A 14th generation white African Hannes Wessels was born in 1956 in what was then Salisbury in Southern Rhodesia (now Harare, Zimbabwe) but grew up in Umtali (now Mutare) on the Mozambique border. As a young boy he met Robert Ruark on safari in Mozambique and was later captivated by his books. He has never forgotten Ruark’s passion for Africa, its people and its wild places.
After leaving school he was a combat soldier in the bush- war waged against the forces of Robert Mugabe’s Patriotic Front before acquiring a law degree but practised only fleetingly. Turning to a career in wildlife he operated professionally in Zimbabwe, Zambia and Tanzania in a twenty year career. In 1994 he was severely gored by a wounded buffalo in Maasailand which almost cost him his life.
He has published ‘Strange Tales from Africa’ in America which is a collection of stories about people and places encountered by him in the course of his hunting days. His biography of PK van der Byl (former Rhodesian Defense Minister) includes a revised history of the Rhodesian imbroglio and he has completed a book about the life and times of Colonel Ron Reid-Daly of Selous Scout fame.
He is married to Mandy and has two daughters; Hope 15 and Jana 12 and lives in Darling in the Cape Province of South Africa. He retains business interests in tourism and remains keenly interested in all matters relating to African wildlife and conservation.