Anthea Pillay grew up in Pietermaritzburg and has developed a keen interest in wildlife and travel since joining Rockjumper. Anthea plays a key role in our busy financial department including a big part of the companies bookkeeping functions. When not squaring away the numbers, Anthea enjoys living on the edge, engaging in a spot of bungie jumping or sky diving.
Brad Roberts spent most of his career as a graphic designer for advertising agencies and corporates before taking on the role of Corporate Imaging for Rockjumper. Brad has accumulated a wealth of computer knowledge, and in addition to being involved with the visual aspects of Rockjumper’s marketing material, he also plays a key role in managing our IT. Conscientious and with an understated sense of humour, Brad is always willing to help out in any way he can!
Candice Jack was born in Pietermaritzburg and has lived here most of her life. After completing her studies in Hotel Management, Candice moved to the United Kingdom to further her adventurous travel spirit. Having travelled widely, she returned home and has spent the last 10 years working as a travel consultant. Candice is based at our head office where she helps in the operations department.
Christelle is from Mauritius and based in our head office in Tamarin. After school, she started studying towards her ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) while working as a customer advisor for a French company. She was soon promoted to supervisor for the same company, where she spent one more year, before diving head first into the accounting world. She spent almost 3 years in the finance department of one of the world’s largest charter companies before joining our team at Rockjumper. Christelle also has a love for languages. She currently speaks five languages, and has absolutely no intention of stopping there!
Cindy grew up in Pietermaritzburg, the daughter of a professional lepidopterist. After school, she obtained a Diploma in Travel and Tourism Management. Having been intrigued by the natural world, she has always had a special passion for the beauty of nature’s flora and fauna. This she captures in her paintings to which she dedicates much of her spare-time. Cindy assists the Support, Travel and Operations department at Rockjumper in a tour liaison role. In particular, Cindy ensures that all your travel requests are fulfilled.
Clayton Burne is the Operations Manager of Rockjumper Birding Tours. Raised in the city of Durban, he spent 5 years in the African bush working as a field guide before emigrating to the United Kingdom. After spending almost a decade in the private medical sector, Clayton decamped to South America and embarked on a year-long cycling and birding journey across the continent. Having no sooner reached the Caribbean coast, he flew back to South Africa to start work as a tour leader for Rockjumper. His time is now spent mostly behind a desk in the guise of Operations Manager, but he does still get into the field to lead the odd tour.
Crystal Brook was born and raised in Johannesburg and has long nurtured a passion for nature. Her childhood years were enlightened with countless encounters of the natural world, including close interaction with Lion cubs and shadowing shark researchers on the beaches of KwaZulu-Natal! Crystal will be the first member of our team that you communicate with when booking a tour. You can rest assured that she will handle your booking inquiry in a friendly and efficient manner. When she takes a break from making the tour of your dreams a reality, she can occasionally be found cage diving with Great White Sharks!
Estel Naidoo is from Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. She has a diploma in Travel and Tourism, and has worked in the leisure travel industry for over 10 years. Her adventurous spirit has led to her visiting many new destinations, where she loves interacting with new people and learning more about their country and cultures. In her free time, she enjoys reading a good book or watching a good movie. Estel has joined the ranks of our tailor-made team, where we know she will excel.
George Armistead, a birder since 9, now has 20 years of experience as a professional guide – having led trips to all seven continents. His involvement with the American Birding Association included managing their events program, serving on their Recording Standards and Ethics Committee, and instructing at ABA young birder camps. He is also the author of two books – Better Birding: Tips, Tools, and Concepts for the Field (2015, Princeton University Press) and The ABA Field Guide to the Birds of Pennsylvania (2016, Scott & Nix, Inc.) – and received his Masters degree from the University of Pennsylvania. As Rockjumper’s new Chief Network Officer, he will focus on partnerships and promotions, while continuing to guide a tour every so often. He will also represent Rockjumper at key events in the USA and elsewhere, and will assist in our efforts to expand the company’s impact in bird and wildlife conservation.
Jordyn was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa. After spending time in China, where she taught English, and completing her Commerce degree in Marketing Management, she has excitedly joined the Rockjumper team for the next chapter of her life. A passion for wildlife sees her spending as much time in game reserves and wildlife sanctuaries as possible. She is an avid reader and collects books, making her perfect for her new role as editor. She will also be assisting in the sales and marketing departments.
Karina was born in the dramatically situated city of Quito, Ecuador. After finishing school, she obtained a degree in business administration. She has worked extensively in the tourism industry since the age of 19: running logistics and operations for tours to Africa and Asia, and working as the Operations Manager for Sacha Lodge, Ecuador for over a decade. She is an avid traveler and loves nature. Since 2012, she has been organizing Rockjumper’s tours to Ecuador, and we are excited to have her join us as a full-time member of our team in our brand-new Conservation Tours Department.
Keith was brought up in the small town of Howick in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. After finishing school in 2004, he went on to complete a 3-year Diploma in Travel and Tourism. When he started working in the tourism industry, he fell in love with making his clients’ dreams come true. That love has never dwindled, and he will continue this passion until retirement. Outside of work, Keith loves music and dancing and is a DJ. He also enjoys being outdoors and fishing. Keith is filling a new role in our company as the International Flights Booking Agent for Rockjumper Guides and our guests!
