CLIENT FEEDBACK

Avian Leisure continues to get wonderful feedback from clients for whom we have created birding tours, wildlife safaris, photographic safaris and other memorable holidays. See below for a selection of client comments. Also, guests staying in our spacious accommodation regularly rate us as excellent!

Click here for feedback on Avian Leisure’s accommodation


Staying in Avian Leisure’s Shearwater Apartment – November 2014:

We have so appreciated Avian Leisure and Shearwater Cottage. The experience has been wonderful, the view spectacular, including whales, backyard birds of wonder, and evening ‘porky’ pleasures. The spacious cottage had everything we needed and the (Pin-tailed)  Whydah kept a close eye on us. Thank you for the … good advice! Sad to leave this paradise this morning.

Carol & Scott Blackard, Colorado USA

Private, guided birding tour – Western Cape and Garden Route – August 2014:

Patrick organised each day according to our pace. He knew exactly where and when to find the birds… and name them! And we had good weather!!

Steve Stein, Paris, August 2014

Private birding and wildlife safari for a family – Vic Falls, Chobe, Okavango & Madikwe – July 2014:

The trip was fantastic – many thanks again for arranging it all. Everything worked extremely well including the connecting flights and we cannot find fault with any of the places we stayed at. The food and service was first class at all of them! The guides we had were all very knowledgeable, particularly Paul at Jaci’s who was a real birder. I’m still working out the total but I saw at least 365 bird species over the three weeks, which is not bad considering it was not purely a bird trip. We also saw most of the mammals we were hoping for.

Jonathan, Dawn & Philip Bowley, UK

Birding Day tour – Cape Town & Cape Peninsula – June 2014:

Patrick made this a trip of a lifetime. It was fabulous in all respects

John and Brenda Blom, North America

Self-drive Birding safari through Namibia – April 2014:

We had a wonderful 22 days from the start in Windhoek to the last day in Vic Falls and would like to thank Marie-Louise and Patrick for the perfect itinerary and organisation of our self-drive birding safari through Namibia. With the assistance of many excellent local bird guides we have seen 260 different bird species, many animals and not a single cloud in the sky!

Jan & Ursula Ekkers, Switzerland

Private Group Safari – Namibia, Botswana and Kruger – April 2014:

Thank you to ML, Patrick, and Derek for organizing a safari that was beyond expectations!  The Fetzer group had a truly amazing time filled with adventure, sights and sounds, and the joyous ring of laughter!

This safari was beautifully planned and executed! An amazing variety of scenery and experiences! Thank you for everything!

The lodges were, without exception amazing.  The guides and food were fantastic.  Too much food, but that’s another issue.

 The flights went off without a hitch.  Nice personnel and great planes.

 The staff we encountered couldn’t have been more helpful, knowledgeable and pleasant.

 Namibia – what a place.  The highlight for most of us – certainly Rosanne and I.

 Botswana was also amazing – the Okavango Delta was like nothing we had ever seen.

 Chobe Chilwero was a great lodge – but not many animals

 Victoria Falls – the hotel was amazing.  not many animals on the river cruise

 Sabi Sabi – There were not many animals around at all.  (ML: not the best time of year for wildlife sightings in the Kruger area as grass is very high and there is lots of water around so animals are scattered and hard to see)

 All that being said, it was an amazing trip with lots of moving parts and people.  It really went off without a hitch and we owe a great deal to you, Patrick and Derek for that.

 So, thanks so much for helping us do a trip of our lifetime.

Fetzer Group, USA

Private guided birding tour – Western Cape and Mpumalanga – January 2014:

One of the best birding trips I’ve been on, with Patrick’s knowledge and personable nature the whole experience was fantastic and seeing 415 species in 12 days surpassed my expectations. Thank you!

Paul Matson, UK, January 2014

Private guided birding tour – Western Cape & Garden route – September 2013:

For any birder who is new to South Africa, there could be not possibly be a better place to start than a tour with Avian Leisure.  Patrick’s guiding, the birds, wildlife and scenery mix, being on a private tour, and the variety of lodgings, hosts and meals experienced all contributed to making this tour excellent.

Virginia Rogers & Bill Hobbie, North America

Private birding tour for Norwegian group – Western Cape – October 2013:

Definitive the best Birding trip I ever been on. Better than Spain, Turkey, Israel, Kazakstan, Russian Far East, Oman, China, India, Malaysia, Australia, California, Eastern USA, Mexico, Marocco, Gambia/Senegal…. and definitely a place I would like to come back to.

