Lessons in Conservation have 7 operating teams across 4 different countries! Click the red dots on the map to find out more about each team and their operations.
We have also completed lessons in Mozambique and Zimbabwe, but do not have teams in these two countries.
Founder & CEO
From the time I was able to put together my own dreams, I knew that wildlife would be involved. Having had the incredible privilege of spending the first few years of my life at Phinda Private Game Reserve, with one of South Africa’s foremost conservationists as my father, I was afforded experiences that most children only read about. While conducting my honours degree in Zoology, I started to realise that my love for wildlife was fostered through first-hand experiences and the ability to acquire knowledge about the things that interested me most. Lessons in Conservation was created to share that knowledge, create awareness and facilitate exposure to children from underprivileged communities in the hope that the fire which burns so bright for conservation in us, may be sparked in them too.
Francois specialises in career coaching and self- and career exploration learning experiences, equipping individuals to navigate a fast changing world of work. He founded the Curiosity Company and is the Fjällräven sponsored explorer for Africa, and a member of The Explorers Club, based in New York City. The Curiosity Company was founded to equip individuals to navigate a fast changing world or work by conserving the instinct to explore.
Francois is very passionate about using the ancient art of tracking wild animals on foot to help young explorers better understand the principles and fundamentals of curiosity – which in turn helps them tackle their their own unique process of self and career exploration in a fast changing world of work – where solving complex environmental problems is the future of the world of work.
Francois is a qualified Integral coach through the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business, and has also done his nature-guide and back-up trails guide training through the African Guide Academy in the Okavango Delta. He also completed the advanced Depth Facilitation course through the Depth Leadership Trust. He has facilitated expeditions for more than 15 years, visiting various countries and projects in Africa with young explorers.
Les Carlisle has been an intrinsic part of the &Beyond team for more than 28 years, providing invaluable conservation management across the group and we are ecstatic to have him onboard as a director of Lessons in Conservation.
Les’s long history with conservation began in February 1991 with the creation of &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve. Not only was he involved in the building of the reserve but he played an instrumental role in reintroducing all of the wildlife, including predators, onto Phinda, and managing the game translocations required to transform it into the world-renowned reserve it is today.
Les has a talent for connecting with people and was responsible for establishing the initial community relationships and development committees for Phinda. He is a committed proponent of the view that one of the essential components of conservation is getting benefits flowing to local people and communities so that they come to understand the relevance of conservation areas. LiC has drawn a lot of knowledge from him on how critical these relationships, which LiC is essentially built on, are.
A conservation legend in Africa, Asia and South America, Les is truly serving to save.
When Paul was young, he wanted to grow up to be a game ranger. Somehow he ended up being an accountant instead and in his career working in South Africa, The United States of America and United Kingdom, he has gained exposure to best practices in the running of effective operations across a variety of industries, cultures and fields. His interest in nature stayed with him throughout and evolved into an interest in conservation. When presented with the opportunity to work with Lessons in Conservation, he was excited by the prospect of being able to employ his skills and experience in a way that would benefit conservation initiatives. Recognising the important role that local communities in or near protected areas have to play in the broader quest for conservation, he personally identifies with power that education has to cultivate an interest in the natural world and the pursuit of protecting it, and for this reason chose to become involved with Lessons in Conservation.
Serving to save
To create a long-lasting platform that raises awareness about conservation in rural communities.
To educate children from underprivileged communities that have limited access to information. The children will be taught basic ecological principles and the importance of conservation.
To create a connection between people and wildlife through first-hand engagement on educational excursions to reserves. This will be done by taking the children on game drives.
To raise money to fund FGASA courses for identified outstanding students. FGASA courses will enable these students to become qualiﬁed game rangers and ﬁnd continuous employment. The learners receiving these bursaries will be encouraged to return to LiC and teach the new generation in underprivileged areas.