Meet the Bukela Team

Managing Director Europe

Gerhard Messmer

These are the defining qualities that Gerhard Messmer brings to Bukela Africa and to your Bukela Africa safari experience.

These are the defining qualities that Gerhard Messmer brings to Bukela Africa and to your Bukela Africa safari experience.

In his almost 30 years in the World Sports industry, Gerhard has managed to organize some major sports events like Ironman Races and variable World Cups as he was dealing with World Sports Stars of so many different categories that he is able to bring in Adventures and Specialities you can´t really imagine. His organization skills are second to none and this will be invaluable to the planning of your exclusive itinerary.

Gerhard´s cup overflows with a zest for life and a passion for people. As a frequent visitor to South Africa has given him firsthand experience of her beauty and adventurous spirit. Gerhard’s ‘can do’ and ‘go the extra mile’ attitude is both inspirational and infectious and his network is just incredible.

Golf Professional & Host

Graeme van der Nest

Graeme turned professional back in 1994 and played on various tours around the world and has been a member of the PGA of South Africa for the past 15 years.

Graeme turned professional back in 1994 and played on various tours around the world and has been a member of the PGA of South Africa for the past 15 years. His finest victory was at The SunCity Classic in 1995. Graeme is a fully qualified AAA Head PGA Professional. His golfing prowess is matched by his attention to details and his ability to deliver Silver Service to the highest level! His passion for golf is matched with his love for the African savannah.

Kieran Barnard

My family ancestry on the continent dates back to the first European settlers in South Africa in the late 1600’s. I am a Pilatus PC12 Captain, and a professionally qualified safari guide with qualifications from both South Africa and Kenya.

My family ancestry on the continent dates back to the first European settlers in South Africa in the late 1600’s. I am a Pilatus PC12 Captain, and a professionally qualified safari guide with qualifications from both South Africa and Kenya.

Since completing University in Scotland in 2005 I have been involved in the safari and tourism industry primarily as a safari guide; tour leader and pilot for high end private groups and as a freelancer for reputable operators. My experiences have been broad and varied, taking me throughout most of sub-Saharan Africa. 

As an active pilot and guide on the continent I have been afforded the privilege to experience many diverse habitats and ecosystems of conservation importance. Of particular fondness to me is the Northern Tanzania region, due to the vast migratory herds and associated predators, but also the interplay between some fascinating geological formations of the Great Rift Valley which influence the surrounding ecosystems and habitats. Another favourite would be the Great Apes found in this region of Africa. Viewing socially diverse Chimps and powerfully massive Gorillas on foot in their natural habitat is a most humbling moment of awe. 

I believe that the best way to experience and extract maximum value from any kind of holiday is to relinquish the day-to-day stresses of foreign travel by having someone on the ground and at hand to facilitate and organize the detail. Nowhere is this more pertinent than in Africa, where one’s host being a professionally qualified guide can add so much more value and depth to a trip.

Presently I live on a farm on the outskirts of Arusha in between the slopes of Mt Meru and Mt Kilimanjaro. From a tiny German garrison in 1900 the area arounds Arusha has grown to become the ‘safari capital’ of Tanzania.

I am married, and together with my wife we have a two year old-son who absolutely loves the outdoors and enjoys the plethora of animals that surround us; from Polo ponies to herds of Eland and other plains game.