Our founder

The history of SanWild focusses on the dream of a single person, Louise Joubert whose love for wild animals has been proved (and tested) over and over again.

Louise worked as an account executive for a major advertising agency in Cape Town when she conceptualised a fund-raising campaign for the Rhino & Elephant Foundation in South Africa in 1989.  During National Rhino Pledge Day that focussed on the plight of the black rhino on southern Africa, a substantial amount of money was raised for black rhino conservation.  Some of the money raised was used to purchase additional land for the Addo Elephant Park.  Much needed equipment was also purchased for various counter poaching teams that concentrated on the protection of black rhinos in particular.  The balance of the funds were used to relocate black rhinos from areas in which rhinos were increasingly targeted by poachers and also to return a number of black rhino to Africa to National Parks where the relocated rhinos could contribute to the survival of their species.

Louise’s brush with black rhinos prompted her to give up a lucrative career in advertising and saw her move to Limpopo Province to “work with wild animals”.  Initially she found herself working with a game capture and relocation company where she quickly realised the extent of the exploitation to which wild animals were subjected to as a result of the growing commercialisation of wildlife.  It was the plight of especially the young un-weaned animals that got to her on an emotional level.  Seeing the terrible injuries and experiencing the death of a number of animals during the game capture operations, Louise found herself in emotional turmoil.  It was especially the trauma and fear suffered by the un-weaned young that caught up with her and she decided to take on the orphaned victims for hand raising.

As Louise worked against numerous odds to safe the traumatized youngsters, she become more and more empathetic to wild animals’ needs.  The constant emotional stress of having to endure game capture after game capture and experiencing first hand the trauma and fear of relocated wildlife soon saw her quit the game relocation industry.

Louise and a young zebra foal called Gummies.

In 1998 Louise rented a piece of land with and option to purchase it after 5 years.  Her main objective was to set up a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation centre and a safe sanctuary for rescued wild animals.  In 2000 she formed the SanWild Wildlife Trust to ensure protection of the land and the animals that depended on the land for a safe home in perpetuity.

Today Louise is an outspoken critic of the South Africa wildlife and hunting industry and work actively to prevent the suffering and abuse of wild animals.  She has put together a wildlife rescue team that is on standby for any wild animal emergency 24/7.  All rescued wild animals are released into the safety of the 14 826 acres SanWild Wildlife Sanctuary.

Join her on Facebook

SanWild is a registered SOUTH AFRICA wildlife charity and Non-profit Organisation.  It is also registered as a Public Benefit Organisations.


NON-PROFIT NO: 011-266



10 responses to “Our founder

  1. Lulu Paxton

    March 29, 2012 at 2:40 am

    I am so pleased to see that someone is opposed to the African hunting industry. There are definately ways to raise money and awareness such as through photography and education of people. I am so looking forward to seeing your wonderful work. Never give up as one person can make a difference. Well done Louise

  2. SanWild Admin

    April 1, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    Dear Lulu, thanks so much fro your kind words. At times it get quite difficult to “hang in there”, but I am finally living my passion and the animals that depend on us to keep them safe is the best reward I could ever hope to have. Kind regards, Louise Joubert

  3. Daria Theron Dumont

    May 11, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    Just read Kirsten’s diary, and seen from her comments how you helped, What a great job Louise! It’s women like you who inspire and give hope. After the Thandi and Themba tragedy I was deeply moved to creating the Ten Rand Rhino Project on Facebook. My goodness, what a learning curve! I niavely thought that everyone involved in nature conservation cared about the welfare of animals. In almost two months I have come to see that many are involved for profit and exploitation. So it is with this newly found knowldege that I salute you! Thank you for really caring Louise.

  4. Roxanne Sutton

    June 4, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    Louise you are Inspirational..your love and devotion to the Animal kingdom fills me with hope.
    God Bless xxx

  5. Jenny Yu

    June 6, 2012 at 1:19 am

    Thank you so much for all you do. Your passion for helping animals is such a inspiration to me. I have nothing but respect and love for you Louise.

  6. Carolyn Nelson, AAWA, MMT, OPA

    September 4, 2012 at 5:35 am

    I am showing the lions of Sanwild, that I have painted, and for every painting sold, a percentage will go to the Lion Rescue program and provide food for them. So far no one has bought a painting, however I will notify you as soon as one is sold!! Praying this all happens soon for you!!
    Carolyn Nelson, AAWA OPA

  7. Lawyers

    December 31, 2013 at 9:20 am

    Үou’re so awesome! I do not believe I have read through
    anything like this befоre. So nice tо find someone with a few unique thoughts on this
    subject. Really.. thank уou for starting this up.
    Thiѕ wеb site is something that’s needed on thee web,
    someone with sme originаlity!

  8. Swati

    January 19, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    You are doing a wonderful job.I idolise you and someday I to will chuck my job for a similar work.

  9. Cat H.

    March 18, 2014 at 12:59 am

    Wow!! Good for you!! And thank you from the animals. When I see the weight the damn lion farms have in your area and the dollars they have coming in from foreign hunters to kill all the beautiful creatures of your country, it makes me sick and I can only imagine that you have your hands full combatting them AND saving occasionally an animal that has slipped out of their ‘sights’ (literally). The world seems to be wising up about the trophy hunters and farmers and are starting to put pressure on governments to crack down on these lost, evil souls whose only find joy in killing the living jewels of this world. But until the good people can outweigh and overpower the bad, animals will continue to suffer. I imagine that you also have a constant battle on your hands to keep poachers out of your lands and to keep the animals safe from intruders coming to do harm. I am impressed, in awe and am, above all, grateful for all the work you do and for having the courage to continue even if there are days when you feel frustrated and beaten down. Don’t stop. Don’t give in. Continue to follow your heart and to help those that have no voice to speak up in this world of greed and power. Maybe one day soon – hopefully in our lifetimes – LOVE will have the emotional stronghold. God knows t’s time for love to reign because hate and greed have been running the show way too long and clearly they have been doing an excellent job at wreaking havoc and destruction!!

    All the best.

  10. Kelly Adams

    April 11, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    This is beautiful!


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