OUR TEAM

There are a lot of people behind the scenes and far too many to mention but these are some of the people who you will deal with directly.

CEO


Wilfred Chivell – Owner of Marine Dynamics & Dyer Island Cruises and founder of The Dyer Island Conservation Trust. He is the visionary of the company and has taken the shark cage diving industry to another level. He has won awards for his environmental efforts and keeps breaking new ground with his entrepreneurial ideas. His long held dream is to open a marine educational and scientific centre among other exciting ideas. Wilfred will rescue any animal, big or small that can be rescued. Wilfred is also dreaming some big dreams for our volunteers who he believes are integral to our business and appreciates their input into our lives. As he says, “many of them become family.”
“We promise you that if you do join us you will gain knowledge and experience that you will never forget. We may change your life because our passion is highly infectious!”

Staff


Meredith Thornton is the Manager of our International Marine Volunteer (IMV) programme. She has 25 years of experience in research and conservation, mostly in the marine field (seabird, seal and cetacean work). She has worked on a multitude of projects with volunteers, interns and students throughout her working life, and recognises that without the assistance of volunteers our work would not be as successful as it is. Meredith is easy to get along with and will happily share her extensive knowledge of South Africa’s natural environment with you. Most of her work has been along the South African coastline, but she has even travelled as far afield as Sakhalin Island in eastern Russia to work on Grey whales, to Greenland to learn about acoustic moorings for whale vocalisations and to Antarctic waters to work on blue whales. Meredith is as at home in the dusty Karoo and frozen deserts as she is bobbing about on the ocean, just as long as she is in close vicinity to nature she is happy and fulfilled. She is deeply spiritual, yet grounded, is passionate about sustainable living and environmental education and training and is very much looking forward to meeting you in Kleinbaai!

Marié Botha is our IMV Administrator, and will assist you from your first enquiry with us, through to making sure that you arrive safely at the International Marine Volunteers’ programme. Marié will ensure that all the administration runs smoothly in order for you to have a great experience with us from beginning to end. She worked with our ecotourism partner, Dyer Island Cruises for 5 years before and then went on to managing a lodge in the area. Marié is a very hard-working person, is always up for a challenge and has a fun sense of humour. Being organised is very important to her and she prides herself in being a precise and reliable worker. She is passionate about all animals and is running a very successful feral cat colony on a nearby holiday resort. This is her passion in life and she is 100% dedicated to help this colony survive even if they are challenged with difficult illnesses and challenges daily.

Hennie Odendal is an IMV Volunteer Coordinator and has a great love for the outdoors and nature. He previously managed a backpacking establishment along the Garden Route of South Africa and has lots of experience working with people from all over the world. Hennie’s passion for Mother Nature goes hand-in-hand with his passion for landscape photography. In his free time you’ll most likely to find him with a camera somewhere in the mountains, forest or on a remote beach off the beaten track. Hennie has also backpacked through 5 countries in South America and travelled through every bordering country of South Africa in true safari style. He loves working with people and experiencing different cultures. He is a real people’s person, understands how different mind-sets work, is easy-going and sociable. He thoroughly enjoys working with our volunteers, from entertaining them to assisting with their duties and supporting them wherever he can.

Ettiene Roets is an IMV Volunteer Coordinator and has worked with volunteers and interns since 2012, where he previously managed a Marine Education and Conservation Internship programme. Ettiene is passionate about marine life and loves working with people in this field. He grew up in a small town in the Free State where, from an early age, he showed a great interest in the marine environment, albeit a land-locked Province! He used to spend every summer holiday down at the coast exploring the shoreline. After completing high school, he went on to study a BSc in Zoology and Geography and thereafter did a Post Graduate diploma in Management. Ettiene is a loyal, hard-working person who loves the outdoors, especially the ocean and sharks. His hobbies and interests include fishing, snorkeling, playing cricket, building and maintaining aquaria and many outdoor activities. He loves working with young people and feels great when he sees people from all over the world making a difference to our environment.

Slashfin Crew


Coming Soon

Dream Catcher Crew


Coming Soon
Wilfred Chivell
wilfred chivell

Meredith Thornton
Meredith Thornton
Marié Botha
Marie Botha
Hennie Odendal
Hennie Odendal
Ettiene Roets
Ettienne Roets