MEET THE TEAM

Uluntu Africa has a small team of highly educated and experienced professionals, who have a long history of working in both academia in the UK, as well as the African tourist industry. Please find some short bios of our consultants below.

Over time, we have built strong partnerships in the sustainable and fair trade tourist industry and have consolidated this through association with the Green Girls in Africa. More recently, the Green Girls in Africa became a member of the Sustainable Tourism Certification Alliance Africa and Louise de Waal was invited to sit on The Alliance’s Market Development Portfolio Committee Working Group.

Louise de Waal

DR LOUISE DE WAAL

Born & bred in Holland, lived & worked for 18 or so years in England, and now Louise is living her dream in Cape Town – probably the most beautiful spot in the world. She has always had a passion for travelling, meeting new people from different cultural backgrounds, learning about a country’s history and discovering new landscapes, but got bitten by the Africa bug big time after having worked as a volunteer in Tanzania. With an academic background and PhD in environmental management, environmental issues and sustainability are part of her belief system and lifestyle.

Responsible Tourism Expertise
Louise has travelled extensively throughout eastern and southern Africa and has a wide knowledge of the African tourism industry. She has 12 years of experience in the sustainable/responsible tourism industry, not only as the founder of Baobab Travel, an UK-based tour operator of tailor-made African holiday packages, but also as joint founder of a Cape Town based fully independent specialist Destination Management Company. Both businesses were founded on ethical principles, fully dedicated to providing sustainable tourism services in Africa, and proudly sold several Fair Trade in Tourism (FTT) certified tour packages.

With this extensive knowledge of the African tourism industry and passion for responsible travel and sustainable tourism, she established and built partnerships within the industry with those who share her sustainable tourism philosophy. She now continues this passion by helping tourism businesses to travel the road to sustainability by e.g. undertaking business sustainability audits, creating custom-made responsible tourism toolkits, developing responsible tourism policies, and communicating achievements through social media.

One of the more recent projects included developing a sustainable, nature-based tourism strategy for the Agulhas Plain region, as part of a consultancy project for Cape Agulhas Tourism, Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative and SANParks. This strategy involved among others the development of a responsible tourism toolkit for tourism businesses and a responsible tourism visitor’s guide. In addition, she is a SANAS accredited Technical Assessor for Responsible Tourism (ISO17065) and an auditor for Fair Trade in Tourism.

Blogging
Louise loves her social media and handles all Green Girls in Africa Twitter, Facebook and blogging accounts. She is also a guest blogger on other platforms, including Baobab Travel, The Good Holiday, and AFK Travel Please find blog examples HERE.

Environmental Background
Louise has an academic & research background in environmental science with a PhD in environmental management and many years of teaching experience at various British universities. She has published more than 30 academic & peer reviewed publications and consultancy reports. Consultancy projects included organisations, such as Cape Agulhas Tourism/Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative (RSA), and the National Rivers Authority and J. Sainsbury Plc (UK). Louise also worked as a volunteer in Tanzania on a coral reef conservation project.

Paul Giess

DR PAUL GIESS

Formally trained in the physical sciences, Paul has both a past academic research and teaching history in the United Kingdom. After working with British Nuclear Fuels (BNFL) and receiving a PhD in environmental radioactivity from Imperial College in London, he spent 10 years as a senior lecturer in Environmental Sciences. This has involved assessing and correcting written work to a high standard of English. He has also taught environmental sustainability and business development to Masters level in the UK, Finland, and Hungary, and presented work at international conferences.

Throughout this time Paul has written extensively in the area of travel and sports, and written short story fiction in English, as a personal pastime, as well as publishing scientific works and educational materials.

In 2005, he undertook a career change based on a personal passion for travel and managed Baobab Travel Ltd before moving to South Africa in 2007. He has travelled extensively in Africa and Europe and also worked on projects in the United States. This has deepened his knowledge of the travel industry and cultures of Southern Africa and further improved his writing and editing skills.

In addition to providing technical editing services for science publications, he has supplied content to a number of travel and educational websites and is a keen blogger and social media addict. When not working, Paul writes blogs for a local sports team and an educational charity, where he also provides administrative support for local students accessing higher education courses.