Despite his urban roots in Johannesburg, South Africa, Dewald has had a lifelong passion for the natural world. Admittedly, it was his grandparents that instilled this unwavering curiosity at an early age. They owned a farm, which Dewald used to love visiting as a child. He and his siblings also used to go on regular family adventures with their grandparents to the Kruger National Park, Pilanesberg and Botswana.
In 2006, Dewald’s family actually moved to Botswana and Dewald completed his schooling in Namibia, another one of Africa’s vast playgrounds. The Bothas went on countless camping holidays to the greater Okavango Delta, and it was there, not only that Dewald’s love for nature was cemented, but also his dream of pursuing a career in nature.
Upon finishing high school, Dewald studied Nature Conservation at Centurion Academy in Pretoria. He began freelance guiding as soon as he was legally qualified to do so and has never looked back. Once his studies were complete, Dewald immediately enrolled at &Beyond‘s Inkwazi Ranger Training School at &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve.
In July 2017, Dewald officially became an &Beyond guide and is currently based at &Beyond Phinda Zuka Lodge. Although he admits that his job is his hobby, when Dewald isn’t guiding, he spends a lot of time researching and watching documentaries about the natural world, history and technology. He also has a newfound passion for exploring Europe.