top of page

National Executive Committee

Introducing our esteemed National Executive Committee, who are all members of SA AIA and experts in various adventure fields. Their wealth of knowledge and experience is invaluable to our organization and we are proud to have them on board. As our first NEC, these are volunteers, self-elected nominees.

IMG_0810.JPEG
JESSI SUNKEL
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR | MARKETING

As the Executive Director of the South African Adventure Industry Association, I am passionate about supporting, educating, training, standardizing and professionalising the adventure industry in South Africa.

 

I have a diploma in Adventure Tourism Management from TUT; a certificate in Communication and Counselling, specialising in adolescants and addiction counselling, from SACAP; over a decade of experience in adventure guiding, training, team building, facilitation, and franchise management.

I joined SA AIA at the end of 2021 to help kick-start the Non-Profit into gear.

IMG_0007.JPG
OMOLEMO TLHABANE
ADVENTURE-BASED LEARNING

As a teenager, Omolemo volunteered for Hillbrow Kidsweek, sparking her passion for child and youth development. In 2016, she began her journey in Outdoor Education, combining this passion with her love of the outdoors.

By 2018, she had trained as an ARA Level 2 facilitator and a Dr. Roger Greenaway Development Training Programme facilitator. In 2022, she enhanced her skills at the Adventure Institute in areas like Trauma-Informed Care, Adventurous Experiential Learning, Mountain Walking Guiding, Wilderness First Aid, and Stop the Bleed.

Omolemo has worked as an Outdoor Experiential Learning Facilitator in South Africa and the U.S., engaging with diverse clients of various ages and backgrounds. She believes in the transformative power of the outdoors and adventure to shape the lives of today’s youth, the future of our country.

Deon.jpg
DEON J BREYTENBACH
GUIDING | TRAINING | ADVENTURE-BASED LEARNING

I started my career in the Outdoor Adventure industry as a River Guide at the end of the 90's and have been lucky enough to spend the majority of my time outside ever since. A lot of it has been on and around the rivers of South Africa and Swaziland. And later, after some Rope Rescue and Abseiling courses, a fair amount of abseiling, climbing, canyoning, and a bit of multi-day hiking. I became an African Paddling Association (APA) instructor in the early 2000's. I studied Natural Resource Management at SAWC and later Environmental Management through UNISA.

Pre Covid I was the Operations Manager for Blyde Adventure Camp for 10+ years where the initial focus was adventure tourism and then shifted focus onto Adventure-Based Experiential Learning for youth and teens, leadership programmes for schools as well as some corporate facilitation. 

Post Covid I have shifted a bit more back into the training and consultation side of things, still outside as much as possible and hoping to get more people of all ages safely outside and loving it.​​

Johan Du Plooy.jpg
JOHAN DU PLOOY
GUIDING | TRAINING

I have an engineering background. All our family holidays were adventure based in remote areas of SA. In 2012 my company was accredited by TETA as a 4x4 Driver Training Service Provider and I registered with TETA as an assessor and moderator. 4x4 Adventures and tours evolved from the 4x4 training.

 

After registering to become a field guide, I soon realised that this was not what I wanted to do. During the SATSA meeting in 2020, where we started the adventure tourism chapter, I heard the words "legal and illegal guides" several times. Upon further investigation, I soon realised that I was one of the illegal guides they were talking about.

 

In 2021 I started my training as a 4x4 and Overlanding Adventure Guide with Overnight Camping and qualified and registered with the SA National Department of Tourism in 2022. I joined the SA AIA in 2023 as I was looking for an association that could sensitize adventure guides and the general public about the benefits and consequences of using unqualified and qualified adventure guides.

NEIL MARGETTS
GUIDING | TRAINING

Neil enjoys all forms of climbing, from vast icy mountains to sport climbing and bouldering. He has logged numerous canyons and climbs globally and repeatedly ascended the technical free-standing peaks in the Drakensberg.

Neil significantly contributes to South African rock climbing and canyoning, sharing his skills through the South African Outdoor Academy, an accredited training provider he owns. He excels in organizing and negotiating the development of new crags and improving safety at existing ones. As a co-founder of the South African National Climbing Federation (SANCF), he has helped young climbers compete internationally, including at the Olympics. In 2012, the Mountain Club of South Africa awarded him the President’s Award for his contributions.

Over the past 42 years, Neil has been involved in most major climbing activities across the country.

Johan Outram.jpg
JOHAN OUTRAM
GUIDING | ADVENTURE-BASED LEARNING

I joined the adventure industry as part of my gap year planning. Now serving as histories  longest  serving gap year student. Trained with various stakeholders like Adventure Recreational Association, Mountain Development Trust and many more. I have been guiding actively since the early 2000's as A guide in the Adventure Based experiential learning  field, specialised as an Adventure and a Culture guide on various scopes. I have been  awarded KZN Adventure guide of the year for 2016-2019 in recognition of my field.

