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Having been introduced to nature, wildlife and conservation through the likes of both Irwin and Attenborough documentaries and supplemented with frequent family trips to the Kruger National Park, it’s no surprise that a deep-set love and respect for all things wild would find itself etched into John’s very being from his period back in diapers already. A qualified terrestrial and National bird guide through the Field Guides Association of Southern Africa (FGASA) and final year LLB student through the University of South Africa, John’s fearless pursuit for all things wild has seen him travel to various corners of the globe in an attempt specifically targeted at quenching his seemingly unquenchable thirst for all things avian. Among the comprehensive list of destinations he’s traveled to feature the likes of Antarctic waters, parts of Europe, Israel, Australia, China, USA, South East Asia, Indonesia and the vast majority of southern Africa. Fresh out of school, John became only the sixth ever person to record 800+ species within southern Africa’s boundaries within the space of a calendar year, doing so by the age of 19 and claiming the record for the youngest person to ever successfully achieve this massive milestone (2014). John’s ‘big year’ and subsequent travelling/twitching has also given his regional list the opportunity to grow at a truly exponential rate which now sees it well in excess of 850 species.
Conservation is at the forefront of John’s main mission in life which is to help protect and conserve the worlds wildlife whilst sharing it with others. He has formed part of two historic bird race teams (2017-2018) to have participated in the globally acclaimed Champions of the Flyway bird race for conservation which addresses the unnecessary (and often illegal) slaughter of birds on migration across the globe, his teams participation raising a combined amount of over R250,000 over two years for the respective BirdLife International partners involved.
Passionate, driven, cool, calm and collected, John has been able to master the ability to never give up unless explicitly told so, making him an extremely hard working guide. Combine this with his sharp hearing and overall dry sense of humor, expeditions with this bearded martial artist turned naturalist are always nothing short of fun, informative, productive and rewarding.