircraft Engineer in June 1996, Hein went on to have a long and distinguished career with both the South African Airforce and the national carrier, in South African Airways Technical. “My focus has always been on the technical side of aviation, with a strong interest in general management. This new role with Wilderness Air Namibia is the ideal opportunity for me to pursue my passion for both of these aspects of the flying business, and I’m excited to be a member of the Wilderness Air team”, commented Hein.   Hein moved to Namibia in 2007, and joined Wilderness Air Namibia in October 2014 when he was appointed as Person Responsible Aircraft – that is, as the manager with overall responsibility for the safe operation of the aircraft. More recently, Hein has filled the role of Accountable Manager for Wilderness Air Namibia. During this time, he has developed a comprehensive knowledge of Wilderness Air Namibia’s flying business and is well known to the local flying fraternity, as well as to the regulatory bodies in Namibia. With his experience in aviation and passion for Wilderness Safaris’ commitment to its 4Cs sustainability ethos of Commerce, Community, Culture and Conservation, the Wilderness Air Namibia team is confident that Hein is well placed to drive the business forwards.

Tawanda Maruza
Zambezi Region
Tawanda Maruza
Zambezi Region