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A Story of Determination - John Pameri Flies Solo!

February 29, 2012

Passion and tenacity! This is what will come to mind when you meet John Pameri, Lewa’s Chief Security Officer. His infectious enthusiasm towards protecting wildlife has seen him succeed against all odds.

On February 7th, 2012, John Pameri had his first solo flight.He took off from Oribi Airport in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, where he has been training as a pilot (Private Pilots License) for the last three months. Since November of last year, John has gone through an intense and rigorous training under the instruction of Brett Dugdale, one of the finest flight instructors in South Africa.  When his training is officially over, John will come back to Lewa and use his new flying skills to help protect the wildlife he loves so much. The Lewa family is proud of John and wishes to congratulate him on this enormous achievement.


John did not benefit from formal education, so becoming a pilot is a dream that would seem impossible to most; but John was never deterred by his lack of education. His story started 20 years ago, when he walked over 100 kilometers to Lewa in search of a job.

Shesh and Malcolm Roberts from Tumbili Sanctuary have been hosting John during his stay in South Africa. They had this to say about him: “It has been an absolute pleasure having John stay at our lodge and we have so enjoyed his many anecdotes about his amazing life... The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy must be very proud having a man of John’s calibre heading up an extremely important aspect of the secure running of Lewa!”