Meet the AWOL Tours Team

Sally AWOL Tour director 3

Sally Petersen

Sally Petersen (nee de Jager) founded AWOL Tours in 2002 to fulfill a dream  to create unique  adventure tours  building on her varied life experiences. This includes growing up on a Karoo sheep farm in South Africa, studying Bachelor of Commerce in the Stellenbosch Winelands, international travel and work experience including  a  cycling trip from London to Cape Town. Now an active mother with two adopted children, Sally spends most of her time organising tour logistics and accounting when she is not out hiking on Table Mountain, cycling the Cape Peninsula and mountain biking with her work colleagues!

AWOL Tours Guide - Danielle

Danielle Risser

Danielle Risser (nee de Wet) was born to an adventurous Afrikaans South African father and German Namibian Mother. From a young age, a love for the outdoors, camping, adventure sports as well as music, dance and culture was instilled in Danielle and her 4 siblings’ lives. As a Stellenbosch University student Danielle was usually found hiking or biking in the surrounding mountains when not in a lecture hall or ballet class. But only after spending 9 months hiking, bicycle touring and volunteering in Israel did she consider combining her outdoor passions and degree as a career, first in the Namib desert as fat bike tour guide and after meeting her Cape Town based husband, as cycling and hiking guide in the Western Cape

Helen AWOL Tour hiking and cycling tours cape town marketing manager

Helen Baker

Helen Baker works as a busy, social, proud South African marketing enthusiast full time for AWOL Tours at our V&A Waterfront Tourism Information Office. She studied marketing communications and journalism, after 6 years of life and culture in the UK, Europe and Southeast Asia, she is happy to be back home with loved ones, and loves sharing places with locals and visitors. Helen is currently in SATSA Western Cape Committee for Responsible Tourism portfolio. When they’re not busy with  AWOL and guests on tours to various parts of Cape Town , she loves surfing, hiking and biking to distant places.

AWOL Jeremy hiking tour guide

Jeremy Schreiner

Jeremy Schreiner is a born-Dutchman gripped by the beauty and fun-loving lifestyle of the Cape. Jeremy was dragged – albeit willingly – to South Africa in 2012 by his South African wife. He loves the active lifestyle the Western Cape has on its doorstep and finds living hand-in-hand with surrounding nature one of the most important qualities in life. Having traveled to many countries and continents in the world nothing beats Cape Town as his favorite spot on the planet. After growing up in Holland, Jeremy knows exploring locations on a bicycle is the best way to experience and engage in a place. Besides the nature and active lifestyle, Jeremy loves the rich cultural and historic diversity of Southern Africa. Within AWOL Tours he manages and guides hiking and cycling tours in Cape Town.

Dave Kruger winelands cycling guide

Dave Kruger

Dave Kruger grew up in the Green Kalahari near the border to Botswana. After studying and some time in the South African Military, he worked for 8 years in the IT industry. When he got the opportunity to change the profession he wasted no time to get the qualification as a safari guide and direct safari, hiking and cycling tours in various destinations in South Africa. As a qualified nature guide and part-time snake dealer, he has a passion for nature conservation and sustainability, and happy to share his passion with our guests. When not working on AWOL, he likes to go mountain biking, wine making and photography.

Leif Petersen

Leif Petersen, a Conservator who grew up in Australia has completed his master’s degree and PhD in researching the natural harvesting of resources on Table Mountain and Cape Town’s biodiversity. Leif is founder and board member of theSustainable Livelihoods Foundation. Having lived and worked throughout Australia, New Zealand and Southern Africa he has an interesting view on life, politics and the environment. He has done around-the-world community and conservation marketing exercises including Australia, USA, Brazil, Holland and the United Kingdom. Leif is chief advisor to Sally Petersen, AWOL Tour Director and expertly provides consulting to the smooth running of AWOL Torus.

Awol Guides - Zwai

Mzwamadoda Mtshaba (Zwai)

Mzwamadoda Mtshaba (Zwai) is 35 year old Xhosa male who grew up in King Williams Town in the Eastern Cape. After completing school , he was selected for the Table Mountain National Parks Hoerikwaggo guiding program as an NQF level 2 site Nature guide in December 2007. He now works as AWOL’s Township Guide in Masiphumelele and the owner of BEN (Bicycling Empowerment Network) Masiphumelele Bicycle shop fixing and repairing bicycles. Zwai is fluent in English and very reliable and often does all the organising and tour arrangements prior to guest arrival. He is compassionate and has a friendly personality and is easily able to talk to and convey information about his culture to guests coming on tour. He enjoys interacting with guests and showing people around his community.

AWOL Tours Guide - Niels

Niels Moorlach

Niels Moorlach has enjoyed and loved the great outdoors since the mid 1970’s. He left
the Netherlands in 1998, after completing his Cultural and Social Studies degree, to do
some sightseeing around the world. After touring the Americas he went over to Africa,
where he was quickly upgraded from tourist to tour-leader.
For some years he traveled by overland-truck between Nairobi and Cape Town, showing
tourists the sights and how to live in a tent. When he wasn’t on the road, Niels spent his
time teaching people to scuba dive in the Indian Ocean. After settling in Cape Town, he
continued to work in the tourism industry. This time it was river rafting and sea-kayaking
tours that kept him busy in the great outdoors.
In October 2015 Niels joined the AWOL team, introducing tourists to the beauty of the
Cape on foot or by bicycle.

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Bevan Hope-Bailie

Bevan born and bred South African has been leading cycle tours across Southern Africa for more than 5 years. He knows all the best off the beaten trails in Cape Town and  is a highly capable Mountain Biker and Road Cyclist. He also has a wealth of knowledge about South African Wines, so loves combining his passions to leading the AWOL Winelands cycling tours.  Bevan is also the Operations Manager for AWOL Tours ensuring all tours run smoothly at a world class standard.

Marchell Ellis

Marchell has lived and breathed travel all his life. His a passionate Scuba Diver, Photographer, Entrepreneur and Outdoors Fanatic. Having worked in many areas of the tourism industry since 2004 Starting in the UK, Mozambique and Southern Africa, he is now fully involved in new future developments and sales at AWOL Tours – Cape Town. When he is not in the office or on a tour, his in a 4×4 tenting away in some deserted campsite in Africa or somewhere along our beautiful coastlines of Southern Africa. In his spare time he works on developing ScubaBookings.com & Wild Africa Geographic.