Marleen profile - our team

Marleen Lammers

Managing Director

Marleen (pronounced ‘Marlane’ – sensitive subject) started her career as a broadcasting journalist in the Netherlands, but was drawn to African adventure and moved to Zambia a decade ago. For several years, she developed and managed community and conservation volunteer projects in Zambia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa, before moving into communications and marketing. She then moved onto managing fundraising and communications for Greenpop, a Cape Town-based environmental nonprofit, before starting Penda. Marleen is a keen photographer and passionate about the potential it has to inspire and drive positive change. She’s also a writer and is about to publish her first children’s book.

Greg profile pic - our team

Greg Bows

Co-Founder & Director

Greg has worked in African tourism and development for over a decade. Originally from the UK, Greg spent the past fifteen years in Africa, where he worked as a wildlife researcher and bush guide before co-founding and managing a number of tourism companies, including Africa & You, an award-winning tour operator, and African Impact, Africa’s leading voluntourims organisation. Greg also co-founded the African Impact Foundation, a conservation and community nonprofit. Greg has seen first-hand how travel has the potential to not only provide amazing experiences, but to also be a force of good. A few years ago, he won the IHIF Young Leader Award, which recognised his contributions to the travel industry. Greg recently co-founded Cultivate, a nonprofit supporting agricultural entrepreneurs in Africa.

Talitha profile - our team

Talitha van der Waerden

Logistics & Bookings Manager

Talitha has a hugely varied CV; she’s worked as a tour leader in the Middle East, as a communications consultant, and a project manager developing recruitment and change management campaigns for big multinationals. In 2012, Talitha came to Cape Town on a sabbatical and never left. She took a break from her career in the Netherlands to travel, explore new places and use her skills for a good cause during a work placement with Greenpop. Three months turned into six, and eventually into a job coordinating events and experiences. Apart from being part of the Penda team, Talitha also runs Roots Interns, a company that places international interns with nonprofits and social enterprises around Africa.

Penda photo

Carrie Luetzow

Director

Carrie is an avid traveler, photographer, and postcard writer. She has a background in finance and is based in Seattle, but travels as often as she can and has visited over 80 countries. When she first visited Sabi Sands Game Reserve in South Africa in 2011, she fell in love with African wildlife and realized the importance of protecting these vulnerable animals. Carrie strongly believes in the story a photograph can tell and how those reverberate throughout the world.

Penda team

Manon van Troost

Research Intern

In 2017, Manon fell in love with South Africa and knew she would return someday. So she planned to do the thesis for her Masters degree (in Cultural Management) with Penda Trust in Cape Town. Little did she know that COVID-19 would get in the way of this. Nevertheless, she joined us and managed to conduct her research remotely, from her Dutch hometown. Her thesis, which focused on the role of photography in the nonprofit sector, got her the degree (hurray!), and as we’re not letting her go, she’s still part of our little team and contributing to a number of different areas. 

Penda team

Jordan Mehling

Content Writing Intern

Jordan is our content writing intern from Canada! Currently on a gap year, she is passionate about travel, non-profit work, and having new adventures. A keen writer, Jordan is eager to use her writing to make a positive impact, and is thrilled to be joining Penda during her gap year! When not writing, you can find her exploring the Rocky Mountains, spending time with her family or, dreaming about future travels.

Penda team

Marlene Wenz

Research Intern

Marlene is in her last year of studying International Communications and has decided to combine her love for travel and culture with the research for her Master thesis. Working remotely from the Netherlands due to Covid-19, Marlene focuses her research on communicating impact-based travel and creating strategic communication tools for Penda. With a background in Journalism, she is always on the lookout for new experiences and can’t wait to explore the breathtaking views of South African nature first-hand – when the situation allows it!

penda photographers

Photographers

We collaborate with a small group of brilliant photographers who guide our photo tours and workshops. All with different backgrounds and areas of expertise, our photographers guide the trips that they are particularly passionate about, and enjoy sharing this passion with participants. No matter where you are as a photographer, our photography guides will bring out the best in you through personalised tutoring. You can find a profile of each photographer on the pages of the tours they guide.