Mark Saunders was born in Triangle, Zimbabwe, where he lived for the first 26 years of his life. As a youngster, he spent much of his free time in the bush, visiting Gonarezhou National Park and Lone Star Ranch, (the ranch later became Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve).
Mark was educated at Murray McDougal School and then Falcon College. He went on to attain a Bachelor of Social Science at Rhodes University in South Africa, followed by a diploma in tobacco culture from Blackfordby Institute. Mark farmed tobacco for 10 years before being appointed Executive Director of The Malilangwe Trust in 2010.
Mark has always had a passion for conservation, perhaps as a legacy from his childhood. He is inspired by and committed to The Malilangwe Trust’s mandates of biodiversity conservation and community development, and is dedicated to increasing commercial tourism to Zimbabwe, with special focus on the south-eastern lowveld. Mark is devoted to growing strong relationships, not just within the borders of Malilangwe but with neighbours, communities and partners. He is currently a board member of the recently established Gonarezhou Trust.