Keith Valentine is the Managing Director of Rockjumper Birding Tours. Before joining Rockjumper he completed a degree in Financial Management. While Keith still guides a few tours a year, the majority of his time is focused on the office and day to day running of the company.
Megan Taylor hails from Pietermaritzburg. Having spent a number of years at an accounting firm, Megan plays an important role in our busy financial department while also taking charge of the company’s HR. Introduced to birding by tour leader Clayton Burne, Megan now spends most of her free time chasing down lifers across southern Africa.
Niki Stuart is the Managing Director of Rockjumper Birding Ltd Mauritius. Niki has a degree in Financial Information Systems and is a qualified CIMA member (ACMA) and Charted Global Management Accountant (CGMA). Originally from Cape Town and Johannesburg, she now lives in Mauritius. Niki has a great love for wildlife, nature and strategic management accounting helping to drive the decisions critical to creating and sustaining organisational value.
Noluthando Ndlovu, or Thando as she is affectionately known in the office, grew up in the beautiful KwaZulu-Natal midlands town of Nottingham Road. Thando handles a number of our office administrative tasks and is presently studying for a degree in education, whilst already putting her studies to good use teaching adult literacy when she has the time.
Paul Vincent spent his formative years in the Eastern Cape, before making his way to the KZN Midlands to take up a career as a primary school teacher. After six years of teaching, he made the change to join Rockjumper as a support consultant. His cumulative years as a teacher have refined his talents as a communicator and mediator, skills which are well-suited to his new role. Outside of work, he enjoys bird photography and hiking in the Drakensberg. An enthusiastic member of the team, Paul is ready and willing to assist in any way he can.
Ric Zarwell has been fascinated by birds and wildlife since growing up beside the biologically-rich Mississippi River and hardwood forests in the upper Midwest of the United States. He has an undergraduate degree in wildlife biology and a graduate degree in natural resources from the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point. Ric assists Rockjumper with our marketing and operations in the US with cheerful and client-first professionalism.
Rynart Bezuidenhout was brought up in Pietermaritzburg. Having always been adventurous, he started travelling immediately after completing his schooling, spending a number of years traversing continental Europe and the United Kingdom. Rynart returned to his beloved South Africa in order to follow his dream of becoming a professional Field Guide whilst studying for a degree in Botany and Zoology. He has spent the last 3 years guiding throughout South Africa, further growing his passion for birding, wildlife and conservation. Rynart will be adding his passion and experience to our burgeoning Private Tours Department.
Sarah Dell was born and raised in Pietermaritzburg. Before joining Rockjumper, Sarah obtained an Honours Degree in Accounting, completed her articles, and then worked in Eskom’s Revenue Recovery department. Sarah has always had a passion for nature and the outdoors – be it plants, animals or birds and enjoys gardening, sewing, cooking and reading in her spare time. Sarah’s attention to detail has seen her involved in multiple roles at Rockjumper, including pre and post-tour support, while also planning and executing our large and logistically complex ABA tours.
Shaun Auge, born in Mpumalanga, South Africa, spent his formative years in Swaziland, where he spent a large portion of his time outside. This lifestyle fostered a great appreciation for nature, which was only supplemented by constant weekend trips to the nearby, world-famous Kruger National Park. At the age of six, his family moved to the rolling green hills of the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, where he still lives today. In 2016, he worked part-time in our marketing department while he finished his Bachelor of Commerce Degree with electives in Marketing and Business Management, and has contributed in a significant way with a hardworking attitude and skilful copywriting abilities. Shaun has now taken up a full-time position as Rockjumper’s editor – his love of language and literature being of great use in this position. Shaun also has interests in film, music and photography.
Shaun has worked in the Information Technology field since 2001. He initially started out in Java Application Development; however, being more of a creative type, Shaun migrated across to Web Development. He has accumulated a wealth of knowledge relating to design, project management, programming, search engine optimisation, marketing, management and problem-solving in the IT/WEB field. Shaun knows most web-related aspects well, and he maintains that there is always Google if one is not in the know. Shaun says, “Being in the IT industry, one learns to research and problem solve on-the-fly.” Shaun has been responsible for the development and upkeep of Rockjumper and our Sister Companies’ websites for the last 5 years, and has joined us full-time in this capacity. On a personal note, Shaun is a devoted father, loves music, and he developed a passion for guitar in 1996 and still plays.
Sue Anderson was born and educated in Zimbabwe. Her love for travel began in Harare while working as a radio operator for an international airline. Sue crossed the border and moved to South Africa in 1981 where she worked at a private game reserve, before settling in for a rewarding career with Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and Birdlife South Africa furthering Sue’s love for conservation. Several years at the Oribi Gorge Hutted Camp on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast sparked her interest in birding, and in 2009 she joined Rockjumper. Sue now plays a critical role in our Operations department keeping on top of all our scheduled tour planning and logistics.