 

Training the youth has been a big passion of mine and I currently do so as assessor and moderator on various adventure guiding scopes.

Nic_SAAIA_pic.JPG
NIC SHAW
GUIDING | ADVENTURE-BASED LEARNING | STANDARDS & REGULATIONS

Nic Shaw is Managing Director of the NPO Chrysalis Project South Africa and has run environmental and adventure-based programmes, expeditions, and fieldwork as a career since 1992. Nic has a background in Geography and is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (RGS) in London. He received training from the RGS, the Royal Air Force, and the Duke of Edinburgh Assessor’s Scheme (UK) in expedition and excursion safety management; and has specialized in risk management in the outdoors.

 

He is currently Chairman of the SABS Technical Committee for tourism and related services, and is a co-author of ISO international standards in risk management. Nic is a mountain rescue volunteer and a keen outdoorsman.

PIETER2.jpg
DR. PIETER L SNYMAN
DIRECTOR | ADVENTURE-BASED LEARNING | TRAINING

Dr Pieter Snyman lives with his wife Janine and their four children at Camp Extreme Life just outside Pretoria North. Pieter currently holds the position of Executive head for UCSA (Uniting Christian Students Association), he is also a Director at the Adventure Institute, a CCSA executive, and one of the founding members and directors of SA AIA.  

 

Other than Pieter's Doctoral degree in Organisational Leadership (Adventure Related Experiential Learning), he also holds a Masters Degree in Challenge Education, and a Degree in Post School Education. Somewhere as a young man he also completed a Diploma in Marketing. Pieter co-authored books on Experiential Learning, Emotion, Wellbeing, and Resilience.


Pieter holds qualifications as a Ropes Course Director (RCD-UK), registered CATHSSETA assessor, Adventure Guiding (GASG), and NBI Practitioner (Neethling Brain Institute). His passion is around facilitating change via creative intentional experiential interventions in the adventurous outdoors.

James.jpg
JAMES BROWNE
GUIDING | OPERATOR | TRAINING

Qualified in design and architecture, I transitioned into tourism in the late 90s as an operations manager for an Overland and River Rafting company. In 2004, I founded Xama Adventures and Xama Africa, specializing in river rafting, Southern Africa Safaris, and School Wilderness Outdoor Camps and Journeys. As a director of both an adventure company and lodge safari operator, I’ve gained valuable skills and the importance of networking.

I am a qualified safari/tour guide, river guide, river rafting instructor, and assessor. Currently, I serve as the African Paddling Association Chairman and on the training committee for river, flat, and swift water training. With 25 years in tourism and adventure, I am passionate about educating future leaders on sustainable tourism, conservation, and safety, delivering high-quality service responsibly.

My work as a safari and river guide has fueled my passion for wildlife photography and lodge design, allowing me to consult on lodge design and builds, blending my knowledge with my lifestyle and work.

MARIE-LOUISE KELLETT
GUIDING | TRAINING

Marie-Louise has a background in Environmental Science and completed a BA (hons) in Environmental and Geographical Science at UCT a very long time ago. Her focus was on Human Geography, specifically ecotourism. She worked in community based tourism route development before joining husband, Andrew Kellett, in running their adventure business, Gravity Adventures.

 

From the start of the business, guide training and assessments were an intrinsic part of what they did and this remains the case today. Both have also been involved at an industry level for a long time, serving on APA (African Paddling Association) and IRF (International Rafting Federation) structures.

 

Marie-Louise is also on the SATSA Adventure Tourism and Responsible Committees and has a keen interest in ensuring that the South African Adventure Guide qualification is fit for purpose. Marie-Louise and Andrew have been involved in community based training in the adventure space across Africa, mostly in the paddling sector, but also designed a Campkeeper training programme for rural communities.

ANG.jpg
ANGELIQUE LE ROUX
OPERATOR

I am the owner and co-founder of Ceres Zipline Adventures, the first ziplines in the Western Cape, established on 1 November 2010. My corporate career began in Gauteng, and I completed my MBA in 2007. In 2009, I transitioned to adventure tourism.

Our business has received several awards, including the Cape Winelands District Municipality’s Mayoral Award for Best New Tourism Business in 2012 and the Getaway Show’s Best Adventure Exhibitor in 2011. We are members of various tourism associations and I have chaired Ceres Tourism since 2018.

In 2022, my team and I completed a cultural tourist guide course, highlighting the importance of education and training in adventure tourism. As a member of the SA AIA NEC, I am committed to contributing to the growth and development of this industry in South Africa.

FRANCOIS NEL
DIRECTOR | TREASURER | RETAIL

Francois Nel believes that the outdoor recreation and adventure industries are essential pillars in a prosperous Southern Africa.

bottom of page