ACOST 2016


Dr. Susan Snyman





Dr. Susan Snyman joined Wilderness Safaris, a high-end ecotourism operator, in 2008 bringing with her over a decade of experience in the tourism industry in southern Africa, including guiding, community development and liaison, camp management and environmental impact assessments as an independent consultant.  She is currently the regional director for Children in the Wilderness – an environmental education and community engagement programme in 6 southern African countries – and also the group manager for community development and culture for Wilderness Safaris - overseeing community developments and engagements in six southern African countries.  Other positions include Vice-Chair of the IUCN WCPA Tourism and Protected Areas Specialist Groups (TAPASG) and Research Fellow at the Environmental Policy Research Unit at the University of Cape Town.  She is also Coordinator of the TAPASG Community & Heritage Working Group with members working together on community engagement and benefit-sharing from tourism and protected areas, including the development of best practice guidelines.  Having completed coursework at the University of Goteborg, Sweden, the focus of her PhD research measured the socio-economic impact of high-end ecotourism in remote, rural communities adjacent to protected areas, based on over 1 700 community surveys in six southern African countries.  Her research and academic publications have helped show that ecotourism, practiced responsibly, has had a significant impact not only on the standard of living that rural people engaged in the industry now enjoy, but also on attitudes to conservation and education amongst other things.



Samantha Annadale




With 23 years of experience in the hospitality and tourism industry, Samantha is highly tuned in to the need for constant innovation, which shapes the industry.  She launched one of the most sustainable hotels globally, Hotel Verde Cape Town SA and is now instrumental part of expanding Verde Hotels throughout Africa and abroad.  


Her aim with Verde Hotels is to develop financially and environmentally sustainable hospitality solutions that meet third-party green building, and operating certification criteria, whilst incorporating the thrivable Verde principles through design, project and operation management and training. 


Samantha is passionate about helping others and investing in the future of our people and planet and is able to harness and develop the potential in what exists.



Kitili Mbathi




Mr. Kitili Mbathi, is the Kenya Wildlife Service Director General and has a wealth of experience in the financial sector. He served as the Chief Executive of CfC Stanbic Holdings Limited before being appointed as Director General.  Mr. Mbathi received a BA in Economics and Political Science from Michigan University and Masters of Banking and Finance from Instituto Finafrica-Milan.




Prof. Noah Sitati

Community and Conservation



Prof Noah Sitati has over 15 years of community conservation in southern Kenya and northern Tanzania working with international conservation NGOs namely WWF and AWF as a program manager and a Research Associate with Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology, UK. As an Associate Professor of Tourism, he has taught and supervised many undergraduate and postgraduate students at Moi University, Department of Tourism Management and published over 42 articles. He has extensive experience in both wildlife conservation and management, tourism, policy and legal frameworks, climate change adaptation and livelihoods and community-based natural resources management. His broad experience spans human-wildlife conflict mitigation, anti-poaching, forest and wetland conservation and restoration and addressing long-term issues of sustainable development and conservation enterprise. Prof. Sitati who is a member of IUCN Species Survival Commission African Elephant Specialist Group and a co-chair of the Human-Elephant Conflict Working Group is currently a freelance consultant on environmental issues.


Dr. David Western

Diversifying Tourism for Equity and Sustainability



David Western is chairman of the African Conservation Center in Nairobi, Kenya. He began research into savannas ecosystems at Amboseli National Park in 1967, looking at the interactions of humans and wildlife. His work, unbroken since then, has served as a barometer of changes in the savannas and a test of conservation solutions based on the continued coexistence of people and wildlife.


Western directed Wildlife Conservation Society programs internationally, established Kenya’s Wildlife Planning Unit, and chaired the African Elephant and Rhino Specialist Group. He was founding president of The International Ecotourism Society, chairman of the Wildlife Clubs of Kenya, director of the Kenya Wildlife Service and founder of the African Conservation Centre in Nairobi. He has been an adjunct professor in biology at the University of California, San Diego, and the University of Minnesota.


He received the World Ecology Award in 2010, a Life-time Achievement Award for Ecotourism in 2012 and is a nominee for the Indianapolis Prize 2016.

Westerns publications include Conservation for the Twenty-first Century (Oxford University Press, 1989), Natural Connections: Perspectives in Community-based Conservation (Island Press, 1994) and In the Dust of Kilimanjaro (Shearwater, 2001).


Contact Details

Madaraka Estate
Ole Sangale Road, PO Box 59857,
00200 City Square
Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: 0703-034000, 0703-034200