SAVE THE DATE! BirdLife South Africa, with The FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology (University of Cape Town) will host the 6th Learn About Birds (LAB) Conference during BirdLife South Africa’s Flock to Wilderness at The Wilderness Hotel, Wilderness from Wed 24 to Sun 28 May 2023.

The LAB Conference was originally established to provide a platform for laymen and scientists to present their research, share their knowledge and network with ornithologically inclined people and birding enthusiasts from across South Africa and the world.

LAB is hosted in conjunction with the Fitz and the event hosts two parallel sessions directed at slightly different audiences. The Science LAB is run as a typical scientific conference with 20-minute slots for scientific presentations as well as the additional posters and/or speed talk sessions. In parallel to the Science LAB is the Layman’s LAB, which hosts longer format talks of approximately 45 minutes, and is pitched at a non-scientifically inclined audience, a similar format to those of our current Conservation Conversations webinars. LABs are typically joined to a BirdLife South Africa Flock AGM event and assist with bringing delegates to a venue and offering them interesting talks, birding excursions and entertainment to try and secure the needed quorum for the AGM meeting.

The LAB event is a crucial fundraiser for the Landscape Conservation Programme and helps to generate much needed unencumbered funding. Browse the “Programme of Events & Excursions” tab below to see updates on the event and exciting excursions that will be on offer.

As part of the Flock to Wilderness activities, BirdLife South Africa and the FitzPatrick Institute for African Ornithology will be co-hosting the 6th Learn About Birds (LAB) Conference as well as a host of exciting birding excursions and activities. To find out more, please click the button below.

Content

Flock to the Wilderness 2023 | Featuring 6th LAB Learn about Birds | BirdLife South Africa’s 94th AGM

BirdLife South Africa and The FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology (University of Cape Town) are delighted to welcome our guests to Wilderness in May 2023.

Dates: Wednesday 24 May 2023 – Sunday 28 May 2023
Venue: The Wilderness Hotel, 6 George Rd, Wilderness, 6560 Wilderness
Tel: 044 877 1110

Learn About Birds Conference: 25 & 26 May 2023

BirdLife South Africa’s 94th AGM: 27 May 2023

A summary of events taking place during Flock 2023 is presented below. All information pertaining to the excursions on offer during the Flock to the Wilderness can be found in the downloadable Excursion Information Booklet HERE.

NB: Prices shown are per person per excursion.

IMPORTANT:

In order to qualify to book for the excursions, Guest One (of your party) needs to register for either the LAB Conference, BirdLife South Africa AGM, or both. 

 

