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Meet the Board

The AfriCat Foundation – AfriCat Foundation Board of Trustees 2011

A new vision has been created for the AfriCat Foundation and in order to implement this vision it was also deemed necessary to re-organise the AfriCat Board of Trustees. A larger, more broad-based Board would be better able to represent the various stakeholders of the Foundation, as well as provide differing skill sets and fresh perspectives to the Foundation.

At a meeting of the Board of Trustees on 9 April 2011, Wayne Hanssen, as proprietor of Okonjima and Dr. Mark Jago veterinarian for the Ministry of Environment and Tourism as well as to the AfriCat Foundation were carried over from the old Board and the following individuals added:


wayne with wahu
Wayne Hanssen - Founder of AfriCat. Wayne was born in Windhoek, but raised in the bush and his life from the age of 6 was - Okonjima – Namibia – Africa.
Today he leads the Okonjima team in a tourism venture that offers our clients 'authenticity' and 'luxury'. Their funds are used for 'conservation', 'environmental education' and our 'social responsibility'.
• His Passion . . . is grassland science.
• His Dream . . . is to turn Okonjima’s 55 000acres of Nature Reserve into what it once looked like, before man destroyed it due to a lack of understanding the fragile nature of our environment.
• His Wish . . . is for the next generation that hold the future of this land in their hands, to learn from our mistakes and to 'BE the change they wish to see' in this beautiful country, Namibia!

Read more about Wayne

Donna Hanssen - has brought her considerable skills to bear in the reorganisation of AfriCat, particularly in raising the Foundation's profile and bringing it closer to Okonjima's guests. She is responsible for the new image which the Foundation now represents. Read more about Donna.


Mark and Karen ReineckeMark Reinecke, Chairperson - a lawyer by training, is also a part-owner for the past 14 years of Farm Ombujongwe, which has been brought into the Okonjima Conservancy and now serves as an integral part of AfriCat's release programmes.

mark jago

Mark Jago - Born and bred in the UK and having trained as a veterinary surgeon at Cambridge University, Mark followed his dream and in 1987 started working with wildlife in the National Parks of Tanzania. In 1993 he moved to Namibia with his wife, Laura, and their two children, Isla and Torran and for the next 14 years worked in a mixed rural veterinary practice. During this time Mark became closely involved with The AfriCat Foundation and its work with large carnivores.

Over the years he has been responsible for much of the health and welfare of AfriCat’s longer term residents as well as several of the research projects which have been undertaken. Today Mark works for the Namibian Ministry of Environment and Tourism as their wildlife vet in all of the country’s National parks. Mark and the family remain closely involved with the workings of The Foundation from both a veterinary and a conservation perspective, helping to guide its work into the most challenging areas of conserving Africa’s large predators in the face of ever-growing competition for the planet’s limited resources.

tristan boehme
Tristan Boehme - has worked at Okonjima for more than 12 years and has been the face of Okonjima in Europe. He is responsible for creating the newly invigorated guest experience at the AfriCat Foundation.

kathleen newton

Kathleen Newton, Treasurer- her experience with, and knowledge of, other trusts as well as her understanding of Namibia's business community shall prove invaluable.

"I have known the Hanssen family, the founders of The AfriCat Foundation, since I was a child and we used to regularly visit the farm with my parents. I remember the days when Okonjima was a cattle farm and the conservation of wild life but a dream. Over the years I have watched how the family has returned the farmland back to nature through hard work and dedication, especially allowing Namibia’s cheetahs and leopards to roam freely in their natural habitat. I have always loved cats, both big and small, and being able to give a little back to the preservation of our wildlife, especially the cats, gives me enormous pleasure and satisfaction. My husband and I spend many happy hours on the Okonjima Nature Reserve, which incorporates the AfriCat project, enjoying the peace and solitude that emanates from an environment that knows it is being looked after, and often sighting a leopard or cheetah. About 4 years ago I become more personally involved by assisting with the accounting and financial management of Okonjima, which naturally flowed into working with Africat and being appointed to the AfriCat board. I am proud to be associated with a project that is well managed, has clear and distinctive goals and will benefit generations of Namibians to come. My responsibility as a Trustee is to ensure we keep focused on our conservation and rehabilitation goals, as well as maintaining strong fiscal controls over the funds so generously donated by like minded people."

Tammy Hoth, Director -  AfriCat Foundation - will be the public face of the Foundation in Namibia and will interact with the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, as well as with local supporters and donors. Read more about Tammy.

david farquharson David Farquharson -  is a trustee of AfriCat UK. He lives in West London with his wife, Jo and three children. David and his wife first visited Okonjima in November 2010 and were massively impressed by the great work being carried out by the Africat Foundation and equally by the warmth of the African hospitality. His wife then volunteered his services! As a corporate lawyer with a media and entertainment firm, David has assisted with the running of AfriCat UK and various work with the Foundation’s legal requirements and issues. Outside of law and Africat, David enjoys spending time with his family, undertaking a variety of sporting pursuits, travelling, theatre, and good food and wine.

karen codling Karen Codling, Secretary - responsible for maintaining the Board records of the Foundation. Karen has worked for and with the UN since 1990.


A Management Committee of the Board was set up comprising of Donna Hanssen and Tristan Boehme representing the trustees, in addition to the Executive Director (Tammy Hoth). The establishment of this committee permits day-to-day decisions of the Foundation to be effected efficiently and smoothly. With a freshly renovated office, the Management Committee has created a renewed impetus for moving AfriCat forward.


The AfriCat Foundation - Scientific Committee voted in on the 30th of June 2013:
Permanent members of the committee include: Dr Mark Jago, Prof Henk Bertschinger, Dr Gerhard Steenkamp, Dr Adrian Tordiffe, Dr Rina Grant-Biggs, Dr Laura Brandt , Dr Sonja Boy, Donna Hanssen, Wayne Hanssen, Tammy Hoth-Hanssen and Helen Newmarch.

It was agreed that the role of the committee is to afford advice and assistance to the Foundation in developing research projects along the lines of its stated aims and objectives.


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