Meet the team

About Active Africa

Meet the team

We could describe the 'who' of Active Africa as a group of exceptional guides. But we are so much more than that, with many years of collective tourism consulting, guiding and tour leading experience in Africa and worldwide. Whether your interest is a cultural exchange with a remote community or savouring the culinary art of the continent's best chefs, we can arrange it. Whether you prefer to touch ancient wilderness on a classic African safari, cycle through desert landscapes or ascend the icy summit of Kilimanjaro, all of our guides and tour leaders are intimately familiar with Africa, offering expert leadership and local knowledge that only comes from personal experience.

Chris Goodwin

Chris Goodwin

Chris is the owner of Active Africa and someone who is single-mindedly dedicated to having as much fun as possible. After 13 years in the commercial catering industry, Chris realized that during those long hours in the office, he had forgotten how to breathe. So in 2001, armed with no more than a desire to enjoy his working hours, he took a deep breath and walked out of the office. Now, whether he’s pounding the ground on a trail run, or climbing a mountain or riding a bicycle, Chris is enjoying every breath and travellers on his tours are constantly inspired by his energy, enthusiasm and pure enjoyment of life. A consummate organizer, Chris loves the little operational details that go with managing or overseeing a tour.

Special talents:
Cooks like a demon!
Thinks he’s a photographer…

Jacqui Goodwin

Jacqui Goodwin

A lively intellect earned through a doctorate in molecular biology, combined with a passion for cycling means that Jacqui can engage you in philosophical debate while hardly breaking a sweat as you tackle that hill with her on your bicycle. Thanks to a diverse career that included a period in the corporate grind of big pharma, whether from a seat in front of her computer or from the seat of her bicycle, Jacqui can offer qualified recommendations to the finest destinations and informed insight when discovering them. A passion for the natural environment, depth of general knowledge and a desire to blend information with entertainment keeps Jacqui returning to the road as a freelancer when not guiding, consulting, supporting or making tea for Active Africa.

Special talents:
Remembers loads of useless information
Smiles a lot

Nicole Samsodien

Nicole Samsodien

Nicole is a born-and-bred Capetonian who shares her love for the outdoors with her young family. Her fondest memories as a child were exploring Cape Town's natural beauty with her sisters, something she is continuing to share with her two young boys. Nicole's endless patience and calm temperament, coupled with her excellent organisational skills, are the perfect antidote to the office chaos that would otherwise prevail.

Special talents:
Loves admin!
We think she's a secret Ninja warrior

Laura Christie

Laura Christie

Laura’s love of the African bush was nurtured during childhood holidays to family farms in Zimbabwe, leading to a career choice in game ranging and lodge management. Experience with some of Africa’s premier safari operators in remote parts of South Africa, Zambia and Tanzania infused the desire to deliver exceptional standards with limited resources. A travelling sabbatical to Europe inspired a taste for city life and Laura returned to Cape Town where she added Exercise Science to her qualifications and took on a new passion for triathlon and trail running, completing her first half Iron Man Triathlon in 2012. Laura leads many of Active Africa’s multi-day walking and biking trips infusing her love of the bush and knowledge of South Africa into every trip.

Special talents:
Game for anything
A devoted disciple of Bacchus

 

Michael Willemse

Michael Willemse

One of the few born-and-bred Capetonians (we're all Capetonian, right?) Michael spent his youth exploring in the fynbos and crawling around the caves, which may explain his great night vision.... He enjoyed a challenging, but rewarding career as a chef before the call of the outdoors drowned out the sound of extractor fans and Michael left South Africa for New Zealand where he completed an Outdoor leadership course. A strong biker and extremely proficient mountain guide, Michael will show you the best of the outdoors in an interesting and informative way ... and he may just whip up something delicious while he's at it. When he's not riding a bike or climbing a mountain, he can be found cheering his daughters on the sports field.

Special talents:
Yet another chef ... we love it!
We think he's part rock rabbitt…

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