Namibia Wildlife Safari Tour Specialists
The Naturalist Collection offers wildlife safari tours in Namibia specialising in herpetology, entomology, botany, birding, general wildlife and wildlife photography throughout Namibia. The Naturalist Collection, originally Batis Birding Safaris, has been offering Wildlife Safari Tours in Namibia for over 10 years.
The welfare of our wildlife and the environment they exist in is our number one priority followed closely by customer satisfaction. We pride ourselves in having delivered excellent service and top-notch tours for the past 10 years. We ensure that every detail is covered from providing the ideal, comfortable vehicle to booking the best restaurants and accommodations. Our tailor-made itineraries are designed according to wildlife wish lists and to meet any other special requests. Our consulting team is well travelled and well trained and together with our specialist guides we provide the ultimate Namibia Wildlife Safaris.
The Naturalist Collection has grown from strength to strength and for well over a decade specialist birders and nature enthusiasts have flocked from all over the world to experience one of its top-notch, tailor-made, naturalist safaris. A large factor that sets this dynamic Namibian family-run business apart is its unique team of specialized guides: Steve Braine, together with his sons, Sean and Dayne, are an impressive trio.
With 40 years of active conservation under his belt, Steve‘s passion for the natural world rubbed off onto his boys. Sean and Dayne spent much of their early years growing up in the remote Skeleton Coast Park while their father was the warden of this fascinating wilderness. The young boys’ curiosity about the environment, nature, wildlife and all things pertaining to the natural world was nurtured and honed from an early age. Later, much of their teenage years were spent in the Hobatere Concession area, a rugged wilderness teeming with wildlife and situated in Namibia’s spectacular north-west. It was in this pristine bush world, that Steve, together with wife Louise, built and ran a lodge. Hobatere Lodge became a resounding success and it was here that two key Braine family passions merged: a love of the wild and the joy of sharing it with others. Based here, both Sean and Dayne guided Wildlife Safari Namibia and gained invaluable experience in the tourism industry.
Years of first-hand wilderness experiences, a deep fascination and understanding of the natural world have equipped the Braine trio with a unique skill-set that not only forms the cornerstones of The Naturalist Collection but creates the platform to launch specialized tours in herpetology, entomology, birding, botany, general wildlife and wildlife photography. Their enthusiasm for the natural world is infectious and their expertise enables the visitor to see the wonderful creatures that inhabit this earth through a naturalist’s eyes.
This team’s expertise stretches beyond Namibia’s borders and tailor-made options further afield have become an additional product. Off the beaten track adventures into Angola translate into mind-blowing experiences and those who wish to explore the unique flora, fauna and natural wonders of Madagascar, Ethiopia or Uganda need look no further than The Naturalist Collection.
Steve Braine has contributed invaluable data to the Namibian ornithological and natural history database. He has captured and ringed countless birds and has contributed to and published several articles on the distribution and other aspects of ornithology in popular journals and magazines. He discovered several butterfly species which were named after him. In addition, a further discovery in the northern Namib Desert included a species of desert beetle subsequently named Onymacris brainei. Along the Skeleton Coast he found a sub-species of the Speckled Burrowing Skink, Typlocontias puctatissimus brainei. Steve is widely regarded as one of the top naturalists in Namibia and Southern Africa.
Sean Braine, after completing his studies, returned to the bush. He worked as a fly-fishing and birding guide at a lodge on the Zambezi River in the eastern Zambezi Region. He then transferred to a lodge on the Kwando River and acted as manager there for three years. From here he led specialized birding trips and guided walks with big game. Sean soon developed a thorough knowledge and understanding of the rich, diverse bird and wildlife of the Zambezi Region and Botswana. He led many specialized birding tours for Birding Holidays in these sought-after areas. Sean is a proficient photographer and his discerning eye has allowed him to carve his own niche in Namibia’s photographic world.
Dayne Braine is a qualified commercial pilot. He loves to interact and be directly involved with anything pertaining to the natural world. It is this love affair that made him give up the skies and instead concentrate on land-based safaris. The coastal environment, desert birds and herpetology are of particular interest to him and have translated into key-interest safaris. Scouting trips to Angola in remote areas has resulted in the rediscovery of several bird species thought to be extinct for many years. The Angolan Adder, thought to be extinct since the 1960’s, was also rediscovered on one of these trips and he still holds the only live photographs of this species since 2010. Like his older brother, Dayne too is a keen and accomplished photographer.
The Naturalist Collection is registered with Namibia Tourism Board as a Tour Facilitator as well as a Tour Operator.
The Naturalist collection concentrates on low impact groups doing specialised birding, herping, mammal, photographic and butterfly tours within Namibia.
We are members of TOSCO (Tourism Supporting Conservation Trust), the N.E.W.S. (Namibian Environment & Wildlife Society) as well as supporters of the Desert Lion Conservation.
We offer eco tours taking extreme care about the environmental impact: the use of non-degradable articles such as plastic bottles (single use) and other plastics are avoided. We do not condone off-road/track driving to avoid disturbing any ground-nesting birds. We also try and book eco-friendly accommodations wherever possible.
Steve Braine, founder of The Naturalist Collection, grew up in Namibia and has been a keen naturalist from a young age. During his youth he discovered several new species of butterflies. He has also contributed to many scientific and popular publications, primarily ornithology and entomology.
After completing a diploma in Conservation Steve started his career with the Ministry of Environment & Tourism for many years, where he initiated a project on insects and reptiles of the Skeleton Coast Park (internal publication) a further two species of butterfly and some new species of tenebrionid beetles were discovered during this study. Steve initiated a project on the coastal lions whereby animals were collared and followed, the first within the Kunene region.
Records from an accumulated collection of insects have recently been added to the biodiversity database for butterflies of Namibia. Atlassing and distribution records for birds and butterflies are ongoing.
This enthusiasm has been passed on to his two sons, who have now become two of the most prominent naturalist guides within Namibia.
Write a Review
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *