Southern African Safaris, Birding & Wildlife Tours
Lawson’s Birding, Wildlife and Custom Safaris is based in the picturesque town of Nelspruit in South Africa. We are not far from the south-western corner of the Kruger National Park, one of Africa’s greatest conservation areas, so we’re lucky to have awesome birding and game viewing on our doorstep – one of the reasons we can offer truly amazing safaris in southern Africa!
Lawson’s started out 31 years ago as one of the first dedicated South African birding tour outfits. These were the days when maps were printed on paper and learning about the local wildlife was done the hard way, by boots-on-the-ground research!
Over the last three decades we’ve grown somewhat, but we still pride ourselves on maintaining a family business ethos. We’ve also expanded our range of African safaris beyond South Africa to cover more of the continent’s countries and to include custom tours and safaris. So, we now operate in much of southern Africa and select countries in East Africa such as Kenya and Tanzania.
We are, and always have been, keen birders and general natural history enthusiasts, photographers and travellers. So what better way to combine these passions than to run a birding and wildlife travel company? Sharing our love of nature with fellow enthusiasts from across the globe is what we do. And, according to our many satisfied clients, we do it very well!
We have a group of professional guides we employ on our Southern African safaris and wildlife tours, all of whom are utterly passionate about what they do, experienced, knowledgeable, capable and fun. All are good all-round naturalists, although most also have their own area of specialisation, be it birding, photography or herpetology, for example.
So, if you are thinking of a birding tour or wildlife safari in southern Africa we’d be honoured to organise it for you. And once you have enjoyed what we have to offer, we’re confident you’ll want to return to Africa with us time and time again!
Leon Marais (Director, Marketing Manager and Guide): Leon was born in South Africa and is THETA/FGASA (Level 3) and SKS National Birding Specialist Guide qualifications. He became acquainted with the joys of birdwatching by accompanying his granddad and has been birding for as far back as he can recall. After school he read for a Postgraduate B Soc Sc Degree in Geography/Environmental Science at the University of Natal and afterwards began a career in the private cabin safari industry. For some six years he was directing safaris in the Sabi Sands, Kapama Game Reserve and Addo Elephant National Park.
Bert Palthe (Guide): Bert is a long-standing South African tour guide who has an abundance of experience both in the travel industry and in wildlife protection. After gaining a qualification in nature conservation, he worked for a number of private game reserves in South Africa’s Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces. Bert spent several years in the Western Cape but is now situated in the Magaliesburg. He has great enthusiasm for wildlife of all kinds, as well as nature preservation, and enjoys sharing his vast knowledge with guests. He speaks fluent Dutch and conducts tours in South Africa as well as in Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia. He is a top pick with our customers!
Lawson’s is a member of SATSA (South African Tourism Services Association) and is SATSA Bonded.
Lawson’s Birding and Wildlife Tours is a corporate donor to the Endangered Wildlife Trust and African Bird Club, and it has been designated a certified birder-friendly tour operator by Bird Life South Africa.
Lawson’s has also recently assisted the South African Bird Atlas Project 2 with funds to help the project keep going.
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