Meet our Team
Emmanuel was born in Soweto, Johannesburg, but spent the first ten years of his life with his paternal grandparents in Limpopo province. Returning to Soweto, he continued his schooling there until 1976, when the Soweto student protests interrupted his education. Fearing police security forces, he went to live in North West province with his maternal grandparents, but returned to Soweto a year later. When financial difficulties forced him to leave school, Emmanuel started working, doing odd jobs in several different industries, including taxi driving, security and sales, thus accumulating a wealth of different experiences.
Eager to improve his living standard, he completed his high school education through part-time study and thereafter completed several short courses in business and financial management. While driving minibus taxis, he met a tourist guide who needed a real township experience for his guests in a local taxi. From that moment, Emmanuel never looked back and enrolled to study tourist guiding. His first job in the industry was as a driver for a touring company and he subsequently qualified for Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West and kwaZulu-Natal provinces.
Emmanuel understands all of South Africa’s eleven official languages and he loves reading history and current affairs, as well as educational and motivational books. He is an optimist, who enjoys doing motivational talks and inspiring those around him. He has been married for 33 years and is the proud father of a son and a daughter and has three grandsons.
Emmanuel joined the team at Wilro Tours & Transfers in December 2012 and in 2014 was appointed as Head Tourist Guide. After the passing of David Ntsibande in July 2015, Emmanuel moved to our Operations Desk, where he worked closely with Operations Manager Lufuno Mukwevho, in managing the maintenance of our fleet of vehicles.
In December 2017 Emmanuel resigned to pursue a childhood cultural project. He has also returned to tourist guiding and continues to do tours for us on a freelance basis.
Charne was born in Johannesburg and grew up in the suburb of Triomf (English = Triumph), where she lived with her family throughout her primary and high school education. Despite difficult family circumstances, she completed high school in 2012. Unfortunately, a lack of finances prevented her from studying further, to pursue her dream of becoming a travel agent and also working in the hotel industry. Her family relocated to the city of Durban and Charne and her husband joined them. However, in 2015 they made the decision to return to Johannesburg, now the proud parents of a baby girl.
In 2017 Charne was able to realise her dream of working in the tourism industry, when she joined Wilro Tours and now works as an Administrative Assistant. She lives in the Johannesburg suburb of Newlands and enjoys spending time with her family.
Patrick (Pat) Masemola
Patrick (Pat) Masemola was born in a small village in Limpopo province, where he grew up and attended primary school. At the age of 9 years, Pat relocated with his family to Johannesburg, to continue his education. A family move to the Geluksdal section of Brakpan, a town 40km to the east of Johannesburg, saw Pat attending secondary school there, which led to him eventually completing his high school education.
Pat decided he wanted to study adventure tourism and enrolled at the Pretoria Technikon (now the Tshwane University of Technology). He later changed course to study Tourism Management instead, but unfortunately financial constraints prevented him from completing his studies. An opportunity arose for Pat to enter the tourism industry via a different, more affordable avenue, by taking a tourist guide training course and he achieved this goal in 2003.
After working for two different tour operators in Johannesburg and gaining valuable experience as a tourist guide, Pat began working for Wilro Tours on a freelance basis in 2016 and is now part of our pool of regular freelance guides.
Early on in his high school career, Tumelo became interested in the tourism industry and chose Travel & Tourism as one of the subjects for his curriculum. After completing high school in 2010, Tumelo studied for a Diploma in Travel & Tourism Management at Rosebank College in Johannesburg and obtained his diploma in 2013.
As part of his college tuition practicals, Tumelo trained as a receptionist and housekeeper at one of the Tsogo Sun group hotels, which earned him his first job at Park Station Inn in downtown Johannesburg as a receptionist. With this experience under his belt, Tumelo joined Wilro Tours early in 2015 as an Operations Assistant.
In his spare time, Tumelo enjoys being with his family, watching wildlife shows on the National Geographic channel, soccer and mostly reality TV shows. He is also a self taught DJ.
