Peter Harrison, MBE
Apex Expeditions
Peter Harrison is known as the “David Attenborough of the Seas” and is a doyen on seabirds worldwide. His first book on seabird identification has been the standard reference for 40 years, however this will be imminently eclipsed by his magnum opus, “Seabirds, the New Identification Guide” – a 12-year effort which will be launched during the cruise. Peter holds an MBE and was awarded the Royal Society’s Conservation Gold Medal and the Linnaean Society’s Eisenmann Award for Excellence in Ornithology.

Prof Peter Ryan
University of Cape Town
Peter Ryan is Director of the FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology. He has worked on Southern Ocean seabirds since the 1980s, when he started studying the impacts of plastic ingestion on seabirds. He has visited the Prince Edward Islands many times since then, and over the last decade his research team has been instrumental in documenting the impacts of mice on seabirds breeding at Marion Island.

Trevor Hardaker
Zest for Birds
Trevor Hardaker started birding as a young boy and, as time progressed, the initial interest intensified into a passion (or an obsession as some would say). He has birded extensively across Southern African (having seen the second highest total of birds recorded in the subregion) and has also spent time birding on all 7 of the world’s continents. Trevor runs the Southern African Rare Bird News alert system and is also Chairman of the BLSA Rarities Committee.

Faansie Peacock
Faansie Peacock is a well-known author, artist and speaker. He lives and breathes birds (as his name implies). Faansie’s love for birds has led him to Madagascar, Spain, Thailand, Australia, Israel and Brazil, but his favourite birding spot is the West Coast National Park – a five-minute drive from his home in Langebaan.

Vincent Ward
Birding Africa/Cape Town Pelagics
Vince has previously worked as a seabird biologist for Cape Nature, studying seabirds on several Cape coastal islands. He has taken part in seabird research trips down to Marion Island and to the Antarctic. Currently a full-time professional bird guide, he has proudly led well over 175 local pelagic trips.

Cliff Dorse
Cape Town Pelagics/Zest for Birds
Cliff Dorse is a conservation biologist and naturalist with over 20 years’ experience in urban conservation. He is particularly passionate about pelagic birds and has guided approximately 200 pelagic trips off Cape Town. He has also done extensive observer work on voyages to Antarctica, Tristan da Cunha, Gough Island, the Mozambique Channel and the oceanic waters off Walvis Bay.

Dalton Gibbs
Birding Africa/Cape Town Pelagics
Dalton has been a nature conservator for 25 years, managing several nature reserves in Cape Town. He has worked with numerous endangered plant species but has a passion for birding. He has birded widely in Africa and loves the pelagic birds which cruise our southern oceans!

Mayur Prag
Birding Africa/Cape Town Pelagics
Mayur has a deep passion for the natural world, especially birds. Mayur is a Capetonian, and in addition to working as a bird guide within South Africa (including pelagics), he has birded in India, Thailand and Uganda. He has a special interest in bird photography, and is currently working to complete his Master’s degree.

Michael Mills
Birding Africa/Cape Town Pelagics/Go Away Birding
Michael Mills is among Africa’s most experienced birder-ornithologists, with his vast knowledge of the region exemplified by his book ‘The Birder’s Guide to Africa’, and leading conservation and research work in Angola. He has twice been to Antarctica and has led pelagic trips off Cape Town, Reunion and Mauritius.

Vanessa Stephen
Birding Africa/Cape Town Pelagics
Vanessa Stephen is an ecologist, writer and avid birder. She has completed three trips to the Antarctic and one to South Georgia working on documentaries and as a seabird observer. She is obsessed with oceanic birding, particularly in the Southern Ocean, and controversially considers Antarctic Petrels more beautiful than Snow Petrels.

Dr Dominic Rollinson
Birding Ecotours
Dom Rollinson grew up in Zululand and has always had an interest in birding and the natural world. His PhD investigated the threats facing our seabirds from longline fisheries which involved almost a year onboard various fishing vessels conducting research. Dom has been guiding for Birding Ecotours the last few years which has taken him to many exciting destinations around the world.

Dylan Vasapolli
Birding Ecotours
Dylan Vasapolli came into the bird-guiding world straight after high school and has been leading a wide array of tours for Birding Ecotours ever since. Dylan must be one of the sharpest field birders around and has travelled and guided extensively throughout Africa, eastern Europe, central America, the Caribbean, North America, and most recently in parts of Asia.