TUESDAY 23 MAY 2023
14:00 – 18:00 Flock and LAB Conference Registration Open
WEDNESDAY 24 MAY 2023
06:30 – 13:00 Excursion: Journey into the Klein Karoo
R1000.00 pp
07:00 – 13:00 Excursion: Pelagic
R2 200.00 pp
07:00 – 13:00 Excursion: George Forest Birding at Witfontein
R800.00 pp
07:00 – 10:00 Excursion: Ebb & Flow Tour
R100.00 pp
07:00 – 18:00 Flock and LAB Conference Registration Open
13:00 – 17:00 Raptor Rescue Plett Centre Tour & Lecture
R600.00 pp
14:00 – 16:30 LAB Forest Birding Workshop (Yellowwood)
R250.00 pp
14:00 – 17:00 Excursion: Reflections Eco-Reserve Tour
R100.00 pp
18:00 onwards Quiz Night Ice Breaker (The Girls on the Square)
Own account
THURSDAY 25 MAY 2023
07:00 – 08:00 Flock and LAB Conference Registration
08:00 – 16:30 Learn About Birds (LAB) Conference
Science and Layman’s LABS (Parallel Sessions in Palm and Yellowwood)
16:30 – 18:00 Science LAB Speed Talk Session
18:30 Cocktail Function (Wilderness Hotel Pool Deck)
FRIDAY 26 MAY 2023
07:30 – 08:30 Excursion: Nature’s Valley Trust Beach Tour
R100.00 pp
07:30 – 12:00 Excursion: Ganzvlei Farm Tour
R600.00 pp
09:00 – 13:00 Learn About Birds (LAB) Conference (Science and Layman’s LAB)
13:00 – 17:00 Science LAB Continues
14:00 – 16:00 Bird Club Indaba
14:00 – 16:00 Excursion: Rondevlei & Malachite Bird Hides Visit
Free of charge
14:30 – 17:30 Excursion: Reflections Eco-Reserve Tour
R100.00 pp
17:30 – 18:30 Sundowners (Wilderness Hotel Patio)
19:00 onwards LAB Gala Dinner (Wilderness Hotel)
R280.00 pp
SATURDAY 27 MAY 2023
06:30 – 10:30 Excursion: Ocean Odyssey Knysna Lagoon Birding
R1 200.00 pp
06:30 – 11:00 Excursion: Woodville Forest & Bergplaas Forest Road
R600.00 pp
07:00 – 10:30 Excursion: Bird Ringing Demonstration (Mark Brown)
R100.00 pp
07:00 – 10:00 Excursion: Ebb & Flow Tour
R100.00 pp
11:00 – 13:30 BirdLife South Africa’s 94th AGM
14:30 – 16:30 AGM Luncheon Venue: The Wilderness Hotel
R200.00 pp
17:30 – 18:30 Sundowners (The Blind Pig Bar)
Own Account
19:00 Informal evening function & live music (Pomodoro)
Own Account
SUNDAY 28 MAY 2023
06:30 – 10:30 Excursion: Ocean Odyssey Knysna Lagoon Birding
R1 200.00 pp
06:30 – 13:00 Excursion: Exploring the Eastern Agulhas Plains
R100.00 pp
07:00 – 10:30 Excursion: Bird Ringing Demonstration (Mark Brown)
R100.00 pp
07:00 – 13:00 Excursion: George Forest Birding at Witfontein
R800.00 pp
07:00 – 13:00 Excursion: Pelagic
R2 200.00 pp
08:00 – 11:00 Excursion: Rondevlei & Malachite Bird Hides Visit
Free of charge
09:00 – 12:00 Canon SA Photography Workshop (Yellowwood)
R250.00 pp

Further conference details will be provided as they become available.

IMPORTANT

All excursions must be booked via our online registration portal and under your own reservation.

2023 REGISTRATION FEES

Early Bird Registration (Incl. Vat)

24 October 2022 – 31 January 2023:

Payment must be received by BirdLife South Africa before Tuesday 31 January 2023.

  • Physical LAB Student rate per person = R2,700
  • Physical LAB full rate = R3,000
  • Virtual Science LAB Student rate per person = R1,200
  • Virtual Science LAB full rate per person = R1,500

For all registration fees paid for after Wednesday 1 February 2023:

  • Physical LAB Student rate per person = R3,200
  • Physical LAB full rate = R3,500
  • Virtual Science LAB Student rate per person = R1,800
  • Virtual Science LAB full rate per person = R2,000

PACKAGE INCLUDES:

Conference Delegate Package

  • Cocktail Function (Wilderness Hotel Pool Deck) on Thursday 25 May 2023.
  • Two days of conferencing at The Wilderness Hotel, Wilderness.
  • Morning and afternoon refreshment breaks and lunch each conference day.
  • A full programme of speakers and discussions.
  • Limited local wines and beers will be included at the two evening events and a cash bar facility will be in place for any spirits or other drinks not on offer.

Partner/Spouse Package

  • Cocktail Function (Wilderness Hotel Pool Deck) on Thursday 25 May 2023.
  • Limited local wines and beers will be included at the two evening events and a cash bar facility will be in place for any spirits or other drinks not on offer.

TO NOTE

Excluded from the Registration Fees

Travel insurance, flights, car rental, individual transfers, accommodation, any activities (pre- or post-conference), any personal hotel room incidental accounts covering laundry, room telephone and mini-bars etc.

Accommodation

Excluded from the registration fee and is as per individual accommodation booked and paid for directly with the Wilderness Hotel on the pre-negotiated Flock to the Wilderness special rates.

Children:

We regret that no children under the age of 18 have will be allowed into the daily conference. They are welcome to come with, but the parents will take full responsibility for meals, safety, babysitting, etc. at all times whist on site.

VAT

All prices quoted above include 15% VAT.

Late Registration Fee
Registrations received after this date are on request and subject to availability and confirmation by BirdLife South Africa.

