Our Team

Our team

The Unfound team each bring a unique blend of expertise to the table. Our skill set is diverse, encompassing marketing, operations, hospitality, and sustainability. Together, we are passionate about connecting travellers to undiscovered destinations with the preservation of the natural world at their core.

Lynette Whittaker

Travel Sommelier & Managing Director

About Lynette

Lynette is a trailblazer in the advertising and hospitality industries. In 2018, she ignited the spark of Fire Island Eco Retreats, weaving her magic into every thread of the business, down to the pulse of daily operations. At the end of 2023, Lynette passed on the torch of FIER to embrace the allure of travel and marketing.

September 2023 marked the dawn of Unfound, a beacon of innovation in marketing and hospitality, crafted to meet the ever-shifting tides of the industry. Under Lynette’s management, Unfound has blossomed, expanding its reach and bolstering its presence. As the chief travel researcher, Lynette curates our collection of accommodations, destinations, and experiences to resonate with the ethos of Unfound.

Her mission is to guide intrepid souls to hidden gems, offering immersive, nature-infused escapades to the unfound.Lynette’s dedication to guest service excellence and her pledge to eco-centricity are the cornerstones of each Unfound experience. Her commitment intertwines with her role at Earth Legacy Foundation, the carbon offset projects of Unfound, ensuring that every journey leaves a gentle footprint on the heart of the earth.

Jan van Deventer

Fellow Travel Sommelier & Business Development Manager

About Jan

Jan’s odyssey in the leisure and hospitality sector is a saga of growth and exploration. From humble beginnings as a waiter, he quickly ascended to restaurant management. He has journeyed through the wilds, navigating 4×4 overland trails in Botswana, and spent five years enriching Barra Resorts in Mozambique. As a co-founder of Fire Island Eco Retreats, he’s been instrumental in shaping unique hospitality experiences.

His entrepreneurial spirit led him to establish Ultimate Getaways in Pretoria, evolving it into All Over Africa. Additionally, he ventured into the realm of big game fishing charters, overseeing operations in Richards Bay. Jan’s extensive travels across Southern Africa and Europe have been pivotal in marketing these ventures and products, deepening his grasp of diverse markets and audiences.

From 2005 to 2017, Jan immersed himself in the TV and film industry as a Location Scout and Unit & Location Manager. His tenure in the industry refined his skills in managing remote sites and complex logistics, endowing him with invaluable comprehension of managing and promoting off-the-beaten-track destinations. Jan’s multifaceted background uniquely positions him to navigate the complexities of the leisure industry with innovation and strategic insight.

Esther Jacobs

Communications & Sustainability Manager

About Esther

Meet Esther, the dynamic force spearheading media relations for Unfound and championing green initiatives at Earth Legacy Foundation, our carbon offset projects. Her dual role as conservation manager is marked by a commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship.

With over two decades of experience in communications, Esther has spent the last ten years immersed in the world of conservation and travel. Her path has woven through marine eco-tourism, research, and conservation institutions, where she has served as the digital herald for their pioneering projects and scientific breakthroughs. As a co-author of three scientific papers, she understands the critical role of research and empirical data in advancing conservation efforts. Her expertise was further enhanced in 2023 with a Project Management for Wildlife Conservation qualification from WildTeam.

Esther’s heart beats for conservation and the enigmatic allure of wildlife. She’s determined to preserve the natural wonders she adored as a child for her daughters, ensuring they too can bask in the beauty of our planet. In the office, she’s known for her lighthearted yet earnest enforcement of eco-friendly practices, notably through the “naughty jar” for any single-use plastic offenders.