MEET THE FOUNDERS
Gaotsogelwe Frank Mochaba
Gaotsogelwe Frank Mochaba is one of the founders and owner of Semunyeni safaris together with Ian Gary Taylor. Frank was born and raised in a small Cattle post at TSIBOGOLAMATELE along theBoteti river, the end downstream of the Okavango Delta. He grew up there with the grandparents, heading cattle and other live stock, as well as gathering wild fruits and hunting medium sized antelope for eating.
At seven years old, he had to start his school education in Maun(the gateway to Okavango Delta) about 50 km from the farm and every weekend or holiday he would spent them back at the farm. That’s where he did all his studies from primary to high school.
His PASSION on bush life pulled him to CAREER DREAMS COLLEAGE in 2007 to study his Professional safari guide course for one year and completed with distinction, then went for more practical training with Wilderness Safaris. In June 2008 he was employed by Desert and Delta safaris at camp Moremi within the Moremi game reserve as a professional guide until August 2015 when he moved to Bush Ways Safaris. He was based in Khwai concession area at Sango Safari camp as a Head guide overlooking other guides and staff in general. That’s where he also did his training on rifle and weapon handling for his lead walking guide qualification.
He then later got back to Desert and Delta Safaris in September 20017 where he was based in Savuti Safari lodge within the Chobe National Park. He then joined the mobile safari industry where he explored all the National Parks and Game reserves in Botswana. He acquired a lot of first hand information, experience as well as company awards like best guide award and his passion in guiding never stopped growing hence he named his company OKAVANGO PASSIONS trading as Semunyeni Safaris meaning together as one.
Frank still spend some quality time at the Cattle Post educating other farmers about conservation and living with wild animals,NOT HUNTING ANYMORE.
Dalene & Tasmyn
Dalene has always had a profound love for the bush, so much so she attended Bhejane Nature Training situated in Northern Zululand of the Kwa-Zulu Natal province of South Africa to get her FGASA qualification where she holds the hgihest mark for the theory test and easily past with flying colours. Spending this time at Bhejane only helped grow Dalene’s Passion for the Wild. She further studied Nature Conservation at Saasveld (Nelson Mandela University) and continued to better herself by completing her Bachelors of Technology Post graduate in Nature Conservation with her major being Herpetology ( the study of reptiles and Amphibians). Dalene accomplished graduating with distinctions in her first and third year as well as writing a scientific paper on Herpetalogical species in the Karoo National Park. To be sure she is as prepared as possible, Dalene has her Fire Arm Competency for Shotgun, Rifle and Handgun, she is certified in Snake Handling as well as her First Aid Certificate.
Dalene then spent a year wokrking for South African National Park (SANParks) at Addo Elephant National Park, Based in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa, which is most well known for their Tuskless female Elephants which resulted from hunting in the 1960’s in which Elephants were hunted for their tusks. Dalene spent the year doing hard labour in the bush, doing her best to protect and preserve some of South Africa’s most valuable wildlife species.
From collaring lions and elephants, notching and microchipping the highly endangered black rhiniceros as well as translocating endangered cheetah for breeding projects to help combat genetic bottle-necking, to darting buffalo for wildlife auctions, Dalene is cemented in conservation practises. Dalene is now a director of Semunyeni Botswana Mobile Safaris where we focus on promoting conservation through education.
Tasmyn has always been a bush baby. The bigger she grew, the greater her passion for the Bush grew. As part of her Gap Year, Tasmyn spent a year volunteering at various wildlife rehabilitation centres in Namibia, Australia and South Africa where Tasmyn learnt the importance of conserving threatened species and the husbandry involved with rehabilitation centres. One on one experiences with some of Southern Affrica’s most threatened species only reassured Tasmyn of her purpose. In so, Tasmyn started studying for her FGASA for guiding qualification and to learn more about the wildlife industry where she graduated with a distinction. Tasmyn then went on to study Nature Conservation at Saasveld (Nelson Mandela University) graduating with a distinction for second and third year. While studying, Tasmyn completed and achieved her Fire Arm Competency, Snake Handling, First Aid certifications. She is currently completing her Bachelors of Technology Post graduate part time through Cape Peninsula University of Technology where she is studying the effects of human activities on marine and estuarine environments. This was an insipration from workign at a local consevrancy along the South East Coast of South Africa where the conservacny focused on education with the public, monitring and conserving endangered and vulnerable marine species as well as the rehabilitation of injured, sick or stranded marine mammals. Now, Tasmyn is a director of Semunyeni Safari’s where she too focuses on conservation through education. Tasmyn and Dalene are motviated to make a difference in the world of conservation.
So much so it inspred the name Semunyeni. The name was originally Simunye meaning “We are one’ when directly translated from Zulu. “We are One” is coincidently a name of a song from the Lion King. The name then morphed from Simunye to Semunyeni for originality. Semunyeni focuses on conservation initiatives by being as respectful to nature as one can. Recycling efforts, economic farming, eco-tourism and a minimal footprint. We believe as individuals and as a company, we should be an example of how to be one with nature.