Silke and Rainer Schimpf - expedition specialists.
Silke is a passionate marine wildlife photographer and conservationist. She resides in South Africa and accompanies dive tours and expeditions as a photographer and skipper. Rainer is a wildlife photographer, conservationist and exploration logistics manager. Worldwide expeditions are their specialty.
Silke and Rainer are freelance Getty, Gallo and DPA photographers and have received several prizes for their underwater and marine photography worldwide. In 2017, Rainer was nominated African Wildlife Marine Photographer of the Year.
Silke and Rainer have been interviewed for several documentaries, leading programmes by Discovery and National Geographic, and have participated in filming for the Disney / Galatee film 'Oceans' with Jacques Perrain.
Since 2014, Silke has been living and working with Rainer from South Africa. Rainer has called South Africa his home since 1999. Since then, he has established his company 'Expert-Tours' and holds specialized dive tours in Africa, Norway and other destinations. Their favorite marine animals are marine mammals such as whales and dolphins.
Rainer’s constant engagement in environmental protection and awareness has made him Citizen of the Year in South Africa – Port Elizabeth and he won the jury prize of Antibes Film Festival for his own production 'Opaque'.
In a joint venture with SSI, he arranged the training and finance for 200 South Africans to become Open Water Divers. The idea is: only if you know what’s below the surface of the water, can it be understood and protected.
Presently, due to Covid-19, Silke and Rainer have started an initiative to raise funds for Tour and Dive Guides in South Africa.
In 2019, Rainer became famous around the world after being photographed inside the mouth of a Bryde’s whale during the Sardine Run. In this experience neither the whale, the team or Rainer was harmed. It actually underlined and confirmed the sensibility and awareness of whales, and their careful attention and ability not to harm humans. See what happened during the Sardine Run here.
Silke and Rainer are very proud and honored to have been called to join the Mares Ambassador Team in January 2020.