Skip to main content

Our Story

The story of Great Plains has its roots in the earliest days of conservation; when the idea of protecting pristine wilderness was recognized as a public good. From those early models of conservation came the notion that to truly protect wilderness the entire ecosystem needed to be preserved.  It is this approach, maintaining and when necessary restoring, functioning ecosystems that guides us.

Great Plains is committed to securing African landscapes at a scale large enough to protect resident and seasonal wildlife populations. In that effort, we identify and select key areas that are under threat, often next to national parks, World Heritage Sites, and reserves, and acquire the rights to convert that land to protected areas with economic benefits. For example, we convert hunting land or agricultural land to wildlife conservation supported by photographic tourism.

Great Plains currently manages approximately 1,000,000 acres across a variety of fragile ecosystems and implements innovative conservation and community projects within those landscapes and in partnerships with the communities living alongside them in Botswana, Kenya and Zimbabwe.

Our Approach

The Great Plains Foundation is a US 501(c)3 organization with a mission to conserve and expand natural habitats in Africa through innovative conservation initiatives with a long-term commitment to the environment, wildlife, and local communities. The Foundation works to realize this mission through conservation and community initiatives, and wildlife and environmental stewardship in Africa. All of the Great Plains Foundation activities are supported by charitable and in-kind donations.

Our Team

Founders & Chairman

Dereck & Beverly Joubert

Dereck and Beverly Joubert are award-winning filmmakers, photographers, conservationists, and National Geographic Explorers-at-Large... Read More

Dereck and Beverly Joubert are award-winning filmmakers, photographers, conservationists, and National Geographic Explorers-at-Large, who have been exploring, observing, and championing wild places in Africa for over 30 years. As founders of the Great Plains Foundation, Dereck and Beverly are preserving and protecting the fragile ecosystems they care so deeply about.
Conservation Education (Kenya)

Dan Tipape

Dan was born in the Birikani community in the Chyulu Hills in Kenya. As a guide for Great Plains Conservation his passion for sharing the remarkable ecosystem he calls home is infectious... Read More

Dan was born in the Birikani community in the Chyulu Hills in Kenya. As a guide for Great Plains Conservation his passion for sharing the remarkable ecosystem he calls home is infectious. Now Dan and James are leading the Great Plains Foundation’s conservation education programs inspiring local young people to preserve and protect their incredible local landscapes.
Programmes Manager & Communications

Georgie Hextall

Georgie Hextall manages the Great Plains Foundation initiatives across Africa from project management of progress on the ground to impact reporting... Read More

Georgie Hextall manages the Great Plains Foundation initiatives across Africa from project management of progress on the ground to impact reporting. Being found often talking to the rangers, Georgie’s passion for conservation also comes through in her communication work, ensuring stories are told and voices from the projects and communities are elevated and heard.
Conservation & Community Liaison (Botswana)

Gobo Mokgathong

Gobotswang Bonno Mokgathong is the Great Plains Foundation’s community liaison... Read More

Gobotswang Bonno Mokgathong is the Great Plains Foundation’s community liaison. Born in Francistown, Botswana “Gobo” is a graduate of Francistown College and uses his many years of experience working as an environmental educator, including a year-long fellowship with Disney, to inspire the next generation of conservation leaders in Botswana. Gobo’s extensive personal and professional network coupled with his extensive experience as a conservation ambassador make him a critical component to the Great Plains Foundation’s education and community conservation work.
Treasurer

Jacqui Usher

Jacqui Usher serves as the Treasurer of the Great Plains Foundation and the CFO of Great Plains Conservation... Read More

Jacqui Usher serves as the Treasurer of the Great Plains Foundation and the CFO of Great Plains Conservation; applying her finance and accounting expertise to both enterprises. With a background in complex business structures and a passion for charitable work, Jacqui ensures the financial health of the Great Plains Foundation’s conservation programs.
Conservation Education (Kenya)

James Kirisia

Conservation education is at the heart of everything James does. As a guide at ol Donyo Lodge for Great Plains Conservation, James educates guests daily about the remarkable Amboseli ecosystem... Read More

Conservation education is at the heart of everything James does. As a guide at Ol Donyo Lodge for Great Plains Conservation, James educates guests daily about the remarkable Amboseli ecosystem. Along with Dan, James is leading efforts to inspire, educate, and engage local school children in the communities surrounding the Amboseli ecosystem.
Community Liaison, Kenya

Kinyaku Konee

Konee grew up in Mbirikani Group Ranch, 335,000 acres owned by 4,300 Maasai community members and was elected in 2014 to be among the 25 leaders in the Mbirikani community... Read More

Konee grew up in Mbirikani Group Ranch, 335,000 acres owned by 4,300 Maasai community members and was elected in 2014 to be among the 25 leaders in the Mbirikani community. Konee is our Community Liaison in the Amboseli Region of Kenya and also works as a guide at ol Donyo Lodge and shares his extensive knowledge of the area with our guests.
Conservation Roots (Kenya)

Paul Kimau

Paul is Great Plains' resident horticulturalist and specialist botanist in Kenya... Read More

Paul is Great Plains' resident horticulturalist and specialist botanist in Kenya. He has been interested in gardening and trees since high school and has studied botany, landscaping and ornamental science. He has a passion for healthy ecosystems for animals and people and his dream is for every household in Kenya to enjoy trees around their home and to have a small vegetable garden for their daily meals. His favorite plant is the Cycad and his favorite tree is Warburgia ugandensis, the Greenheart Tree.
Board Member and Chief of Staff

Petru Ebersohn

Petru has more than a decade of experience in business management, law, corporate and executive coaching and the safari industry.

Petru has more than a decade of experience in business management, law, corporate and executive coaching and the safari industry. She was driven by her passion to make a difference in the lives of others to pursue her legal qualification and was admitted as an Advocate of the High Court of South Africa in 2012. Petru brings her legal expertise, project management skills and passion for helping people maximize their potential to her role(s!) at Great Plains.
Great Plains Foundation Manager, Kenya

Marietta Keru

Marietta is a trained accountant and channels her dedicated passion for people and the environment and her endless skills to managing the Great Plains Foundation in Kenya across the Amboseli region and the Masai Mara... Read More

Marietta is a trained accountant and channels her dedicated passion for people and the environment and her endless skills to managing the Great PLains Foundation in Kenya across the Amboseli region and the Masai Mara. Marietta notes her favourite thing is seeing the faces of the communities and children we work with light up at the completion of a Great Plains project.
Director

Sarah Boeckmann

Sarah Boeckmann fuses her extensive understanding of the travel and tourism industry with her background in international development and monitoring... Read More

Sarah Boeckmann fuses her extensive understanding of the travel and tourism industry with her background in international development and monitoring and evaluation having worked previously with groups including the World Bank, UNICEF, and USAID to further the goals and objectives of the Great Plains Foundation demonstrating the critical role tourism plays in conservation efforts
Wildlife Monitoring Coordinator

Sven Bourquin, PHD

Sven Bourquin leads the wildlife monitoring efforts of the Great Plains Foundation and Rhinos Without Borders... Read More

Sven Bourquin leads the wildlife monitoring efforts of the Great Plains Foundation and Rhinos Without Borders. As a conservation ecologist, Sven brings extensive knowledge of the unique flora and fauna found in the UNESCO World Heritage Site the Okavango Delta. Sven is an experienced pilot, and scuba diver, who daily applies his vast knowledge of the complexities of the Okavango Delta to the conservation efforts of the Great Plains Foundation and Rhinos Without Borders

Our Partners

Local Partners

Supporting Partners

Affiliated Partners

Translate »