Fhulufhelo 'Hope' Musetsho
Hope hails from Venda in the far north of Limpopo province, where she grew up in a village called Mutshenzheni. She attended Primary and Secondary school at St Augustine Residential School in Tshandama. Hope counts herself fortunate to have a father who inspired her love of travel, by being able to visit places like Cape Town, Johannesburg and Swaziland. In 2011 Hope decided to move to Johannesburg to study in a new environment, where she enrolled for a course in Travel and Tourism Management at Rosebank College in Braamfontein. She successfully completed this course and obtaining her Diploma in 2013, also attaining a Galileo airline reservation certificate.
Hope’s first work experiences were as a Receptionist at Acorn Lane Guest Estate, followed by stints as an Interviewer at Plus 94 Research and as a Waitress at Green Origins Restaurant.
In December 2015 Hope joined Wilro Tours as a Junior Reservations Consultant and has quickly progressed to the role of Team Leader. She is married with one son and loves spending time with her family on weekends and going out on holidays to experience new places.
Quintin grew up in Newlands, Johannesburg, and later moved to Florida on the West Rand. After completing high school at Hoërskool Florida he attended the North West University in Potchefstroom, where he completed a B Com Corporative Communication and Tourism Management degree in 2008. In 2009 he completed his B Com Honors Degree in Tourism Management, followed by his Masters in 2011. His thesis dealt with “The economic value of the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup on Sex Tourism in Johannesburg”. His study resulted in four new findings regarding sex work and sex tourism in South Africa, which can be added to literature sources in South Africa for research purposes.
After completing his University degree, the most valuable lesson Quintin has learnt during these few years is never to give up, no matter how hard or tough life is. He firmly believes that where there is a will there a way. Quintin enjoys taking on new challenges, to show how far his abilities and skills can be developed and what he is capable of. In August 2015 Quintin was promoted to Accounts & Administration Manager.
For the future, Quintin is striving towards owning his own tourism business by using the experiences that he has gained, improving and developing them into successful strategies and systems.
Quintin was the winner of our Employee of the Year award for 2014 and was appointed as General Manager in September 2016.
Lufuno strives to learn as much as he can about the Tourism industry. He has completed various courses, including Domestic Fares & Ticketing, Galileo and a Hotel Management Learnership programme. In 2007 he joined Wilro Tours as an intern, whilst participating in a Learnership Programme through Energy Guides. After completing his learnership, he was offered a full time position with our company as Operations Assistant and in 2011 he was promoted to Operations Controller. As from 1st September 2013, Lufuno was appointed as Operations Manager.
His primary responsibility is the planning and co-ordination of our daily operations rosters, to ensure the most efficient allocation of company resources. If you can’t find Lufuno in the office, he is most likely at O.R. Tambo airport, meeting guests off their flights. He is also one of our after hours Duty Managers.
Lufuno comes from Venda in Limpopo province and, as a proud father and the major breadwinner for his family, he tries to go home as often as possible, where he is currently building a new home for his family. Meeting people from all over the world and sharing his knowledge of South Africa with them, is what he really enjoys. He lives by the motto “go the extra mile”.
He is currently registered for Gauteng and North West provinces and is studying towards his N6 National Certificate in Travel & Tourism.
Nosipho hails from kwaZulu-Natal province and was born in Ladysmith, where she grew up and attended high school in Ezakheni, a nearby town. Part of her formative years were spent in Bergville, a town in the foothills of the Ukhahlamba-Drakenesburg mountain range.
After completing high school, Nosipho moved to Johannesburg and enrolled at the University of Johannesburg (formerly RAU) to study for a BA in Corporate Communications. Unfortunately she was unable to complete her studies, but entered the workplace and over a period of seven years gained a great deal of customer service experience, doing promotions, working at retail shops, Call Centres & in the hotel industry, including the Sun International hotel group, where she became interested in Tourism.
