I have been passionate about birding since boyhood days in rural surroundings. Armed with an introductory bird book and an inexpensive pair of binoculars I embarked on what has proved to be an enduring and intense interest for over 50 years.
During this time I enthusiastically indulged in tape recording, bird photography, bird banding and regional distribution assessments throughout Southern Africa as part of the S.A. Bird Atlas Project.
This was the background to developing my ability to provide visiting birders with exclusively tailored itineraries covering specified needs from 'relaxed' to 'intensive' in detail.
Over the years my interest in nature has expanded significantly and I now hold the FGASA (Field Guides Association of South Africa) accreditation for Levels 1 to 3 and an Honourary SKS: Birding (Specialist Knowledge & Skills: Birding) qualification as well as BLSA's (Bird Life South Africa) specialist guide endorsement for all provinces.
My personal Southern Africa bird list is over 870 out of the 900 or so bird species. Now relying on vagrants to our area to build my list!
Marie Louise Cardwell
My enjoyment of the multi-faceted mix of birding, fauna and flora, and cultures in Southern Africa and an analytical and structured approach to business (my background is Management in the IT Industry with BSc and MBA degrees) have combined to provide me with the ability to fulfil my main role i.e. is to ensure our tours and accommodation run smoothly!
I strongly believe that the 'personal touch' is the hallmark of what Avian Leisure offers in providing hand-crafted itineraries and a 'one stop' travel package covering specialist birding and wildlife safaris as our main focus.
Nothing makes me happier than positive feedback from satisfied clients that have stayed at Avian Leisure and experienced a highly successful safari, except possibly a referral or a repeat visit!
I don't keep a personal bird list and love our adventures to many different parts of Africa and the rest of the world whether I see all the birds there or not!