The registration portal for Flock to the Wilderness 2023 is now live. Please click HERE to complete your registration.

 

To minimise on paper and administration, we ask for each person to register individually thereby accepting the Terms & Conditions of the event and accepting the weekends Indemnity clauses.

OUR PROGRAMME DIRECTOR – Dr Melissa Whitecross

For detailed information on the 6th Learn About Birds (LAB) Conference please click here.

Further speaker details will be provided as they become available.

Delegates that would like to apply to present their research at the LAB Conference are invited to submit their abstracts HERE.

BirdLife South Africa’s 94th AGM will take place at the Wilderness Hotel on Saturday 27th May 2023 from 11:00 – 13:30.  This will be followed by a lunch at the hotel.

Delegates wishing to attend the AGM and the lunch must book via the registration portal. There is no charge to attend the AGM, however the lunch will cost R230.00 per person.

We would like to send out a BIG thank you to The Wilderness Hotel, Wilderness for offering us special BirdLife South Africa Conference Rates.

Delegates are required to book and pay accommodation directly with The Wilderness Hotel or other local establishments should they wish.

 

DOWNLOAD THE BOOKING FORM

To book your accommodation at The Wilderness Hotel, please click HERE to download the Booking Form

 

IMPORTANT

Room allocations are being held for BirdLife South Africa at The Wilderness Hotel. Please note that allocations not used will be released back to the property on 01 April 2023, thereafter requests for accommodation are subject to availability. Available rooms will sell quickly – we therefore recommend early bookings to avoid disappointment.

The Wilderness Hotel, 6 George Rd, Wilderness, 6560 Wilderness
Tel: 044 877 1110

SINGLE per room per night = R 825.00

DOUBLE /TWIN per person per room per night = R550.00

Includes: VAT and a full English Breakfast or Continental Buffet

Excludes: 1% Tourism Levy

Hotel Direct Contact Details: +27 44 877 1110

Hotel Office Hours: 9am – 3pm Monday – Friday

 

PAYMENT

A 50% deposit is required within 14 days of booking your hotel accommodation.  Your booking will only be confirmed on receipt of your payment.

The balance of payment is payable before on 01 April 2023

MasterCard and Visa credit cards are acceptable as well as EFT payments

 

CHECK IN AND CHECK OUT

Check In: After 15:00 on the day of arrival
Check Out: Before 11:00 on the day of departure (luggage can be stored with the Concierge)

 

ROOM INCIDENTAL ACCOUNTS

Any items charge to your room account, whether laundry, room telephone charges, mini-bars etc will be for your own account and must be settled prior to check out on the morning of departure.

Should you wish to stay elsewhere, you may like to take a look at the various establishments in the vicinity. Kindly contact these accommodation providers directly to make any bookings.

Click HERE for a downloadable list of alternative accommodation.

Transfers have not been arranged and you will need to make your own way to The Wilderness Hotel.

To book a transfer please liaise directly with:

Tours4SA on 044 873 5700

As a delegate, accompanying partner/spouse, or an invitee to the Flock to the Wilderness 2023 | 6th LAB Learn about Birds | BirdLife South Africa’s 94th AGM, each delegate’s participation in this event is based on and subject to acceptance of both:

  • the events Terms and Conditions
  • the events Indemnity requirements

BirdLife South Africa, its Board and Directors, employees, conference secretariat, agents, tour operators, suppliers and/or sub-contractors cannot be held liable for any loss, damage, accidents or inconvenience caused for any matters arising during conference setup, pre/post-conference tour arrangements, the conference and the evening events or for any accommodation issues arising from any reservation.

 

DOWNLOAD THE TERMS & CONDITIONS AND THE INDEMNITY REQUIREMENTS

Please click HERE to download both of these Forms

 

All delegates must register via the conference website thereby accepting the above Terms and Conditions and Indemnity requirements.

Please visit the Flock to the Wilderness website HERE.

For more information about the Learn About Birds (LAB) Conference, please click HERE.

If you have any additional queries please email Melissa Whitecross on melissa.whitecross@birdlife.org.za, or Clare Neall on clare.neall@birdlife.org.za.

Our office number is: +27 (0) 11 789 1122 weekdays between 09:00 and 15:00.