Nosipho was able to return to College and completed her National Certificate in Travel & Tourism in 2013, before joining Wilro Tours in January 2015. She is an avid reader and is passionate about travel in Africa. Her interests include photography, home decor & community development projects.
Johannes was born in the former ‘homeland’ of Venda, in the far north of what is Limpopo province today. Growing up in a Christian family of seven children, he was able to complete his primary and secondary school education. Although unable to complete his high school education, Johannes was able to enroll at a Technical College in Gauteng province, where he completed practical training in an electrical trade.
He returned home to Venda, but circumstances led to him returning to Gauteng to seek employment. Finding a job opportunity in the security industry as a security guard, Johannes did very well and was promoted to a more senior guard position. During this time, he attended a Business College to take an introductory course in computers. After five years in the security industry, Johannes decided to move on and found employment with a company that provides blasting solutions for the mining and quarrying industries.
Unfortunately, at the end of 2014, his contract came to an end and Johannes found himself unemployed. He struggled to find permanent employment for the next four years, until 2018 when an opportunity arose for him to join Wilro Tours as an Operations Assistant, with the responsibility of looking after our company vehicles and reporting to our Operations Manager. Johannes is married with three children, he lives in Soweto and is a big soccer fan.
Tsakani was born at the Coronation Hospital in the Coronationville section of Johannesburg and grew up in the area of Little Falls on the West Rand. After completing her primary education, Tsakani’s family moved to Ormonde View to the south of Johannesburg, where she completed her High School education at Lofentse Girls High School. When she was growing up, Tsakani had considered becoming a Political Analyst, but ended up studying Tourism instead.
After graduating with a Diploma in Wholesale and Retail Travel in 2014, Tsakani started her first job at Gold Reef Southern Sun Hotel as an intern. A much more adventurous location awaited her at the Tiffendell Ski Resort (South Africa’s only ski resort) where she worked as a receptionist. After returning to Johannesburg, Tsakani joined Wilro Tours as a Junior Reservations Consultant.
Spending time with her family on weekends and taking mini holidays as often as possible, are the activities that Tsakani enjoy’s most.
Nthato was born at the Baragwanath Chris Hani Hospital in Soweto in 1980, where he has lived all his life. He attended Primary school in the Pimville section of the large township, followed by High School in the Naledi section. After completing high school, he went on to do a computer training course at the ABSA Bank Academy in 1998.
Working in various fields, Nthato eventually obtained employment at the Discom chain of retail stores. Over a period of five years, he worked his way up to Assistant Manager. However, what he really wanted was to pursue his passion and enter the tourism industry, with the goal of eventually becoming a Tourist Guide. Nthato first worked as a truck driver to gain experience of various routes and destinations in different provinces. In 2005, an opportunity presented itself to become a Tourist Driver. After working for a number of different tourism transport companies as a driver, Nthato was able to take the next step and signed up for a Tourist Guide training course with Drum Beat Academy.
In 2017, Nthato joined Wilro Tours as a driver and successfully completed his Tourist Guide training course for Gauteng province. In May 2018, he achieved his goal and was promoted to Tourist Guide. The proud father of two sons and a daughter, Nthato enjoys time with his family and also likes to watch documentaries when he can.
Nelson was born into a very poor family in the Venda region of Limpopo province. His father passed away when he was six years old and he was raised by his mother. He attended a number of different schools in the region and eventually completed his High School education in the town of Thohoyandou. Nelson was a boxer and a soccer player and also took up body building.
From 1999 to 2002 Nelson was selling fresh produce in Thohoyandou and saving money to further his studies. In 2003 he came to Johannesburg, hoping to study law, however the money he had saved was simply not enough to allow him to fulfil this ambition. Instead, Nelson completed a training course for security personnel and gained employment in this field at the Manyane Resort in the Pilanesberg National Park. He was promoted to a Duty Manager at the Resort.
