freediver / speaker / writer

'Hanli speaks with animation & passion...

... about freedom, fear, risk and conscious living.

Stories of swimming alongside tiger sharks, to what it takes to communicate with a sperm whale or the grace of giant manta rays adds to the journey the audience is taken on. Her visual material from the underwater realm combined with her vibrant storytelling captures the imagination and inspires audiences of all ages and walks of life.'



Apart from her over thirteen years of competitive freediving and 11 national records, Hanli has a background in documentary filmmaking which has taken her into the front-lines of social political conflict all over Africa, from Burundi to Uganda, South Africa and Zimbabwe to name a few. Hanli is a strong believer in the greatness of the human spirit under the toughest of circumstances,  having seen beauty and hope flourish where least expected.

Her experiences underwater inspired her to found the I AM WATER Foundation, where Ocean Conservation Through Human Experience is in the spotlight. Through her sport Hanli has trained an array of corporate clients to world-class athletes; working with mental toughness, mind over body control and mindfulness. She is a Young Global Leader under the World Economic Forum as well as a Dangote Fellow. 


Motivational speaking clients & events include:

  • World Economic Forum Annual Summit, Davos, Switzerland
  • UBS Global Philanthropy Forum, St Moritz, Switzerland
  • Impact Roundtable keynote for Credit Suisse, Lisbon, Portugal
  • Merrill Lynch / Bank of America Johannesburg & London, UK
  • Adidas - MC & workshops, Los Angeles & Cape Town 
  • Condé Nast Traveller, London 'Travellers Tales' in collaboration with La Mer
  • Emerge Conference, SAID Business School, Oxford UK 
  • Wildscreen Film Festival, Bristol, UK
  • Athleta / The Gap, San Francisco, USA
  • Steppes Beyond Travel Festival, RGS London, UK
  • Western Academy of Beijing, China
  • Liberty Group, Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Murray & Roberts, Johannesburg, South Africa
  • UCT Graduate School of Business, South Africa
  • Old Mutual, South Africa
  • TEDx Bermuda - The Aquatic Mammal
  • TEDxSeaPoint - Every good story is a love story

... amongst others.


For rates, availability and bookings, please email hanli@iamwaterfoundation.org