What 30 years of impact means to us

As we celebrate our 30th anniversary, 30 staff share what they love about working here…

As we celebrate our 30th anniversary, we have all taken a moment to reflect on just how much the &Beyond family has grown, across a vibrant tapestry of cultures, borders and indeed continents too. Three decades ago, our esteemed founders had a dream and today, that distant dream is a reality.

&Beyond is a conservation-driven company that preserves landscapes, protects wildlife and uplifts communities through the delivery of extraordinary guest experiences. These memorable travel experiences transform our guests into ambassadors for the planet, who, in turn, help to leave our world a better place.

If you have travelled with &Beyond, you will know first-hand that, at every touch point of the &Beyond experience, are people and a culture of care. There’s the travel specialist, who eases wary travellers’ minds, answers every question (from destination logistics to Covid apprehensions), and ensures a seamless journey.

The guide who takes you on an adventure and patiently and enthusiastically answers every question imaginable. The butler who welcomes you back to the lodge with your favourite drink. The chef who knows your exact food preferences. The choir that delights you with song and dance. And, of course, that unseen touch of the housekeeper that leaves a goodnight note on your freshly-made bed.

We asked &Beyonders across our family what one word best describes what &Beyond, and its 30-year legacy, means to them. Here’s what they said.

Digging a bit deeper, I asked 30 &Beyonders, from the peaks of Chile and the valleys of Bhutan, to the temples of India and the plains of Africa, what they love about working for the company. Their responses are heartfelt and they remind me that, together, we can leave our world a better place, so long as there’s passion, commitment and care for each other (and our planet).

Joss Kent | CEO | 8 years

I love working for &Beyond because I really feel I am trying to—and succeeding—in making a difference and lasting impact in Africa, Asia and South America on a daily basis.

In that pursuit of ‘real impact’ I get to work with an incredible team with whom I feel I have built up enormous mutual trust over time by fighting a lot of ‘battles’ together. Covid has by far been the hardest, but the Exco team and all 2,000+ &Beyonders have shown their true mettle. It has been amazing to watch and I am extremely proud of what we have all achieved together over the years.

Above anything else it is the people of &Beyond that I love the most. Authentic, warm, proud, passionate, hard-working, tender when they need to be and just straight good people. I also love hearing when we make a real difference in a guest or client’s life. It makes the hard work worth it.

And finally I have to say I love working with the &Beyond shareholders. They make my life as CEO easy in a way, simply because their ethics and integrity around every decision I put before them has been extraordinary and unwavering in clarity and purpose. It’s very rare to find families and shareholders like that.

…and, if I am lucky, I get to go out on a game drive in the Serengeti, pole a dugout mokoro through the Okavango Delta, visit a community school or clinic we have funded in Kenya, e-bike in the Namib Desert, dive beneath the Indian Ocean waves with dolphins, look for tiger in India, climb to Tiger’s Nest in Bhutan, dart and de-horn rhino in South Africa, hike in Torres Del Paine National Park in Chile, or ice trek over the Perito Moreno glacier in Argentina. What’s not to love about all of that?!

It’s the smiles,
the laughs
and the memories.

Dean Carlisle

Guide (and son of Les Carlisle)
Phinda Private Game Reserve
7 months

It’s the warm air on your face.

It’s the smiles, the laughs and the memories.

It’s the pat on the back for work well done or the comforting embrace when things have not gone to plan.

It’s the nicknames, the fun and the games.

It’s in the details: the birthday treats and the ladies in the laundry ironing your clothes when they can see you are tired.

More than anything, it’s a feeling.

It’s a family and we are all lucky to be a part of it.

Les Carlisle

Group Conservation Manager
Retired March 2021
30 years

The thing I have loved most about working for &Beyond is the fact that I was surrounded by passionate people all making a difference every day.

It amazes me that you can fight through city traffic, to get to a desk, to plan a trip for guests that will transform their lives, as well as the way they impact the world. Most incredibly, these efforts and their holiday will secure the habitat for elephants, lions and rhinos.

It has been a real and satisfying privilege to be part of this family for the past 30 years because &Beyonders create an incredible positive energy. From the butlers and guides at the lodges, to the managers and directors at head office, all sharing the same purpose of leaving the world a better place. What an amazing group of people.

Podcasts with Les Carlisle

We have always been looked after through the good times and the bad times.

Dumi Ndlovu

Regional Chef Trainer
Ngala Private Game Reserve
35 years

I love working for &Beyond for many reasons. During my time here, I have witnessed how the team works together, how everyone understands one another and helps each other. I love how nobody is excluded, but how everyone is included, valued and genuinely cares for one another. We have always been looked after through the good times and the bad times. There is no company like &Beyond.

