Richard is an outdoor enthusiast and has spent many of his holidays hiking in Europe. In 2003, he visited Vancouver Island and was immediately struck by its natural beauty and variety in landscapes. This experience was the main reason for him and Cécile to relocate from the Netherlands to Nanaimo in 2008. He experienced first-hand the limited possibilities for exceptional outdoor experiences in Europe due to overcrowded nature parks and the vast outdoor opportunities on Vancouver Island. Richard is driven to show the natural wonders of Vancouver Island and by doing so inspire a culture of awareness for this beautiful landscape and local flora and fauna.
Richard is a certified Level 2 Kayak Guide and an active member of Nanaimo Search and Rescue. He has years of experience in guiding kayak and hiking trips; both day and multi-day tours. He has an environmental sciences background before he became a full time tour guide. In his time off he enjoys exploring BC on foot, by mountain bike, in a kayak or in an outrigger canoe.
Cécile van Woensel
Cécile absolutely shares Richard’s passion for outdoor activities on land and sea and enjoys everything from the big surroundings to the smallest creatures. She is especially drawn to trees, which inspire her to create intricate drawings. When moving to Vancouver Island, it felt like a dream came through. Having so easily access to the most incredible places is something that she is always grateful for and loves to share with others. Being rewarded with a stunning view (and a meal of delicious food) after a hike up the mountain or a long stretch of paddling from island to island, is a perfect moment of happiness to her. She is keen to learn more about BC's wildlife and its indigenous culture complementing her background in biology and arts. Cécile is an avid bike rider and outrigger canoe paddler, is mesmerized by the life in and on the ocean, but also takes great joy in yoga and savouring desserts.
Cécile is a certified Level 1 Kayak tour guide and has a background in biology. She hopes to complement/support Richard in giving you a memorable and unique experience.