In 2007, Nelson decided to take up a position as a Tourist Driver, continuing to work in this area of the tourism industry for the next five years, before leaving the Pilanesberg to return to Johannesburg. He continued working in tourism as a driver, albeit for a different company, until 2016, when he took up the opportunity to join Wilro Tours and undergo training as a Tourist Guide, which he finally completed during 2018.
Nelson is married and the father of four children. He enjoys spending time with his family and still plays soccer when time permits.
Mirriam was born in the Meadowlands section of Soweto, where she grew up and went to school, completing her high school education at Kelokitso Comprehensive High School. In 2006 she landed her first job in the printing industry, her employment here playing a big role in grooming and moulding her as an individual. She later moved on to working as an early childhood developer at a Day Care centre in Braamfisherville in Soweto. She is a mother of four children of her own.
Mirriam joined Wilro Tours on a contract basis in March 2015 and became a member of the full-time team in October of the same year. Her responsibilities include various housekeeping duties as well as keeping the team supplied with coffee and tea!
Pastor was born in Limpopo province in a small town called Giyani at Noblehoek village and completed his schooling at Noblehoek High School. He comes from a large family of 11 children and he now lives in Tembisa in the Greater Johannesburg area.
His interest in tourist guiding started at a very early age, when he used to watch wildlife documentaries and he developed a love for nature, culture and the history of South Africa. So after completing High School in 2005, Pastor knew what he wanted to do to achieve his dreams. He obtained a one year Tourist Guiding learnership at the Johannesburg Zoo and after completing this course he enrolled with Drumbeat Academy to do his Nature Guiding and also added provinces such as North West and Mpumalanga.
In 2007 Pastor started doing overland safaris, where he worked for Sunway Safaris for one year, doing Safaris in Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Swaziland and Namibia. He then switched employers and from 2008 to 2011 Pastor worked for Livingstone Trails, doing safaris to the Kruger National Park, Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe, as well as local tours. Pastor then moved to Mo Afrika Tours & Travel, where he worked for one year, until deciding in 2012 to work as a freelance guide for different companies. In April 2016, Pastor joined us on a full-time basis.
When he is not working, Pastor loves reading different books, watching soccer and going out with friends. He has a young son of 3 and comes from an artistic family, where his father Johannes Maswanganyi is a well known sculpture artist.
Going to school was a big challenge, especially seeing most of his classmates wearing a beautiful school uniform and school shoes. As he grew up, he understood his situation and became used to living in this way. Thabelo did well at school and was counted among the top students. He performed well on the sports field, in athletics and soccer. After completing High School he decided to go and look for employment and in 1991 arrived in Johannesburg.
His first job was as a construction worker, which was really hard and difficult work. But Thabelo considered this to be a stepping stone for his future success. One of Thabelo’s friends got a job in a factory and after a period of time, was able to get Thabelo a job at the same factory in Crown Mines. Thabelo worked there for a number of years and his loyalty and honesty was rewarded with trust and love from the management. During this time Thabelo was able to learn to drive, but unfortunately the factory was closed down in 2001.
Finding himself unemployed and struggling to make ends meet, Thabelo started selling fruit and vegetables. During this time he found himself in a situation where he was able to offer assistance to an elderly couple who were stuck at the roadside with a flat tyre. By so doing, he was opening doors for himself again and was offered employment as a driver. It was at this point that Thabelo decided to become a tourist guide. After about a year working as a freelance guide, in August 2014 Thabelo was invited to join the Wilro Tours team on a full-time basis and was winner of our Employee of the Year Award for 2015.
Siphiwe, the youngest member of our guiding team, was born in Pimville, Soweto but also spent some years of his life living in Pietermaritzburg, kwaZulu-Natal. He started his working career with the Department of Social Welfare & Pensions, assisting with the paying of pension grants. After completing a Diploma in Travel & Tourism and obtaining his Tourist Guide qualification, he joined Wilro Tours & Transfers in 2009.