Aditya Dev

Manager Product & Tour Plan
15 years

My 15 years with &Beyond are a testament to the virtues of being a part of this company. With a leadership who believe in inspiring positive impact all around, it instils a sense of belonging and responsibility, not only to the job we do, but also towards the planet as a whole. &Beyond is certainly one of the world’s most desirable companies.

Dyke Khoza

Ngala Private Game Reserve
32 years

&Beyond is a great company that not only looks after its staff, but also the local communities that surround our reserves. So many communities benefit when we protect wildlife together. I have loved being a part of the company and watching it grow.

Patricia Makamu

Lodge Manager
Tengile River Lodge
15 years

What I love about &Beyond is that it looks after its employees and sees the potential in people. I am one of them. When &Beyond took over Exeter, I was an office cleaner and the company helped me grow to where I am today, managing one of the flagship lodges of the business.

I was an office cleaner and the company helped me grow to where I am today.

José Luis Enriquez

Operations Manager
Peru & Ecuador
4.5 years

I am really thankful to belong to this incredible group of hard workers, creating once in a lifetime experiences for our distinguished guests around the world. Our directors are very professional and I am learning every day to improve my knowledge. It is an honour to work with this family.

Edgardo Songer

Head Guide
Vira Vira, Chile
3 years

What I love about working for &Beyond is the high quality in our service, the friendship among staff of so many different cultures and regions and, last but not least, the fact that I am having fun with my teammates and guests every day because I love to be in the mountains!

Milagros Bonifaz

Country Manager
3.5 years

At &Beyond I feel that I am not only working towards giving people the experience of travelling to exciting destinations and interacting with different cultures, but also ensuring that while they learn and enjoy their adventure, they are contributing to the local people, conservation and environmental sustainability. A perfect vacation.

Graham Vercueil

Group Field Manager | 30 years

30 years ago it was an inspired dream of restoration, integration and sustainable development: land wildlife and people, bound together by a culture of care. Perfect! And for me, helping young people realise a life in the wilderness, a life where everything and everyone matters, has been very meaningful. What an extraordinary journey, being part of this passionate &Beyond family, knowing that together, we are making the world a better place.

The values of the company are true to what I believe personally.

Simon Naylor

Reserve Manager
Phinda Private Game Reserve
25 years

I love working for &Beyond, as the values of the company are true to what I believe personally. As a result, the work we do fulfils me, which makes it very rewarding and self-satisfying. I honestly believe we are all making a real and tangible difference in protecting the planet’s wildlife and her people and creating a better future for all. (Image © Peter Chadwick).

Uledi Jaku

Divemaster & Turtle Monitor
Mnemba Island, Zanzibar
25 years

&Beyond is an incredible company focused on caring for the land, wildlife and people. The company has always stood by our side, especially during this difficult pandemic. Everyone knows this has been a challenging time, but the company didn’t stray from us. I would like to take this opportunity to thank &Beyond for always looking after us.

The company values and the growth opportunities made me stay.

Scott Tineja

Regional Manager
East Africa
21 years

The thing I love most about working for &Beyond is the reality and the truth behind its model of caring for the land, wildlife and people. My 21 years of service are testimony to how the company takes care of its people and the reason I have made my nest here. When I joined &Beyond, I could not have ever believed that I would have stayed this long, yet here I am today as a regional manager. The company values and the growth opportunities made me stay.

Violet Dlamini

Kirkman’s Kamp & Tengile River Lodge
32 years

I am very proud to be working for a company like &Beyond. In fact, I will never stop talking about &Beyond! I wish that I could go back in time and become young again, so that I can start over and learn from new experiences in the company. I am so happy that &Beyond gives the younger generation opportunities to gain experience in the workplace and, most importantly, that through everything, we have stayed together as one big family, and made new friends from across Africa and beyond.

Tony Adams

Conservation & Community Impact Director | 30 years

From early childhood, I always dreamed of making a difference to wildlife and people in my short visit on this planet. Working for &Beyond and its shareholders gave me the platform to play a small part in enabling this dream. Let’s talk about the day today.

I wake up and know that today, &Beyond and Africa Foundation will touch the lives of staff, communities and conservation. Today, we are capturing rhinos for translocation to help bolster new source populations in Africa. Today, we find out if we can assist India in reversing local extinctions by donating cheetah. Today, we are building more classrooms in Tanzania, building a kitchen for a crèche and completing a clinic in South Africa. Today, 100 community members are studying tertiary education through bursaries. Today, we are recruiting hustle entrepreneurs and seven schools are receiving conservation lessons. Today, we are downloading data of fish populations and reefs caught on hydrophones off the Vamizi Island coastline. Today, we have guests who are getting insight into our fragile planet through insightful game drives. Today, I talked to the Botswana management team on setting impact goals to better our planet. Today, the list goes on and on.