Niall Perrins
Bustards Birding
Niall Perrins is the director of Bustards Birding Tours. He holds the South African Big Year record, and apart from guiding land-based bird tours internationally, he regularly guides pelagics off Durban and Cape Town. He has spent significant time in the southern oceans as a seabird observer.

Jordan Ralph
Bustards Birding
Jordan Ralph works as a freelance bird guide for Bustards Birding. He is a young and enthusiastic birder with a keen eye for detail and a passion for conservation. He has pelagic experience off of both Durban and Cape Town as well as Flock at Sea 2017.

Prof Ken Findlay
Cape Peninsula University of Technology
Ken Findlay is a marine mammal biologist with over 30 years’ involvement in cetacean sighting surveys including within the Southern Ocean and Antarctic waters, and extensive experience in population demographics of Southern Hemisphere whale populations. Ken is the current Research Chair: Oceans Economy at CPUT.

Bruce Dyer
Department of Environmental Affairs
Bruce has worked extensively on seabirds since 1986, visiting almost all southern African breeding sites. He has undertaken seabird research at the Prince Edward Islands since 1994, totaling 26 voyages (including 3 to Prince Edward). He has also participated in or lead seabird research projects at Tristan, Gough, and Bouvet Islands, as well as in Antarctica and Tanzania.

Jonathan Rossouw
Apex Expeditions
Co-founder of Rockjumper Birding and Apex Expeditions, Jonathan Rossouw has had a lifetime in expedition travel, guiding wildlife quests since the 1990s and gaining experience with over 9,000 birds and 1,000 mammals worldwide. He has participated in seabird research from Socotra to Easter Island, and led fellow seabirding enthusiasts from Whiskered Auklets and Short-tailed Albatrosses to Emperor Penguins and Snow Petrels.

John Kinghorn
Expedition Birding
Co-founder of global birding and biodiversity tour company, Expedition Birding, John’s continuous pursuit of the world’s natural treasures has seen him travel extensively in his role as a professional bird guide. With a dry sense of humour and contagious passion, this bearded martial artist-turned-naturalist is dying to share the treasures of the Southern Ocean with all on board.

Toni Geddes
Expedition Birding
Co-founder of global birding and biodiversity tour company, Expedition Birding, Toni has been birding for as long as she can remember. Her unwavering passion for birding is automatically shared among those she’s around, and, coupled with her exceptional knowledge base and tireless work ethic, passengers are in for an informative and enjoyable time alongside her.

Vernon Head
A birdwatcher from the age of 5, Vernon R.L Head is a published poet, a renowned architect and environmentalist, and a bestselling novelist. He serves as a director on the Board of BirdLife South Africa. He also serves on the Advisory Board of the Fitzpatrick Institute of African Ornithology (UCT).

Justin Nicolau
Unearth Safaris
Justin Nicolau is one of Africa’s top field birders. He is widely regarded as having uncanny luck in finding rare birds – a fact attributable to his perseverance and extraordinary field skills. His photographs regularly grace the pages of magazines, books and websites. He is the director of Unearth Safaris.

Adam Riley
Rockjumper Worldwide Birding Adventures
Adam Riley, co-founder of Rockjumper Birding Tours, has traveled extensively to all 7 continents, leading tours ever since to numerous countries across the globe. Adam is one of Africa’s most experienced birders, having seen over 2,000 species on the continent, as well as 7,000 species worldwide.

Keith Valentine
Rockjumper Worldwide Birding Adventures
Keith Valentine developed his interest in the outdoors and birding at a young age. After completing a Degree in Financial Management, Keith decided to follow his dream and become a bird tour leader. Keith is now the Managing Director of Rockjumper, but still guides tours throughout the world.

David Hoddinott
Rockjumper Worldwide Birding Adventures
David Hoddinott holds Africa’s biggest bird list, and has extensive experience leading birding tours throughout Africa, Asia and Madagascar. He is well known in birding circles for his endless energy and legendary bird spotting skills. His zeal for bird guiding has earned him the position as the senior leader at Rockjumper.

Heinz Ortmann
Rockjumper Worldwide Birding Adventures
Heinz Ortmann is a South African born birder whose interests in birds and wildlife, in general, commenced at a very young age. He holds an Honours in Conservation Ecology and an MSc in Conservation Biology and has many years’ experience in the field. He now also works as a consultant in Rockjumper’s Tailor-made tours department.

