Meet the Kaiwhai Team

Kaiwhai Safaris is owned and operated by Francois Els & Erik Potgieter. We also have, qualified, full time Professional Hunters that assist us in and around the hunting field. Dayton de Jongh, Ernst Gouws, Francois van Rooy

We always feel a little background on the Kaiwhai Crew is useful, thus our clients know us better. We strive to make HUNTING FRIENDS, rather than hunting clients.


Francois Els

Francois has been hunting professionally since 1999. He was born in a hunting family, and since the young age of only 6 he went hunting with his father. Francois soon discovered his talent for shooting a compound bow and in the early 2000’s he was one of the first South African hunters to hunt with a Bowtech bow. Francois’ love for rifle hunting never died, but he is one of very few people in the world with over 40 species that he has hunted with his bow. Francois’ knowledge of the land, animals, birds, and plants are second to none and the knowledge he brings and shares on a hunt is of upmost value.

From guiding a client to shoot a Buffalo with a bow at 20 yards, to shooting a Kudu in the mountains at 500 yards, he has all the experience required for the perfect hunt.

Francois has 4 boys, (yes 4) and all of them are also avid hunters. He is a man who respects the animals and the creation of the land we hunt on.

Francois’ favourite hunting rifle is his long-range .300 Jarrett and his favourite backup rifle is the .470 Nitro Express Double Rifle.


Erik Potgieter

Erik also grew up in a hunting & farming community. Erik started hunting with his dad at the age of 5. He is a hunter that likes to hunt his Bucket list of species and have been growing this list for the past 10 years. He also loves hunting with an open sight rifle, stalking an animal to get close enough for a shot.  He believes that with patience and knowledge of the land, no animal can outsmart a hunter. As he likes to say: “Persistence is key, and if we fail today, we have learned what not to do tomorrow”.

His passion for tracking an animal’s track “spoor” or blood trail is unheard of. He spends many hours following (tracking) animals and learning their behaviour.

Erik lives close to nature and enjoys fishing on the days that he doesn’t hunt. His respect and appreciation for the hunting areas needs to be mentioned.

Erik’s favourite hunting rifle is his old 6.5×55 Swedish Mauser and his favourite backup rifle is his .375 CZ with open sights.


Dayton De Jongh

Dayton is our youngster Professional Hunter, but do not under-estimate this young boy. Dayton started hunting at a young age and soon realized that grass plains and bushveld of Africa is where he belongs. After his Senior year Dayton went straight to the Professional Hunting Academy in South Africa and ended at the top of his class. Kaiwhai Safaris spotted his talent and knew he had to be part of the team. Dayton is a hard worker and doesn’t care about early mornings and late nights, as long as he can spend it in the hunting field. His knowledge of the 856 Bird species in South Africa and the land is very impressive for anyone his age. Even though he hasn’t been with us long, he has put clients on some record size animals. His sense of humour and American accent is definitely the highlight for all of our clients.

Dayton’s favourite backup rifle is his trust worthy CZ 9.3×62 550 Safari. He is an avid hunter himself but appreciates it more if his clients can be successful with him guiding them.


Ernst Gouws

Ernst is our most versatile Professional Hunter. He is a qualified Commercial Helicopter pilot, qualified Professional Hunter, and qualified Game Capturer.

Ernst grew up hunting with his father, who was the Hunters Association of South Africa’s Chairman for over 10 years. When growing up like this, there is not much that he hasn’t seen or hunted. Ernst is a part time helicopter pilot, capturing Game and relocating them to other areas.  This gives him the leading edge on understanding animal behaviour, where to look for them and how to approach them. Ernst have been hunting with us for 8 years, and the value of his contribution to Kaiwhai Safaris is worth more than gold. Ernst is a nature lover, from hunting to fishing to climbing Mount Kilimanjaro he loves spending time in the outdoors.

Ernst is very fond of his Bruno .308 that he inherited from his father when hunting himself. His backup rifle is his CZ .416 Safari Lux with open sights.


Francois has been a Professional Hunter for more than 15 years. From the open plains of Tanzania to the forests of the Congo, from the dessert of Namibia to the mountains of South Africa, he had hunted them all. Francois is a family man, and recently took his son for his first hunt. Francois lives very close to nature. In his free time Francois is an avid cattle and corn farmer. Francois’ calm and collective personality makes him a great guide, especially while hunting dangerous game. He is always cool headed and in control. The experiences and African hunting stories he can tell around the campfire can keep us all up for hours!

Francois uses his CZ .416 as his backup rifle.