Africa Travel Week

Jenman Safaris announces new GM: Johann Barnard

With borders open in South Africa and a light at the end of the travel tunnel, Jenman African Safaris would like to shine their own light on an extremely dedicated and passionate individual; Johann Barnard.

From starting as Product Manager then moving to Head of Product, Johann has poured commitment and passion, along with many bottles of red wine, into his love of travel. CEO Katja Quasdorf and MD Garh Jenman are honoured to announce an additional promotion within Johann’s career – to General Manager.

With the decision being made in 2019, and Covid hitting before the promotion was declared, this exciting change within the company has remained behind the scenes. However, Johann transitioned to the position with a quiet grace, accepting the momentary lack of celebration of this well deserved achievement in his career. Stepping in at such a turbulent time took courage – manning the helm while the travel ship needed to weather uncertain storms. Nevertheless, Johann exuded confidence, confronting the strong winds. 

Katja reflects on Johann’s calm and solid perspective, grateful for his innovation, respect and the ability to hold tough conversations during these uncertain times. 

“We had each other’s backs throughout the last eight months and I will forever be grateful for that. I know how hard it must have been to get into this role, take it on with zero celebration for this achievement and only see uncertainty ahead of you. Only a very few people could handle a situation like this. With Johann’s consistent nature in our management team, we have forged a way through as a business, with many new partners on board, creative marketing campaigns and showing respect for each other even when tough conversations and even tougher decisions had to be made.”

Johann’s first familiarisation trip to Madagascar left a lasting impression of excitement and curiosity for the unknown – a quality he aims to provide in each of the Jenman products. 

“When creating a new journey, I’m always looking for unique and unexpected experiences  – something that stays with you way beyond the end of your safari,” he says.

When asked about receiving a promotion in such turbulent times, Johann responded:

It’s been a bit of a bitter sweet moment for me. I’ve worked hard to become GM and was very honoured and grateful to get the promotion at Jenman. Then Covid came along and it felt like everything had been taken away in a flash.  However, this taught me that life can throw you major curveballs along the way and you must be grateful for what you have, not taking anything for granted. During this time I had time to reflect, spend quality time with my family and prepare to come out stronger. The support from my family has been priceless and was my driving force to keep on going and not give up. We have started to rebuild with local travellers, improving our systems and I look forward to when international travellers return to Africa..’

The whole team at Jenman African Safaris would like to thank Johann for his consistent and courageous perspective, reflected in the staff morale and commitment to the brand. A final word from both Katja and Garth share the sentiments of the team, welcoming and applauding Johann in his new position.

The whole team at Jenman African Safaris would like to thank Johann for his consistent and courageous perspective, reflected in the staff morale and commitment to the brand. A final word from both Katja and Garth share the sentiments of the team, welcoming and applauding Johann in his new position.

Says Garth: “In these ever-changing times, thanks for leading the team and taking on the role of General Manager of Jenman African Safaris. It’s an achievement well deserved – you know our company as well as the industry inside and out. Innovation and change will be critical in the years ahead as we come out of 2020 and the tourism landscape would have changed as we accept the new norm. With your passion and commitment, we fully believe you are the right candidate to support the business through this change, as you have done so behind the scenes thus far”.

Says Katja: “Johann, I admire your strength in character and how you are able to show everyone in your vicinity your belief in them. Working beside you the last eight months made me feel 100 % confident in our abilities as an ExCo team (and me as a CEO). At times, this confidence felt overwhelming, but – through your quiet, thoughtful and considerate actions –  you have a way of maintaining composure and encouragement. Despite these uncertain times, I hope for you that you look back and to see how far you have come. I am very proud of you. Thank you”. Katja

Africa Travel Week

Africa Travel Week

Africa Travel Week (ATW) focuses on inbound and outbound markets for general leisure tourism, luxury travel, LGBTQ+ travel and the MICE/business travel sector as well as travel technology. Shows include: ILTM Africa, WTM Africa, EQUAL Africa, ibtm AFRICA, Travel Forward, Sports & Events Tourism Exchange and African Tourism Investment Summit.