Derek Schuurman

Derek Schuurman

Product Manager Madagascar and Alternative Africa

Derek was born in South Africa. A keen naturalist, he has had a strong interest in wildlife (birds in particular) for as long as he can remember. He has a degree in Psychology and  Industrial Sociology.  

As a result of his long-standing fascination with Madagascar, Derek began his career in travel in 1991. While working in South Africa, he undertook many exploratory trips to Madagascar, as well as to the Mascarene islands, Mozambique, Uganda, Ethiopia and Eritrea. He arranged numerous group tours, designed tailor-made itineraries and co-authored three guidebooks.

In 1992, Derek met UK publisher and travel writer Hilary Bradt. They co-authored the first three editions of 'Madagascar Wildlife: A Visitors Guide', which won The Sunday Times (UK) 'Small Publisher of the Year Award'. He has written numerous articles for newspapers and magazines, including  BBC Wildlife and World Birdwatch.

From March 2009 he was part of a voluntary team of individuals including conservationists and biologists from NGOs such as Missouri Botanical Gardens, Global Forest Watch and World Resources Institute, who worked in a campaign against illegal logging within protected areas of Madagascar. Their work resumed in 2018 and in April 2019, the team published a paper in the prestigious journal Biological Conservation. Their papers - which also address wider conservation-related topics in Madagascar - can be viewed on ResearchGate

Derek’s contributions to books include the Madagascar chapter in the stunning coffee-table book ‘Evocative Africa’, (2013) which took 'the Godfather of wildlife photography', Gerald Cubitt almost a decade to complete. He also contributed to the 'Global Guide to Animal Protection' (2014), an extensive collection of essays on animal welfare and protection around the world.

'While Madagascar will always be my favourite destination, I have had unforgettable experiences in other African countries', he says. Top of the list among these include attending a Hamar bull-jumping ceremony in Ethiopia, Gorilla tracking in both Rwanda and Uganda, seeing Green turtle hatchlings scurry to the sea in Sao Tome & Principe and birding in Botswana and Kenya. 'It is moments like these that you cherish forever. They are a continual source of inspiration at the workplace, and I enjoy facilitating similar experiences for our clients who have a taste for travel to off-beat and unusual countries'.

 

The Rainbow Team

Candice Buchan

Candice Buchan

Head of Rainbow
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Craig Kaufman

Craig Kaufman

Africa Travel Specialist
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Derek Schuurman

Derek Schuurman

Product Manager Madagascar and Alternative Africa
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Helen Kennedy

Helen Kennedy

Africa Travel Specialist
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Jack Brooker

Jack Brooker

Latin America Product Manager
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Kristen Lanskail-Morris

Kristen Lanskail-Morris

Latin America Travel Specialist
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Sarah Frankish

Sarah Frankish

Latin America Travel Specialist
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Shelley Phillips

Shelley Phillips

Africa Travel Specialist
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Nikki Lynas

Nikki Lynas

Africa Travel Specialist
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Kerry Cook

Kerry Cook

Latin America Travel Specialist
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Janine Bullen

Janine Bullen

Africa Travel Specialist
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Jake Aley

Jake Aley

Latin America Travel Specialist
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Kate Anderson

Kate Anderson

Africa Travel Specialist
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Guided by our shared values, our Executive Leaders drive our business to being the best it can be.

Get to know our Executive team here and find out more about their experience, background and personal passions.

Why Choose Us?

Passionate travel experts

  • We've been leading wildlife travel since our first South Africa tours over 25 years ago
  • Our Travel Specialists have lived in their specialist area for years
  • We work with local guides to immerse you deeper in our diverse range of experiences

Personal & tailor-made

  • You'll speak to your own expert who'll share their first-hand knowledge
  • We'll make your itinerary seamless with 24/7 emergency contact available
  • Your Travel Specialist will listen to ensure you have the best chance of seeing the wildlife you love

Responsible by nature

  • We take care to actively contribute to the conservation of environments we visit
  • For select countries, we make a charitable donation on your behalf when you make your booking
  • We've partnered with conservation experts and NGOs to curate responsible tours
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