In his spare time he enjoys travelling and attending cultural activities. He is a member of a community Maskandi (Zulu dance group) in kwaZulu-Natal. Siphiwe is currently registered for guiding in Gauteng province.
In August 2017 Siphiwe was appointed to the position of Head Tourist Guide, a newly created role in the company.
S’busiso (S’bu) was born in kwaZulu-Natal in the area around Greytown and grew up there. As a child he would see commercial aircraft flying overhead on their way to and from the city of Durban and he dreamt of becoming a pilot, but family circumstances prvented that from becoming reality. After completing his high school education S’bu moved to Johannesburg to look for work, as he had an uncle already working there as a building contractor, who helped him to get employment in the building industry.
His working career began with the company that was building the new Johannesburg Stock Exchange in Sandton. During his time there, S’bu soon became aware of the many hotels in the area and the hotel shuttle busses transporting guests to and from the airport. He obtained his drivers license and began working in the tourism industry at the Holiday Inn, Sandton. He then developed an interest in tourist guiding and completed his training as a tourist guide for Gauteng province.
After several years of working for different tour companies, S’bu joined Wilro Tours in July 2012.
Samuel (Sam) was born in 1963 in a small township in the town of Naboomspruit, now known as Mookgopong in Limpopo province. He attended primary school here before moving on to the nearby town of Mokopane (Potgietersrus) where he attended Gojela High School.
After successfully completing his high school education, Sam moved to Johannesburg to seek employment and began working as a waiter at a restaurant in Balfour Park. After five years he moved on to looking for another job at a Shell Service Station, where he started working as a supervisor, eventually being promoted to Manager at that branch. After ten years of hard work in this position Sam was promoted to Branch Manager at one of their BP Service Stations in Wynberg.
In 2000 Sam faced a challenge in his life that necessitated a move from Johannesburg to Pretoria, where he began working at Rixi Taxi Association as a taxi operator until 2003. This opened the door for Sam to begin working in the tourism industry as a driver, which led him to become interested in tourist guiding. In 2005 he enrolled with Drumbeat Academy where he obtained his Diploma and became registered as a tourist guide. Since then, Sam has worked for a number of tour operators on a freelance basis, including Wilro Tours since 2015.
It is with a great deal of sadness that we announce the passing of Patrick Dupont on Sunday, 21st June 2020. For the past 15 years, Patrick frequently worked for us as an English- and French-speaking freelance tourist guide, taking care of hundreds of our guests while driving our vehicles over countless kilometres. Our sincere condolences go to his wife Lydia, his children and grandchildren. Rest in Peace Patrick!
Patrick arrived in South Africa from Belgium at the tender age of 13 and could only speak French. Today he also speaks English fluently and throws in a little Afrikaans from time to time. Patrick is married with two children and one grandson. When he is not guiding, he enjoys spending time with his family, learning more about history and nature.
After doing his National Service in Belgium, he returned to South Africa, where he began working in a restaurant. Patrick then decided to go into sales, selling various products to the hospitality industry. Prior to becoming a tourist guide Patrick spent some time at the Margate Hotel in kwaZulu-Natal as the Food & Beverage Manager.
Patrick is currently registered for Gauteng, Mpumalanga, North West and kwaZulu-Natal provinces, as well as Swaziland. He guides in both French and English.
Ntuthuko was born and grew up in Eshowe in kwaZulu-Natal Province. After successfully completing high school he attended a youth camp at Ulundi for one year where a variety of courses were offered, including amongst others, Communication Skills, Leadership and Good Citizenship, Animal Husbandry and Motor Vehicle Maintenance.
After this training Ntuthuko joined the security and risk management industry, working in this field for several years. Because of industrial unrest in the industy, he decided to leave this sector in 2005 and looked to the Tourism industry instead to find employment. A move to Gauteng province followed, where Ntuthuko studied Tourist Guiding and is now registered for Gauteng, Mpumalanga and North West provinces.
