BirdLife South Africa’s community bird guides are some of the most treasured members of the birding community. These local experts are the birding authorities in their patches and many birders owe special lifers to these guides. Our community bird guides are all trained by BirdLife South Africa and supported through our post-training structures and our partnership with Swarovski Optik.
If you are travelling to a new area, please consider hiring the services of one of our guides. The guides provide improved security and valuable information on where elusive and special bird species may be found, and in some cases can gain you access to otherwise restricted locations. They are self-employed and free to set their own rates but they are affordable and offer very competitive fees within the guiding industry.
BirdLife South Africa recognised the important role that local communities can play in conservation and as a result became involved in bird guide training and skills development. BirdLife South Africa launched the Community Bird Guide Training Program in 2001. Over this time we have trained 200+ people from rural communities, with nearly 50 active guides remaining. Many of our other graduates have taken up careers in conservation, hospitality, and education, and remain ambassadors for our birds and their conservation.
If you are interested in supporting the Community Bird Guide Project through donations of funds or equipment, please email our Avitourism Project Manager, Andrew de Blocq, at firstname.lastname@example.org.