Meet the Team

Jo Cooper
Founding Director / Tour Leader

Born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa, Jo has spent his adult life working as a tour guide in various parts of southern and East Africa.
“The day I started my field guide studies, I lost my heart to Africa. The intricacy and simplicity of life in the wild is something that just latched on and wouldn’t let go! I had to stay. It wasn’t until I started guiding overland tours a few years later that I got to know some of the people and places of rural Africa. Spending time living in these small villages and getting to know the humble people of these communities opened my heart all over again. Once I started making these heartfelt connections, my mind began churning with thoughts of what Footsteps Through Africa could be.”

Chloe Cooper
Social Media & Comunication

Chloë is Jo’s elder sister and has always shared her brother’s passion for travel and nature. She is a proud South African having grown up in Cape Town, before moving to the small town of Hoedspruit on the border of the Kruger National Park. Chloë is a writer by trade and became Jo’s port of call when it came to sharing the exciting developments on social media. Upon visiting Uganda in 2017, Chloë saw for herself what all the fuss was about and sure enough fell deeply in love with the country and its people. Now, she looks forward to every opportunity to join the Footsteps team all over Africa!

Pedro Quirino
Marketing / Tour Leader

Pedro Quirino was born in Portugal where he accumulated more than 12 years’ experience in the management of Online Travel Agencies (OTAs), consulting in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), and the development of websites and reservation platforms for Tour Operators and Travel Agencies.
Upon the invitation from his friend and Footsteps’ founder, Jo Cooper, Pedro joined the company in 2017. In addition to being responsible for Footsteps marketing, he is the company’s representative in the Portuguese and Spanish speaking countries, where he also participates as a guide in private tours for Portuguese or Spanish speaking groups.

Gordon Akampurira
Volunteer Manager – Uganda

Gordy is a local from the village of Rubuguri. When he finished school, he went on to get involved in tour guiding in the area of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and his home, Rubuguri. Gordy is also head coach and trainer of the school’s athletics club and he has a great passion for helping the students in Rubuguri.
When Jo first started Footsteps Through Africa in the village, Gordy immediately jumped on board to help wherever he could, proving his invaluable contribution as a manager in the organisation. In addition to helping with all of our locally based projects, he is also the head of the Footsteps Through Africa volunteers who stay in Rubuguri, and always ensures these visitors feel at home.

Benadi Byekwaso:
On the ground – Rubuguri, Uganda

Ben is born and bred in Rubuguri (Uganda) and is a member of the Omukiga tribe.

Since finishing school in 2006 he has played an active role in the community. He is a founding member of the Nkuringo Cultural Centre (NCC) where he educates tourists and the local community about the heritage and background of the conservation of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. He is also a member of the town council.

When Ben heard about Footsteps Through Africa he was really enthusiastic about all of our ideas. He has been absolutely amazing in helping out with all of our projects.

People of The World:
Making it all possible

Without the amazing, caring and generous people of the world, none of what we accomplish here at Footsteps would be possible. From student sponsors, to school builders, to fund raisers, or even just ‘liking’ a facebook post, you are contributing to the success of Footsteps Through Africa, and immensely bettering the lives of countless needy people here in Africa. You will all always be part of the Footsteps family!