During 2012 Ntuthuko taught Zulu at a language school in Johannesburg, while also working as a freelance tourist guide. He began freelancing for Wilro Tours in April 2013. He is married with three children and during his spare time he enjoys participating in church activities. When at home in kwaZulu-Natal, he enjoys activties related to sustainable agriculture. He plans to study further through the University of South Africa.
Linda Ndaba was born and raised in Diepkloof, Soweto and completed his primary schooling in Sagewood. He then proceeded to complete his high school education at Mondeor High School in the south of Johannesburg. Throughout school Linda enjoyed sports, playing soccer, basketball, tennis and athletics. From his early years in primary school he had opportunities to travel in South Africa and enjoyed camping. After completing high school Linda did a bridging course and qualified to study Electronic Engineering, however, financial constraints prevented him from continuing with this course and he had to look at other alternatives.
Having grown up in Soweto, Linda was exposed to various tourists travelling through the area and this evoked his passion for travelling and guiding. He was introduced into the tourism industry by his uncle, who is a Tourist Guide. Linda then proceeded to study tourist guiding and obtained his National Guiding Certificate. He went on to work as a freelance guide for a number of tour companies. After gaining experience, Linda was offered full time employment and worked for Thompsons Touring for six years, before joining Wilro Tours & Transfers in 2013. He continues to enjoy his work as a tourist guide and is continuing with his studies in the industry. He and his wife became proud parents of a daughter in June 2016.
Life joined our team of guides in April, 2016 and regards himself as a seasoned professional in the Tourist Guiding industry. He lives in Roodepoort in Greater Johannesburg and is a South African citizen, fluent in his native language isiZulu and also speaks English. He completed his High School education in 1982 and later on obtained his National Certificate in Tourism and achieved his NQF Level 4 Qualification.
Life has a broad knowledge of the Gauteng Province and he aims to entertain and educate his guests while they spend time with him touring the province. He started off his career at Sihle Tours and quickly realized his passion for Tourist Guiding and could not stop reading and visiting various sites of interest, especially the heritage sites and scenic areas South Africa has to offer. Life has worked for a number of tour companies on a freelance basis and prides himself on being an experienced and safe driver. He invites all his guests to sit back and Enjoy the Ride!
Jacob was born in Alexandra township in Johannesburg and moved with his family to Diepkloof, Soweto in 1961 during the Apartheid forced removals. He attended school in Soweto. After completing High School, he joined Musgrove and Watson Travel in Johannesburg as a messenger, responsible for delivering air tickets and travel documents to clients. In 1979 Jacob joined Nedbank as a messenger clerk and in 1984 was promoted to executive chauffeur. Among the executives that he drove were the former South African Ministers of Finance, Professor Owen Harwood and Mr Chris Liebenberg.
In 1989 he joined the Public Relations department of Nedbank and was part of the team that started what is now the biggest golf tournament in Africa, the Nedbank Golf Challenge. Jacob’s career at Nedbank continued to develop, until 1997 when he was promoted to Financial Supervisor, responsible for the advertising agents accounts, controlling a Budget of R10-million per month. In 2004, Nedbank retrenched 10,000 people nationwide and Jacob was one of the people that were retrenched.
Because of his passion for working with people, Jacob then looked to the tourism industry for employment, and decided to become a tourist guide. He successfully completed his training for Gauteng , Mpumalanga, North West and kwaZulu-Natal. He is currently studying for Limpopo Province and his goal is to become a national tourist guide.
After being retrenched in 2004, Jacob registered a company as a tour operator and was in operation for 8 years, until in 2012 his vehicle was stolen in Soweto. Unable to continue with his business, Jacob joined a NGO as a volunteer to raise awareness around disabilities. In 2014 Jacob was able to start working as a tourist guide again and joined the regular freelance pool at Wilro Tours in August 2014.
