Kevin Leo-Smith

Qualified with a BSc. Agriculture in 1978 and spent early career in agribusiness , commercial agriculture and game ranching in the KwaZulu Natal Midlands. Established Agri-Plan Estates (farm sales), Irri-Plan (irrigation design and supply), Plan Group (agricultural product market price forecasts) and with others set up a magazine called Livestock Farming/Veeboerdery. Also ran the family cattle and game farm.

In 1986 Agri-Plan was offered the largest commercial game ranch in KwaZulu Natal for sale and from this the initial idea for the creation of Phinda Game Reserve emerged leading to the acquisition of 12 farms that were consolidated to form Phinda in 1990. Phinda gave birth to its holding company now known as & Beyond but then The Conservation Corporation (CC Africa). Kevin was a founding director and lived at Phinda and was responsible for development and operations until 1996. During this time CC Africa expanded into 4 countries and to over 2,000 staff. One of the largest private sector wildlife relocations (including all iconic species endemic to the area) operations took place on Phinda forever changing the Zululand regions future and value.

In 1997 Kevin moved to Maun Botswana and established Kwando Safaris from scratch, together with a local partner. Kwando Safaris became a successful company with bed occupancies reaching over 80% year around by 2006. The operations encompassed 5 luxury camps in the Okavango region of Botswana on over 400,000 ha of private concession, a cultural village on the Zambian side of Victoria Falls and an air charter business with 7 aircraft.

In 2006 Kevin started SFM Africa with Alan Bernstein for Sustainable Forestry Ltd. (a global sustainable development business) based out of Johannesburg. SFM Africa established and operated several scale businesses in various parts of Africa including Gabon, Guinea and Rwanda. Most of the projects had a safari tourism component as well as forestry and agriculture. Kevin is still managing director of SFM Africa.

Kevin is also CEO of immedia in Durban an integrated cloud computing development house with a globally scalable cloud based technology product known as fabrik. Kevin lives with his wife Greer (a former professional tennis player) between Hoedspruit and Durban. His two sons are both involved in the safari industry the eldest Brent is a presenter on SafariLive and is currently based in Kenya and Dylan works in the Sabi-Sands part of the Greater Kruger National Park complex.