Danene van der Westhuyzen
Danene van der Westhuyzen grew up in Namibia and began hunting with her father at an early age, and one of the lessons that she remembers most about those early days in the field is her father’s respect for wildlife. Danene learned as a child that hunting and a love of nature and animals was congruous, and that hunting was a very effective form of wildlife conservation.Now, years later, Danene has become one of the strongest and loudest voices for hunterbased conservation efforts, both in her home country and abroad. Even though she is a certified optometrist, she has devoted much of her life to hunting. For more than a decade she has worked as a professional hunter, and in 2012 she obtained her dangerous game hunting license—the first woman in Namibia to do so. Today, she operates Aru Safaris in Namibia and serves as the president of the Namibian Association of Professional Hunters (NAPHA). She also serves on the Namibian Conservation Board, the Dallas Safari Club’s Conservation Advisory Board and on the Board of Directors of Conservation Force while serving as the CEO of the Operators and Professional Hunting Associations of Africa.