Dean Schneider

I am a 30-year old Swiss guy, who dedicated his entire life to the animal world! Nowadays, I live in Africa, I am a member of a lion pride, a hyena's best friend and a daddy of two monkeys. Besides that, I have built a global voice for our planet’s wildlife over the past two years!

Born in Switzerland (Zurich) on October 3, 1992, I was blessed to grow up in a loving family with my sister (one year older) and my parents, who were always very supportive and loving. My mother is originally from the Balkan region (Southeastern Europe), while my dad is a Swiss citizen. I discovered my deep passion for wildlife at the age of six or seven, through the legendary Steve Irwin! He was the one who brought wildlife into my living room in Zurich and inspired and educated me about all kinds of different animal species.

Even though I was so passionate about animals, I originally followed a very ordinary path to adulthood, eventually ending up in the finance industry as a financial advisor. After a very successful year, I decided to found my own company, which then, over the next three years, allowed me to generate the financial foundation to launch the Hakuna Mipaka project at the age of 24.

After starting my life in South Africa additional financial support form my Family allowed me to evolve and develop the Hakuna Mipaka Oasis for 2 years without having to depend on any income sources such as offering touristic visits / programs, breeding or trading of animals, donations or any other monetary businesses! After 2 years and lots of investments and work I launched the Donation Program with the Dean Schneider Foundation.


“Bringing animals into people’s hearts because – I believe – us humans only protect what we love.”


Since we humans are the root of most of the problems the animal kingdom is facing today and we are also the only species powerful enough to make a change and save our wildlife’s future, we have to start with us!

My mission is to bring animals into people’s hearts. I want to inspire and educate people all around the world about the beauty of the animal kingdom, because I believe that we humans protect what we love. We can only love what we know and with whom we are emotionally connected! This is step number one! Once my work is done and YOU learned how to appreciate and love nature and its wildlife, then you will want to contribute to its preservation and protection. Most importantly, you will start caring about it.


These are Values which guided me through my life and made me become the Person I am today!



Always being able to rely on each other

Be honest and loyal



Respect every living being

Recognize and appreciate the emotional value



Being able to be yourself at all times

Being able to do what you love



Be kind to every living being

Treat others the way you want to be treated



Be willing to take a risk for your passion

Stick to your values in every situation