Johan Wessels & Laura Thubron
Johan and Laura’s paths first crossed in 2014 in the Middle East where they were employed as Guides for an Anantara group of resorts close to the Saudi Arabian border. Johan’s guiding experience and passion for remote environments lead him from his home country of South Africa, and Laura’s love of adventure and wildlife lifted her out of Scotland after her study of Outdoor, Environmental & Sustainability Education. In 2016 they got the exciting chance to change environment completely and work for Congo Conservation Company in the guiding paradise of Odzala-Kokoua National Park. Here they lead gorilla-trekking expeditions, river excursions and forest walks, as well as help run a remote satellite camp. Taking the step to manage Fanjove Private Island was an exciting opportunity for them both and they love to share their experiences with guests and to draw on their guiding background to show guests the beautiful intricacies of the island’s 11km coral reef. Fanjove has opened up a new marine world to Johan and Laura and so they are never really sure who is more excited when they spot a turtle, whale or dolphin… the guests or the managers!
Hakim is an integral part of the Fanjove Team and he has worked on the island for 4 years. He is Fanjove’s Assistant Manager and is also Head of the Activities department which means he’s a busy man! Hakim has a knack for getting everyone into the water and he loves to teach first-time snorkelers and divers and share the underwater world with them. Hakim is down-to-earth and relatable and - with fluency in Kidigo, Swahili, English and conversational Italian and French - he is able to surprise and delight an array of guests with his language skills. He is a charismatic and energetic host and guests who join activities with him are in great hands because Hakim is a certified Dive Instructor therefore he has a fantastic knowledge of the sea. Hakim comes from Tanga in the North-East of Tanzania and when he is home he loves to cook, read and study his next language, German!
Abdi Fakhi Sheha
Abdi Fakhi has been head chef on Fanjove Island for 9 years, where he remains an unflappable leader of the kitchen team. Hailing from neighbouring Songosongo Island, Abdi produces colourful, fusion cuisine with dishes inspired by the multi-cultural backdrop of the Swahili Coast. A master of seafood, Abdi says his favourite dish is Trevally Masala, which is layered with aromatic local spices. When Abdi is at home, he says he likes to take the opportunity to set aside the pots and pans and let his wife cook! The Fanjove kitchen team work hard to improve their spoken English, and have even hung a sign in the kitchen saying “No English, no service!” as a testimony of their determination.
Nasri joined the Fanjove Team 6 years ago, and is well known among the team and guests for his gentle and kind manner. Nasri is an excellent communicator and after schooling in Songosongo where he excelled in English, he joined the team as a waiter at Fanjove for his first job. Nasri loves making cocktails for guests, and considers the Dawa (meaning 'Medicine' in Swahili) to be his signature drink. Nasri has a knack of knowing what guests need before they know it themselves, and can be found greeting guests returning from a snorkelling session with water and cold towels or climbing the lighthouse to hand deliver snacks and sun-downers. When Nasri is at home he loves to cook for his wife and his daughter Nadia, whom he is teaching to speak English.