Educated at Wellington College, Charles Mayhew spent two years travelling and working in South Africa, Switzerland and Australia. After returning home, he started work as a Lloyds Marine Insurance Broker with Willis Faber & Dumas Ltd. In 1985 he set up and led the Young Europe Africa Expedition. The 33 strong team crossed the Sahara and travelled through the Congo before arriving in Kenya, where it undertook a series of conservation and community projects filmed for a Channel 4 TV documentary. The 7-month adventure concluded in Cape Town. Upon his return, Mayhew was elected a Fellow of The Royal Geographical Society.
After working for a small boutique financial services firm, Mayhew formed his own financial service business, which he later sold to the St James’s Place Group. In 1990 he co-founded the charity Tusk Trust and, as part of the stimulus for doing so, he co-produced the feature film ‘Lost in Africa’– a drama that sought to highlight the ivory trade.
Under Mayhew’s stewardship, Tusk has since grown into becoming a highly reputable and efficient UK conservation NGO with HRH The Prince of Wales as an active Royal Patron. Mayhew has accompanied the Duke on a number of overseas trips, including his trips to visit Tusk supported projects in Namibia and Tanzania in 2018.
Mayhew also sits on the Board of the Ernest Kleinwort Charitable Trust, and in 2023 he was awarded an OBE by His Majesty The King in recognition of his services to conservation in Africa.