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Edrich Schafer

 Head of Safari Dept. / Landscaping - Simbavati Lodges


  • Travelling/Overlanding journeys - Fortunate to have visited 32 different countries during my career in the travel industry. I always plan to keep this list growing at least once a year.

  • Bird watching - My special interest and knowledge. Something I have done my whole life.

  • Gardening / Landscaping - Specially creating something from nothing

  • Sports fanatic

Work experience

Feb 2014Apr 2015


Simbavati Hilltop Lodge

Construction for Simbavati Hilltop Lodge commenced in January 2014. We moved over from River Lodge to Hilltop Lodge on a full time basis from February 2014. For 6 months I was part of the construction process of the lodge and overseeing the project .We opened the lodge in July 2014.

After opening the new lodge, I was responsible for 

  • Safari department
  • Maintenance department
  • Hiring and managing staff for these department
  • Landscaping and overall appearance of the lodge
Aug 2013Feb 2014

Assistant Manager/Safari Guide

Simbavati River Lodge

During this period I spend 80 % of my time as a full time nature guide.

This included two game drives daily 

Conducting walking safaris

Hosting guests at meal times

20 % of my time was spend standing in for the management couple while they were on leave.

Jun 2005Aug 2012

Business Area Leader

Flight Centre South Africa

My responsiblities as a Retail Business Area Leader with Flight Centre South Africa.

I was leading a maximum number of 20 businesses at any given time across various brands in the company

Average staff per store was consistently at 4 per store

The total number of staff I was responsible for varied between 80 and 90 individuals.

The average turnover for such a business was R26 000 000 per month

My role and job description as a Retail Business Area Leader

Job Purpose:  

To lead and ensure the comprehensive fulfillment of the Flight Centre Limited strategy for RSA. Additionally, to ensure the profitable growth of the retail operation, ensuring all turnover & profit growth targets are met.


Develop strategy & manage operational performance of the business. Ensure all growth targets – turnover, shop, margin & people growth targets - are met.

Leadership and development of Team leaders

Develop & maintain operational financial budgets

Person Profile

Key Competencies

Visionary Leadership

•Create a clear, exciting and shared view of the future  

•Lead by example   •Live the company philosophies  

Customer Focus

•Provide outstanding service to internal business partners and external customers  

• Always focused on customer needs

Commercial Acumen

•Focus on results  

•Understands key business drivers for your region and contributes to success   •Company/product knowledge   •Entrepreneurial mindset (identifies business opportunities for the organization)   • Professional/Managerial skills   •Execute initiatives effectively  

Partnering and Building Relationships

•Professional and friendly in dealing with business partners and external parties  

•Builds and sustains productive relationships   •Establishes rapport with partners   •Builds trust in relationships.

Upholds Company Philosophies and Culture

•Takes ownership for successes and failures  

•Demonstrates a belief in company philosophies and values   •Exhibits a passion for their business and company   •Encourages a sense of enjoyment in the workplace  

Manages Change

•Takes up opportunities ,is open to change  

•Creates change   •Sells the benefits of change   •Influences people to promote change  

Skills & Capabilities

Team Leadership

•Develop and communicate clear strategic and operational plans for the team   •Supervise day-to-day activities of team members   •Provide support, coaching and leadership development for all team members  

 Monthly internal staff functions organized and hosted for 80 individuals on average

Financial Management

•Interpret financial management reports   •Develop budgets and financial targets   •Achieve agreed financial targets   •Provide financial services to the business

Travel Industry Knowledge

•Demonstrate detailed knowledge of travel industry and Flight Centre businesses;   - Leisure   - Wholesale   - Corporate - Support

Supplier Management

•Develop strategy for managing suppliers   •Monitor supplier performance on a regular basis   •Identify, communicate and manage resolution of key issues with suppliers    Monthly supplier functions organized and hosted

Strategic Planning

•Understand impact of changes in travel industry competitive landscape and customer trends   •Develop and evaluate strategic options   •Present clear recommendation of strategy
Jan 2004Jun 2005

Team Leader

Flight Centre South Africa

My role as Team Leader

I was leading and managing one retail branch at a time.

The total number of staff I was responsible was between 4 and 5 people

The average turnover for such a business was R2 000 000 per month

As Team Leader I was responsible for the following:

  • Having a clear understanding of the business and staff members
  • Having a clear vision for the business and driving it through with the team
  • Draw up a business plan and drive this through within the team
  • Being able to motivate staff members to exceed budgeted profit and turnover targets
  • Maintaining personal sales figures
  • Communicating and driving all business strategies to the team
  • Be approachable 
  • Conduct monthly one-on-ones with all team members
  • Leading by example
  • Discipline
  • Customer focused service
Mar 2002Jan 2004

Travel Sales Consultant

Flight Centre South Africa

As a Travel Sales Consultant my role and key responsibilities was: 

  •  All aspects of sales and the sales process understood and implemented
  •  Selling all travel products available in store 
  •  Achieving and exceeding sales targets set by leaders
  •  Meeting customer needs daily
  •  Maintaining financial systems and minimum expectations
  •  Being a team player
  •  Uplift and uphold the philosophies of the company.
Aug 2001Mar 2002

Lodge Manager

Praia do Sol

As lodge manager I was responsible for the full running operations of the whole lodge.

  • Guest reservations and relations
  • Food and beverage
  • Housekeeping
  • Staff operations
  • Leisure activities
  • Stock control
  • Customer complaints
  • General maintenance 


Jan 2013May 2013

FGASA Level 1, Field and Nature Guide & FGASA Back-up Trails Guide


Qualifications achieved:

Field Guide FGASA Level 1 Theory Exam Field Guide FGASA Level 1 Practical Assessment

SASSETA Competency Certificate – Rifle

Advanced Rifle Handling FGASA Trails Guide Back-Up

Birding with Lawson’s Birding Academy Tracking Level 2 Wilderness Medicine (Level 1 and 2) - First Aid 

PDP license 

13 - 27 October 2013 - Advanced Birding / Consolidation / Graduation at Makuleke, Pafuri, KNP

Jan 1999Jul 2001

Tourism and Marketing Management Diploma

Tshwane University of Technology

I spend this time at the Tshwane University of Technology obtaining my National Diploma in Tourism and Marketing Management. 

  • Communication
  • Law for Tourism
  • Tourism Development
  • Tourism Marketing
  • Travel and Tourism Management
  • Travel and Tourism Practice