THE FALCON EXPERTS



Our team consists of highly-skilled falconers with considerable experience in tourism and corporate fields.

RUAN BOTHA
Managing Director
RUAN BOTHA
Managing Director

Ruan’s passion for falconry dates back to school days where he trained and rehabilitated various species of birds of prey. With a cinematography background in wildlife filming and editing from the Wildlife Film Academy in Cape Town, South Africa, Ruan produced documentaries for various production companies and broadcasters, including Animal Planet. He has been involved in falconry and has successfully hunted with birds of prey for a number of years in his home country.

His passion for birds of prey grew and he decided to broaden his knowledge on Arabian falconry by relocating to Dubai in 2011. Soon after, he introduced Wild Flight’s services in the Middle East in partnership with a friend.

BROWNIE KAPUNHA
Operations Manager
BROWNIE KAPUNHA
Operations Manager

Brownie was born in the remote village of Rushinga in Mashonaland, Zimbabwe. At the age of 18 he began working for a well-known bird park and owing to his love and passion for birds the owner of the bird park helped him grow and taught him falconry. He was then promoted to Head Bird Park Curator where he conducted daily falconry displays and acted as guide for visitors to the park. He held this position for eight years.

He then moved to South Africa, worked there for eight more years as a Display Falconer at a renowned bird of prey centre. During that period, Brownie had the opportunity to learn techniques in handling animals and managed to work with lions and cheetahs for a couple of years, before returning to his home country in June 2010.

Through the years, he flew various birds of prey and it is this interest and passion for them that has brought him to the UAE to join Wild Flight.

Starting out as a senior falconer, his passion, knowledge and overall experience with birds of prey has seen him grow into to a managerial role.

JOHANNES KRUGER
General Manager
JOHANNES KRUGER
General Manager

Johannes has been a professional falconer for well over a decade. He has considerable knowledge of both Western and Arabic falconry practices.

Johannes started out in the bird of prey rehabilitation field where he gained valuable skills in raptor first aid and husbandry challenges. He is a firm believer in the essential nature of falconry techniques for successful raptor rehabilitation. Since then, he also became a veteran of public falconry displays and the utilisation of raptors in bird abatement.

An old school falconer at heart, he has trained and hunted with falcons, hawks and eagles; designed and presented the first falconry course in the Middle East; and has mentored numerous aspiring young falconers.

LIANDER BOTES
Operations Manager
LIANDER BOTES
Operations Manager

Originally from South-Africa, Liander obtained a Diploma in Game Ranch Management at the Tzwane University of Technology in Pretoria. During his studies, he also received a certificate in field guide training (FGASA LEVEL 3) after which he was offered a position at a game ranch with the big five in South Africa. With a determination to broaden his horizons, he embraced the opportunity to start working at Al Maha Desert Resort in the UAE as a guide, where he was introduced to falconry.

While working at the resort one of Liander’s clients offered him a position to start and manage the first wildlife camp inside Way Kambas National Park located in Sumatra Indonesia, home to the critically endangered Sumatran rhino and Sumatran tiger. When he was offered the opportunity to return to the UAE to become a falconer, he did not hesitate and left Indonesia in 2014 to become a full-time falconer. Liander has set out on a new adventure with Wild Flight and manages the company’s display team.

MITCHELL OLIVIER
Operations Manager
MITCHELL OLIVIER
Operations Manager

Mitchell’s passion for falconry started in the UAE while he worked for Al Maha Desert Resort which offered falconry as one of the activities. He was fortunate to learn from some experienced local falconers as well as spend time with 2 reputable falconers in the UK while working for the company.

Moving on from there he worked for falconry companies doing bird abatement as well as shows at various hotels and tourism establishments in Dubai. He left Dubai to go back to South Africa where he was the show manager for a bird park in Johannesburg where he was exposed to working with many other species of birds. Here he gained valuable insight on training birds.

He returned to Dubai a few years later to manage falconry shows at another desert resort for 3 years.

It has eventually lead him to Wild Flight where he now manages our operations in the Northern Emirates.

STEPH GREEN
Head Curator
STEPH GREEN
Head Curator

Steph’s passion for birds started in 2007 when she worked for a company that provided Bird and Sealion shows across the UK. In 2009 she went on to study zoo management, and in her free time she volunteered at a Falconry Centre where she learnt the basics of the art. She was also fortunate to meet a very well known British falconer who took her under his wing and continued to improve her falconry skills. He gave her a falcon to train, and she immediately fell in love with these majestic birds. She was then offered a job as a bird of prey display presenter at a safari park, where she honed her public speaking skills.

In 2012 Steph was offered a position at the newly established Kalba Bird of Prey Centre in the UAE. She has since broadened her knowledge by working with many different raptor species, including hawks, buzzards, falcons, kites, owls, eagles and vultures. After her 3 year contract came to an end, she moved to Abu Dhabi to take charge of the bird section at a zoo, where she created an amazing mixed bird show (birds of prey and exotics) to educate and entertain the public in daily presentations.