Greg de Klerk
Rockjumper Worldwide Birding Adventures
As a young boy raised in Durban, South Africa, Greg de Klerk found his passion and interest in all aspects of the natural world as his family frequently took trips to various national parks in South Africa. The culmination of his passion for both guiding and birding resulted in Greg becoming a Tour Leader for Rockjumper.

André Bernon
Rockjumper Worldwide Birding Adventures
André Bernon grew up close to nature in Zululand, a hotspot for biodiversity in South Africa. He always had a keen interest in nature and took up birding seriously from the age of 14. After obtaining a BSc Environmental Sciences degree, a yearning for nature brought him back into the bush as a game ranger and guide.

Daniel Danckwerts
Rockjumper Worldwide Birding Adventures
Daniel Danckwerts’ childhood passion for birds ignited a spark that led him to pursue an academic career. After he completed his PhD – his greatest achievement to date – centered on the population structure of tropical seabirds in the Indian Ocean, Daniel decided to pursue a career in sharing his passion and knowledge of birds with anyone who is willing to listen.

Julian Parsons
Rockjumper Worldwide Birding Adventures
A South African by upbringing, Julian’s passion for nature, birding and photography have taken him all over southern and West Africa, as well as South Asia. The incredible experiences gained along the way have developed and refined his style as a guide and photographer, further fuelling his passion to explore and discover the hidden beauties of this planet’s breath-taking natural history.

Riaan Botha
Rockjumper Worldwide Birding Adventures
As a little boy, Riaan could be seen perched on the rooftop of his parent’s suburban home – doing what he now formally knows as birding. He has been sharing his love and knowledge of nature for the past 7 years at some of South Africa’s finest luxury game lodges – hosting ‘Big 5’ open vehicle safaris and leading bush walks in and around the world-renowned Kruger National Park.

Tim Carr
Reflections Eco-Reserve
Tim has been birding from a young age and was fortunate to have spent 12 years working in some of southern Africa’s iconic Private Game Reserves, allowing the opportunity to further refine his birding passion. For the last 15 years he has been active in a land rehabilitation project adjacent to the Garden Route National Park and has recently started leading pelagic birding trips from Knysna.

Ian Pletzer
Ian has been birding since he was a young boy and guiding for the last decade in and around southern Africa. Ian’s many passions include birding, photography and deeper nature experiences. He is an active member of the Plett Bird Club and spends most of his spare time focusing on anything birding related in the area. He also takes guided birding trips in and around the Garden Route including pelagic trips out of Plettenberg Bay and Knysna.

Garret Skead
Garret discovered birds and nature at a young age, on family trips to the Drakensberg. He is a passionate sea birder, with experience on local pelagic trips off Cape Town’s coastal region, Durban and Richard’s Bay, where on his first ever pelagic trip he saw a White-faced Storm Petrel. Garret is a keen atlaser and contributor to the Southern African Bird Atlas Project 2 (SABAP2). As a birder and vetter for the Western Cape Regional Atlasing Committee, Garret can often be found doing a land-based sea watch off his home pentad in Cape Town. He is a keen world birder with experience in Africa, Europe, Asia, North and South America.

Rob Leslie

Rob Leslie grew up in KwaZulu-Natal and started birding from a young age. Rob started working as a Fisheries Scientist in 1980 and over the past 38 years he has spent over 2 400 days at sea on a variety of research and commercial fishing vessels, mainly off the coast of Africa and New Zealand including 12 months in the Southern Ocean. He has also guided on many 1-day pelagics off the coast of Cape Town for Zest for Birds and Cape Town Pelagics.


Gary Allport
BirdLife International

Gary Allport has worked for BirdLife International since 1990, formerly leading the Africa team but now advisor to the CEO. He was based in Maputo until 2019 where he helped find many new birds for Mozambique including the Sharp-tailed Sandpiper at Macaneta, and he ran many pelagic trips. His seabirding career goes back to UK bird observatories in the 1970s but he is still keenly sea watching in his new home of Sri Lanka.


Tristan Spurway

Tristan has a passion for wildlife and conservation that started at a very young age. He is a rugby player turned birder and spends most of his time with either a ball in hand or his binos. Tristan leads private bird, mammal, and herpetology tours into Limpopo and around Gauteng. He is a part of the Birding Life team and loves to share his passion for all things nature.