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Born in South Africa, Toni has had the privilege of growing up in the ‘bush’, her back garden and the Kruger National Park being her playground and snakes, frogs, spiders, birds and mammals all forming an integral part of her day-to-day barefoot explorations. Having had the privilege of growing up in a family of birders, Toni’s passion for all things avian stems from an early age where her parents would often take her out into the field at every opportunity they got, teaching her the ropes in between having to deal with her picking up Bullfrogs to take back to the house for ‘show and tell’ sessions. Before she knew it, she found herself ticking off the more common birds she was seeing and once the listing bug bit, her passion and love for birding began to grow at an exponential rate. Although what were the initial foundations of her newly fledged lifestyle, her love for listing soon morphed into a deeper appreciation for birds, their conservation and the breathtaking variety of over 10,000 species that were simply waiting to be seen across the globe.
Toni is currently pursuing both a degree in Zoology and Botany through the University of South Africa, all whilst beginning to expand her horizons, travel more and explore what the world has to offer in terms of the plethora of bird species which have been enticing her for so many years. As part of this, Toni formed part of the record breaking, race winning, young birder Champions of the Flyway bird race team which participated in the 2018 internationally acclaimed race for conservation. Locally, Toni’s passion for birds has seen her record close on 800 species on the southern African sub-continent, ranking her as the country’s highest under 30 female lister - at the tender age of 20!
Freshly inspired on a daily basis by her unwavering urge to protect and conserve our planet’s biodiversity for future generations, Toni’s love is all encompassing and expeditions with this sharp-eyed, bush-loving blonde are extremely informative and incorporate everything from wild flowers to birds and amphibians to trees, all whilst she tirelessly works to achieve nothing short of success in every aspect of her expeditions.