Jacob is a very keen sportsman. He completed the Comrades Marathon up and down runs in 1997 and 1998 respectively, as well as the Two Oceans ultra marathon in Cape Town in the same years. Whenever time allows he will squeeze in a game of golf, playing off an 11 handicap. He is a member of the Soweto Country Club.
In 1998, Tumi started to work in the hospitality industry at the Sun City Resort, based at two of the 5-star hotels, The Cascades and The Palace of the Lost City as a Guest Relations Officer.
In 2006 Tumi joined Mankwe Heritage Tours and Safaris as a driver and later studied cultural and nature guiding, until Mankwe merged with Gametrackers as a Division of Tourvest Holdings.
Relocating from North West to Gauteng province early in 2016, Tumi joined the full-time guiding tean at Wilro Tours in April 2016. He is registered as both a cultural and nature tourist guide. Among his achievements are being awarded twice as Tourist Guide of the Year at Gametrackers and also nominated for the Lilizela Tourism Award for tourist guiding in the North West province. He also attended the International Tourist Guide Conference four times.
Tumi is happily married for the past few years and he enjoys spending time with his family during his spare time, as well as travel and exploring his beautiful country and other Southern African countries. He enjoys wildlife, camping, cycling and fishing and likes to socialise with other people and learn more about life. Tumi’s dream is to learn a foreign language, such as Portuguese or French.
Ali started his working career in the hospitality industry, having worked for various restaurants and lodges, including Umbhaba Lodge in Hazyview, Mpumalanga. He joined Wilro Tours & Transfers in 2005 and served as Head Tourist Guide from October 2010 to March 2014.
Ali is of South African and Malawian parentage and thus has an interest in Southern African countries. He wants to learn as much as he can about the nature and culture of South Africa and our neighbouring countries, to pass his knowledge on to future generations. Besides sharing his knowledge with all the tourists he meets, he enjoys hearing about where they come from and their cultures. When he has a few moments to spare and is not spending time with friends and family, you will find Ali watching TV, reading up on history, nature and current events, or playing soccer.
Ali is registered to guide in Gauteng, Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces, as well as the neighbouring country of Swaziland. He is currently studying kwaZulu-Natal and North-West provinces, as well as FGASA Level 1 (FGASA = Field Guide Association of South Africa).
In February 2015 Ali decided to leave our employ and continue his career as a freelance guide, which still sees him behind the wheel of a Wilro Tours vehicle from time to time!
Eugene was born in Cape Town, completed high school at Pretoria Boys High and spent a year in the army as a gunner in the South African Artillery. After studying for the National Certificate in Tourism, he joined SARTravel in 1979 and barely a year later his love of railways saw him grabbing the opportunity to be involved with their “Summer Train Tour” and “Steam Safari” tour train programmes, the latter carrying many overseas railfans around South Africa when steam locomotives still operated in many parts of the country. He was also fortunate to backpack around the U.K. and Europe, travelling hundred’s of kilometres by train.
During his tenure at SARTravel, Eugene spent a year in Zimbabwe and six years in New York, USA. Not long after SARTravel was rebranded as Connex Travel, he returned to South Africa and was responsible for international sales for Connex. This position saw him travelling to Australasia, Singapore, Europe, the U.K. and the USA, before he decided to move on to work for two other Johannesburg-based tour operators.
In 1995, Eugene was one of three founding members of Wilro Tours & Transfers, when the company started out with one vehicle. Four years later, his partners left the company and he has continued as the sole owner since then. While most of his time is now spent in the office, he can also be found out on the road, helping out with airport transfers or Meet & Greet’s.
Eugene has been married to Lee for 30 years and they have two daughters. He is an avid railfan and photographer, regularly contributing photographs to Railpictures.net. His work has also been published in Railways Africa and International Railway Journal. He also enjoys travel, reading and watching rugby or cricket. In September 2015 Eugene and Lee relocated from Johannesburg to New York