Dave was born in South Africa and obtained a B.Sc. Agriculture degree at the University of Natal, majoring in Zoology and Grassland Science. After completing his military service, he was employed by the then Natal Parks Board as a ranger in the Ithala Anti-poaching unit. He continued in the Zululand game reserves with the Parks Board (which later became Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife), becoming a section ranger in iMfolozi and Hluhluwe Game Reserves and later Conservation Manager of iMfolozi and then uMkhuze Game Reserve. In 2013 he left KZN Wildlife and managed a private game reserve in Zululand, but joined African Parks as Field Operations Manager at Bangweulu Wetlands in early 2015. In September 2017 he moved to Nkhotakota as the Field Operations Manager.