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
Group Service Manager
Ashleigh Saaiman
Group Service Manager

Having been in the travel and tourism industry for over 22 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 10 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 8 years focusing on Client Services and the Wilderness Air brand.

Ian du Rand
Group Flight Safety / Training Manager
Ian du Rand
Group Flight Safety / Training Manager

  • 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
  • Wilderness Air Group Flight Safety Manager and Training Standards 2018 with oversight of all regions

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

Aircraft Maintenance Engineer on various multi engine turbine aircraft which includes specialising in turbine engine overhaul, design & manufacturing of aircraft components, establishing of various Air Operating Certificates and  Aircraft Maintenance Organisation with 28 years’ experience. Additional qualifications in business management PMD6 (GIBS), machine diagnostics, lead auditing and Hazard Identification and Risk management. Oversees regional compliance in terms of the respective regions Civil Aviation Regulations read together with guidelines of ICAO and manages the wilderness fleet of engines.   

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.

Kago Paul
Acting Accountable Manager
Kago Paul
Acting Accountable Manager

Kago Paul was appointed Acting Accountable Manager for Wilderness Air Botswana, managing all flight personnel, including 20 pilots. Kago’s primary objective is to ensure that all flights are scheduled against a regulatory compliance framework, and that all staff remain minutely safety conscious, offering passengers the most reliable air transport to some of the most remote wilderness areas across a number of tourist destinations in northern Botswana. Kago’s passion for aviation started at a young age, and he always knew that he would follow this career path. As his parents worked in the public sector and often relocated, Kago loved going back to his home village in Maun for holidays. His grandparents’ home was a stone’s throw from the airport, and although he had never been on an aircraft, he would beg his father to take him to watch the enormous planes casting shadows on the largest building in the village. After matriculating in Johannesburg, Kago turned down a university degree in order to concentrate on his dream of becoming a pilot, choosing to attend flight school on a government grant. In 2009 Kago became a qualified commercial pilot, and within a week of being back in Maun he was employed by Wilderness Air (then known as Sefofane Air Charters). After a year of flying, he was presented with the company’s Warthog’ trophy for flying the most hours, proving his passion, and his skills as a pilot. He has since flown dignitaries, celebrities and a sitting President. This exciting new chapter in Kago’s career is already taking shape, as scores of green Batswana pilots are already knocking on Wilderness Air’s door, wanting to be part of the journey.  He is looking forward to guiding his team to becoming the best in southern Africa. “Having fun is one of our core company values and something that I hope to instill in my team, to ensure that we all love what we do, and that we have the ‘Wilderness Way’ in our hearts. ‘Our journeys change lives’ is not just a phrase, but a vision we live by. Conservation is what we do, and even the smallest part that each one of us plays through our work adds to the restoration and expansion of Africa’s wilderness,” notes Kago.

Tawanda Maruza
Zambezi Region
Tawanda Maruza
Zambezi Region

Tawanda was born 44 years ago in a village in the eastern part of the Zimbabwe. My first exposure to aviation started at a tender age when I was in primary school around 1988. We used to frequently visit an Air Force base to attend their annual October festival with a Marimba band. I got intrigued by aircraft and I gradually developed interest in aircraft and working for the Air Force. That dream was kept alive till I managed to join the Air Force of Zimbabwe in 1995. I started flying in the Air Force in 1996. After my stint with the Air Force I joined Wilderness Safaris in 2006 as a line pilot with then Sefofane Air Charters now Wilderness Air. With Wilderness Air I held various portfolios. I served as a safety manager and chief pilot between 2009 and 2012. I rose through the ranks to become the accountable manager and regional general manager for Zambezi region. I am married to Emmy and we have 3 children.