Community Bird Guide Training Project


For our family, 2020 has brought about the realisation that we need to throw caution to the wind and embrace the moment, right now. Our dream of immersing ourselves in nature and providing our son and daughter with a childhood grounded in the outdoors – could this be possible? Slowly, as our family’s lifestyle returned to pre-2020 life, we knew we needed to make this dream into a reality. 

We are ‘The Widdows’, an Ecologist and Occupational Therapist established in 2005, married in 2013 and expanded in 2016 and 2018. Our daughter, Wren, and son, Finn, are avid nature lovers who find the most joy when barefoot in the bush. As bird-lovers and budding twitchers, our children have been moved from safari tents to bird hides since they were a few weeks old. 

A ‘Birding Big Year’ has always been somewhat of a bucket list item for us - one calendar year dedicated to searching for as many bird species as possible. Yes, you read correctly, we are going to attempt to track down some of our country’s more secretive species, with a four and two-year-old on board - what could possibly go wrong? Given the impressive diversity of birds and incredible biomes within our country we have decided to make this a proudly South African adventure. We are packing it all in, taking sabbaticals, packing up our home, putting our eggs in one basket (some bird related humour) and trading it in for one incredible year in 2021. 

Given the significant impact that the global pandemic has had on our tourism sector, we are using our journey to raise funds and support for the Community Bird Guide Training Project run by BirdLife South Africa.

The Community Bird Guide Training Project has roots over 20 years old and has successfully trained over 200 individuals from historically disadvantaged communities to become professional bird and nature guides. The goals for this project are to enable individuals and communities to benefit from avitourism and empower them to become successful entrepreneurs with sustainable livelihoods. By supporting these community guides, we also support their families and broader communities

We would like to ask for your financial support towards this initiative to assist in the continued training of bird guides in South Africa. All funds donated will be paid through to BirdLife South Africa. By working together with this initiative, we can continue to link job creation with conservation, at a community level. 

Additional information

Refund policy No refunds


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