Board of directors


Rein van der Horst (Chairman)

I have 25 years working experience of which 15 have been as an entrepreneur. In my current job I am working for a large corporate and responsible for Africa. During my career I have worked in Taiwan, Spain, the Netherlands and currently in South Africa.

Why connected to the foundation as Director?

I am a Director of the foundation because my wife Arnie and I are passionate about wildlife. We have travelled through Africa extensively and have seen the beauty of its people, nature and wildlife but we have also seen the tough challenges the continent is facing in these areas. I decided to join this initiative (I call it venture) as I strongly believe that we can make a difference. Both the foundation and my focus will be on implementation and looking for opportunities to team up with some of the many other foundations which have the money but not the capability to implement projects.

Personal Note

I believe in collaboration and partnership – that is when you make a difference. There are a lot of foundations that have the right intensions but if we do not collaborate and implement we do not achieve our goals. Gondwana Conservation Foundation will make a difference if we are successful in doing this.


Mark Rutherfoord

Mark has 17 years of experience of working within Game Reserves and Environmentally protected areas within South africa. Mark is the founder of Gondwana Game Reserve where he underwent the task of rehabilitating 11000 hectares of heavily cultivated agricultural land into South Africa’s only Big Five Fynbos Reserve.

Why connected to the foundation as Director?

Mark believed that Gondwana Game Reserve could provide a nucleus for multiple environmental and social projects within the Southern Cape of South Africa. The Southern Cape has one of the most critically endangered vegetation types in the world, however there has been an inherent lack of understanding of the region’s conservation value and potential. Mark founded the foundation to help realize the potential of the region and to provide a platform for education, empowerment and employment of the local community and in so doing create opportunities to address critical environmental issues.

Personal Note

I believe in the potential of South Africa. I believe that through basic education of people we will be able to achieve endless conservation goals. If we start with the smallest issues we will be able to provide a platform to address some of the largest environmental challenges we have in South Africa and Africa at large. I am excited about the potential of the Gondwana Conservation Foundation as it provides a multi tiered approach to achieving these conservation goals.


David Amos

I am a retired Chartered Accountant having held various positions in both the profession and in commerce and industry. My career commenced in Zimbabwe and then to the UK, South Africa and Australia.

Why connected to the foundation as Director?

My wife Caroline and I are totally committed to wildlife and its preservation and we have spent many months over the years travelling throughout southern and central Africa. We are motivated to protecting endangered species in any way in which we can and believe that the Gondwana Conservation Foundation is an ideal vehicle in which to travel this road.

Personal Note

There are a vast array of wildlife trusts and fund raising entities throughout the world but I am convinced that we have an added advantage in that we are able to actually implement protection of endangered species on our home turf. I also believe that education is of paramount importance to the future wellbeing of our wildlife heritage and this is another exciting facet of the Foundation.


Simon Vanzuydam

I was born and educated in Durban, South Africa however have resided in Europe over the past 15 years. I have over 20 years experience in both the corporate and consulting sectors and worked in Europe, North America and Asia. I am currently the Group Commercial Director for an international housewares company and based out of Switzerland.

Why connected to the foundation as Director?

In 2006, I (along with two close friends) was one of the first to invest in a game lodge on the reserve and every year I have visited Gondwana with my family. We have always been very connected to the conservation development and progress at Gondwana and more recently I have been extremely concerned on the plight of our Rhinos in South Africa. After ongoing discussions with the other directors on how we find solutions to save our rhino from further demise, I was delighted to be appointed a director of the Gondwana Conservation Foundation and be part of the team that will be executing our strategy to fight this cause.

Personal Note

I believe that this immoral destruction of our Rhino is a global issue and citizens from all over the world need to fight this cause. We need to engage everyone, including the youth! The statistics show that this crisis is accelerating at a rate which may result in our Rhino becoming extinct very soon and it is our duty to stop this immediately.Our strategy is a good one and if we execute well we will see a difference. We all know that these illegal syndicates will employ the most horrific tactics to secure the supply of Rhino horn to Asia so we have to be prepared for whatever they throw at us.

Neil Davison1

Neil Davison

Graduating from Wits University in 1999 with a BSc Honours, Botany, I was well equipped to head into Conservation and most environmental fields. Having worked in and out of Reserves in a Wildlife, Education and hospitality role over the past 15 years, my key focus has been more Hospitality and Tourism. As General Manager of the Hospitality business on Gondwana I am currently involved with the more day to day operational and logistical needs for the Business and Reserve.

Why connected to the foundation as Director?

Tourism and Conservation have grown hand in hand over the past 30 years and this partnership has proven successful in many parts of Africa. The need for wildlife sanctuaries, and conservation in unique areas is often lost on the business model of the Tourism entity. My involvement on the Foundation lends itself towards bringing Conservation on the Reserve into the Hospitality aspect and ensuring the partnership is mutually beneficial. Hosting guests from all over the world will create awareness, understanding and support for the Foundation. The success of the Reserve is dependent on the success of the Foundation and that of the Hospitality entities operating within the Reserves borders. This relationship is critical.

Personal Note

An old school conservation thinker led to believe that new initiatives will provide the necessary success to Conservation initiatives does not sum me up at all. I believe in hard work, persistence and consistency in getting things done and making a difference. We did not agree to head a Foundation because it would be easy, but because it would provide a challenge and a focus to succeed.