What a day. I love being part of these achievements, all made possible by special people and shareholders who want to leave the planet in a better space. I share this vision and it is an honour to help make a difference, every day.

Esther Mshai

Operations Manager
Bateleur Camp | Kenya
14 years

Joining &Beyond was like a dream come true. I felt like I had finally found what I was looking for and it immediately felt like home. It still feels like I just joined yesterday, but it has been almost 14 years.

The culture of &Beyond has an infectious way of giving staff a sense of belonging and feeling part of a big family. Especially during the pandemic, the company has showed us unforgettable love and care of the people.

&Beyond trusts its staff to take care of the business within each of our destinations and it lets us be part of the legacy of leaving our world a better place.

It is an honour to work tirelessly together to make sure that our guests are initiated into the culture, leaving with unforgettable memories and a desire to return, again and again.

Rishi Sarma

Project Manager
5 years

What I love about &Beyond is the amount of time and energy that the company invests in protecting the wilderness and its flora and fauna. Having grown up in the tea estates when wildlife was abundant and later seeing the destruction humans have inflicted in the last couple of decades, I was always inspired to do something, in whatever way possible, to save the environment.

The first step was to leave the corporate world to work in Satpura Tiger Reserve where I first met Les Carlisle and was absolutely inspired by the work that he and his team were doing. And now, by working for &Beyond, I feel that I am able to contribute in some way towards saving our planet and its green spaces, even if I am not physically present in the field (although I would love to be there someday in the thick of all the action).

Its longstanding commitment to caring for the people has stood the test of time.

Nicole Robinson

Chief Marketing Officer
22 years

My first interaction with &Beyond was in 1997 when I was assigned to the company as an audit clerk. The financial manager offered me the opportunity to stay with my husband at Phinda Mountain Lodge. I can still remember the awe I felt experiencing a game drive for the first time. The expertise of the guide and how the natural world was expertly interpreted for me – it filled me with an instant desire to help conserve it.

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At the time, my husband planted the seed that I just had to work for the company. I joined in 1999 and now, more than two decades later, I am deeply proud of our values of care of the land, wildlife and people and the impact we have had on endangered species, communities and our guests (many of whom start with a checklist of animals they want to tick off and then leave as wildlife and planet ambassadors). It is incredibly rewarding to be able to tell &Beyond’s story. So much so, that this is much more than just a job, it provides me with meaning and the most unforgettable experiences.

Shaun Strydom

Group Sales & Global Concierge Manager
21 years

I joined the company 21 years ago and in my first six months, I thought I had joined a group of fanatics and secretly planned my escape. I soon started to realise that making a difference is easier than one thinks. Uplifting a housekeeper by giving her the support and time to develop into the leader she is today. Telling the story of a local primary school in desperate need and creating a pebble-in-a-pond ripple effect of support.

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The more I observed, the more I wanted to give. I now look back on a career, working for an organisation that is committed to making a difference to the world, every day leaving it in a better place and persevering to leave a legacy. I cannot imagine my life without &Beyond being a part of it.

Damián Fernández Dupouy

Executive Chef
Vira Vira, Chile
3 years

Working with &Beyond is like being part of a big family of passionate people, where everyone supports each other and always brings the best of themselves to create magical moments for our guests and make a positive impact in the world. I could not be more proud to be part of this family. At Vira Vira, I love having direct contact with nature and being able to work with its fresh products on a daily basis. Here, I can focus on seasonal variety, ethical sourcing and farm-to-table sustainability: values that are important to me and to our guests.

Eric Buthelezi

General Manager
Phinda South
30 years

&Beyond has a unique culture and working here feels like being part of a big family. Over the years, we have laughed and cried together as family. I have always respected our core values of caring for the land, wildlife and people and seeing the company’s achievements over three decades makes me proud. 30 years ago this month, I joined &Beyond as a porter, now I’m a general manager of our flagship reserve. What a journey.

30 years ago, I joined &Beyond as a porter, now I’m a general manager.

Charity Cheruiyot

Guide | Kichwa Tembo
15 years

For me, two things stand out about &Beyond. First, it’s a company that aims to increase the green frontiers in terms of conservation and its model of caring for the land and wildlife can be seen and felt by all those who interact with us. This is not a company purely driven by profit, but also by a desire to implement sustainable tourism for future generations. Second, is our care of the people. Not just in terms of the adjacent communities where we operate, but also in terms of our staff. &Beyond believed in me and gave me an opportunity to grow. I am where I am because of &Beyond and I am proud to be part of this family.


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