The founders


Mikkel Legarth:

lions of africa

Mikkel’s passion for Africa and its wildlife started in his early days watching documentaries and studying books about the diverse wildlife of Africa. He planned to work as pilot, but a 3-week trip to Africa in 2008 completely changed his life. After volunteering with the area’s big cats, Mikkel extended his stay to 10 months, working in a management position where he oversaw up to 60 volunteers from all over the world. Following his childhood dream, Mikkel co-founded the Modisa Wildlife Project to help create a better future for the wildlife of Botswana.

Mikkel has a Business College background where he studied business administration and service management. He also finished an International Marketing degree as well as having spent more than 10 years working in the service industry. Mikkel now runs the whole business side of Modisa including finding sponsors, creating awareness events along with planning and executing all the marketing campaigns that connects Modisa to the outside world.
Mikkel will be sharing his time between the Modisa office in Denmark and the Modisa camp in Botswana.

Valentin Gruener:

big cats africa

Valentin moved to northern Canada after high school, where he worked in oil mines for a year. It wasn’t until after that he decided to pursue his dream of working with big cats in Africa. His passion for animals started when he was just a boy in Germany, where he would rescue and rehabilitate injured animals. In Africa, he ended up working beside Mikkel, running a volunteer project for six months.

Valentin completed his ranger course, a FGASA level 1 guiding course, and obtained a level 3 in track and sign interpretation and ID course in Krüger National Park in 2010. He moved to Botswana at the end of 2010, where he worked as an assistant on several trips for researchers from the University of Texas. Valentin runs the volunteer program full time and oversees data collection alongside researchers, so Modisa can create a database that will fuel further research into the Botswana wildlife.

botswana lions