Steph decided to join Wild Flight to learn more about traditional Arabic falconry, and she is now overseeing the mews and displays at our heritage site in Dubai.

MACHONA GALUFU
Senior Falconer
MACHONA GALUFU
Senior Falconer

Machona started flying birds of prey in 2000 at a well-established bird park in Zimbabwe, where he met Brownie Kapunha who inspired him to delve deeper into learning more about these majestic raptors.

He managed a mews with many different kinds of birds of prey, from falcons to vultures. Machona was also a display falconer, entertaining and educating interested members of the public and tourists, and trained and flew eagles, hawks, falcons and even owls.

He moved from Zimbabwe to South Africa in 2006, where he worked at the first birds of prey centre to be established in South Africa. He grew more as a display falconer and visited hundreds of schools spreading awareness and the need for conservation of birds of prey.

In 2014, he moved to the United Arab Emirates to be a part of the Wild Flight team as a senior falconer.

THABO MORAKA
Falconer
THABO MORAKA
Falconer

Thabo has worked for many years as an animal handler in his home country, South-Africa. He began his career in 2007 at the Zanna Bird & Reptile Park where his passion grew strongly over the years. In 2001, WildThingz Bird Park approached him with an offer as reptile handler. His journey in wildlife handling led him to work with Ruan, the now Managing Director of WildFlight Dubai.

After a couple of years, Thabo was promoted to park supervisor. His knowledge increased and so did his passion for falconry. In 2010, his leadership abilities were recognised and he was shortly after promoted as WildThingz park manager. He continued managing the park over the next five years when he was approached by Wild Flight and offered a position as a falconer.

JOVEN ADVINCULA ROQUINO
Curator and Falconer
JOVEN ADVINCULA ROQUINO
Curator and Falconer

Joven Roquino originally from Samar city, Philippines.

Joven always lived with different animals at home, which developed his fascination for them.

At the age of 20, Joven started his career as a dog trainer in the Philippines, to be exact in 3 different facilities where he had the chance to work with marine mammals and wild animals, rescues from the surrounding rainforest.

It is only in 2012 that Joven decided to leave his country to follow his dream, which was at that time to travel to England to build a new life. He worked as a chef at Jamie Oliver restaurant in Aberdeen.

In 2015 Joven found himself in Abu Dhabi working with different species of Dolphins. Soon after he was transferred to ZoOceanarium in UAE but left, as he wanted to move back home.

End of 2017 Joven finished his work in Taiwan, and got the opportunity to work again in Dubai but this time with the incredible birds of pray and decided to join team Wildflight Dubai.

COLLEN CHASAKARA
Falconer
COLLEN CHASAKARA
Falconer

Collen has been flying birds of prey since 2008, after joining the Zimbabwe Falconers’ Club. From that time on, he has successfully flown a number of raptor species. In 2012, he began working at Kuimba Shiri Bird Park where he practiced falconry on a full time basis, as a handler and a mews keeper.

In 2014, Collen moved to Raptor Force in Cape Town where he was involved in bird abatement followed by a longer stint at Eagle Encounters in Stellenbosch as a display falconer. He was offered the opportunity to join the Wild Flight team which he enthusiastically accepted, eager to broaden his knowledge as a falconer and to enjoy his passion for the art form to the fullest.

DARLINGTON KASONGO
Falconer
DARLINGTON KASONGO
Falconer

Born in Norton, Zimbabwe, Darlington began working with animals in the year 2009 at a bird sanctuary as a young volunteer. He was then offered a full-time position as a bird handler, and a guide soon after. After 3 years, he was offered the opportunity to work in a safari lodge where he worked as a field guide. After obtaining more knowledge in animal training, he decided to progress with his career. In May 2016, he was invited to join the team at Wild Flight Dubai, working full-time with birds of prey.

Darlington has shown a natural ability and intuitive understanding of raptors, and is a valued member of the display team.

MOHAMED USMAN
Falconer
MOHAMED USMAN
Falconer

Mohamed joined the WildFlight team early 2017. Originally from Islamabad, Pakistan, he comes from a culture with a rich falconry tradition and heritage. Mohamed plays a key role in the team by attributing an authentic Arabic sense to our display team. Fluent in both Urdu and Arabic, he can confidently communicate with the local community. We are expecting great things from him in the future.

WHAT OUR VISITORS SAY

We had an amazing couple of hours at Wild Flight this morning. Professional, knowledgeable staff and many beautiful and immaculately kept birds. The experience we selected meant that we me various birds. We were able to have the birds fly to us which our girls in particular loved. Meeting 'The Minions' was most entertaining! They are real characters! That you Wild Flight.

Lizzie Cruickshank

Fantastic! Thank you so so much!!! Beautiful birds, wonderful hosts, amazing experience and well worth a visit!! Go...

Jonjo Hobbs

Two beautiful falcons. Collen with lots of falcon information. A great experience for my kids.

Ibrahim Zietoun