Sikeleli MD Mark Ponter Appointed to AWF (Canada) Board of Directors

Posted on June 27, 2019, featured in Developments at Sikeleli

Vancouver, BC, June 27, 2019 – The Sikeleli Group is pleased to announce that Mark Ponter, Managing Director of Sikeleli Safaris, has been appointed to sit on the board of Directors at the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) Canada.

Founded in 1961, the AWF is a leading international conservation organization focused exclusively on Africa’s wildlife and wild lands. For conservation to be effective and sustainable it needs to be Africa-led. The AWF stands today as the only conservation organization that implements Africa-led strategies and programs.

The AWF’s holistic approach addresses threats and builds opportunities on the continent, with a focus on:

  • Protecting Wildlife – AWF employs a three-pronged strategy to fight poaching: stop the killing, stop the trafficking, and stop the demand.
  • Land Conservation – Supporting critically important biodiversity and offering people economic opportunities, the AWF invests in community-based conservation to protect safe havens for wildlife, while simultaneously improving human well-being.
  • Community Empowerment – The AWF projects start with people because conservation solutions only work when owned by those living with wildlife every day. AWF helps build community-owned eco-lodges throughout sub-Saharan Africa, refurbishes and builds schools in rural communities and trains farmers in sustainable agriculture practices. Ultimately this enables the people of Africa to diversify their livelihoods and secure a promising future for their communities.

Demonstrating that wildlife and people can thrive side by side, the AWF applies decades of experience with the latest conservation and ecological research to implement pragmatic solutions that enable communities and African governments alike to support the protection of wildlife and wild lands.

Marcus Shapiro, Advisory Board Chair, said: “I have been associated by Mark, Danni and the team at Sikeleli for a couple of years and have been extremely impressed by the quality business they have grown, and the excellent service levels provided to many happy customers visiting Africa. Doug Campbell and I are honoured to have been invited to form the Sikeleli Advisory Board alongside Mark Ponter and we look forward to working with the executive team at Sikeleli in building an even better and more diverse business.”

Mark Ponter Biography

Mark Ponter LLB (Hons)


Mark is a third generation Zimbabwean. Part of a prominent Zimbabwean (Rhodesian) family Mark was born, raised and educated in Harare (Salisbury) in the 1960’s and 70’s. Mark studied law before moving to the City (London’s financial district). He made his career in the international debt capital markets in London, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Singapore and finally New York.

Mark moved to Vancouver in 2013 and co-founded the Sikeleli Group in 2014. He is the Managing Director of Sikeleli Africa Safaris and chairs its Board of Directors.

About Sikeleli Africa Safaris

Sikeleli Africa Safaris is a family-owned and operated inbound luxury travel agency (licensed by Consumer Protection BC – #73208), with its international and North American headquarters located in Vancouver, Canada. Co-Founder and Operations Director, Maddelena Ponter, runs and facilitates development of the head office systems and controls.
Sikeleli’s African operational headquarters is in Cape Town, South Africa with offices in Johannesburg, South Africa and Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. From Cape Town, co-Founder and Marketing Director Daniella (Danni) Ponter runs the operational aspects of the business, including management of all offices across Africa. As a highly-regarded bespoke safari travel firm, with a deserved reputation for excellence, Sikeleli combines long experience, deep expertise and incomparable local knowledge. We are able to arrange safari adventures from East Africa (Kenya/Tanzania/Uganda) through to southern Africa (Zimbabwe/Zambia/Namibia/Botswana/Mozambique), as well as southward to Cape Town in South Africa.

About African Wildlife Foundation

For more information regarding this impressive organization, please visit


If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Mark Ponter mark@sikelelitravel.com at or Danni Ponter at danni@sikelelitravel.com.