Marie-Louise and Patrick had organized a great tour which took us to all the sites and habitats we wanted to visit. The planning was perfect, and the accommodations were great. Especially the Shearwater apartment J

The birding was a success with a total of 278 species. All the birds in our target list (that was accessible) and an impressive 56 out of 57 true endemics! “Dreambirds” like Wandering Albatross, Crowned Eagle, Black Harrier and Cape Rockjumper were all seen well.

 Patrick provided us with excellent guiding, safe driving (in the “wrong” side of the road), and great company. His enthusiasm and knowledge of   nature is priceless, and he knows exactly where to search for the hard species.

Thank you for booking us on a spectacular pelagic trip, and for all the personal extra service. This birding tour in the Western Cape exceeded our expectations. In fact, this was the best birding tour we ever took part in.

Your company will be highly recommended, and we will be happy to return to explore other parts of South Africa with Avian Leisure.

Thank you both!

Rune Botnermyr, Norway

Birding Day tour – Cape Town & Cape Peninsula – October 2013:

This was a great day – not only seeing a huge variety of birds, but also seeing the area’s sights. All with a wonderful guide (Patrick) who was knowledgeable on almost everything and great company! Especially enjoyed that the tour included flora, fauna, politics and coffee with cookies!

Ruth & Warren Thunstrom, USA

Private birding and wildlife safari – Pilanesberg, Madikwe and Botawana ( Central Kalahari, Okavango & Chobe) – August 2013:

I just wanted to say that we had a great time on our trip- all went very well.

The highlight was Madikwe, where we had brilliant sightings of the Wild Dogs, and many birds.  Paul was undoubtedly the best guide we travelled with- a great birder, but also informed, fun and very helpful. I’d recommend him to anyone else.

I saw 253 species, with some of the birding highlights being a Lanner catching and eating bats at Madikwe;, flocks of Wattled Cranes, several Slaty Egrets, Dickinson’s Kestrels and a huge flock of vultures and Maribous eating a dead elephant at Chitabe, and then lots of Carmine Bee-eaters and African Skimmers at Chobe.

From an animal perspective we saw a pack of wild dogs with cubs and then watched three adults eating an Impala at Madikwe.  Other mammalian highlights were 6 Leopards, (5 in SA and I in Chitabe), 5 Cheetahs,(4 at Madikwe and 1 at Chitabe), bat-eared and cape fox plus multiple honey badgers and oryx in the Kalahari, and then sable in Chobe.  We saw multiple lions, black and white rhinos, elephants and buffalo in many places.  We also met our first African snake in the form of a Boomslang at Chobe.

All the lodges were very comfortable.  Chobe safari lodge was inevitably busier than the others and the food was less good there, but it acted as a good stop-over to catch the flights.

All the airline links worked very well, and Air Botswana got us back to Jo’burg early which made catching the BA flight easy.  The only negative experience was the transfer from Madikwe to Gabarone, when the cabbie complained about the distance, obviously wasn’t happy driving through the park, and actually abandoned us in immigration, going through on his own, and leaving us to it.  We may just have been unlucky with the driver, but it was more of a hassle than it needed to be.  It wasn’t a  major issue, but thought you should know.

Thanks again for all you time and effort organising the trip- we had a ball, and will definitely return in a couple of years or so.

Duncan Coates, UK

Private, guided birding tour for Danish group – KwaZulu Natal and Western Cape – February 2013:

A very well organized trip with the use of some very knowledgeable and pleasant guides – also the local ones were most energetic and skilful. Nice places to stay with excellent food in most places. And a lot of birds: 453 species (the majority of which were seen well) in a fortnight is quite OK!

Michael Mosebo-Jensen Group, Denmark, February 2013

Birding Day tours – Cape Peninsula  and West Coast – January 2013:

Patrick organised a fantastic 2 day birding trip for us in the Cape Peninsula and West Coast, delivering 171 species and a lot of pleasure!

Bert & Mieke Metz, Netherlands, January 2013

Guided Birding Tour for Robbins Family (USA) – Cape Town and Cape Peninsula – November  2012:

This was the trip of our lifetime, our first visit to South africa – a whole week in the field with Patrick Cardwell, who has an uncanny way of finding and showing all the birds of the South Western Cape. I especially enjoyed seeing 45 endemic or near-endemic bird species as well as 126 others:

Chandler Robbins, Maryland USA

Group Nature Tour for Cloud Ridge Naturalists (Colorado, USA) and Causana Viajes (Argentina) – Jewel of Namibia – September  2012:

Patrick, your love for all of Southern Africa is a gift you share through your exquisite natural history knowledge and your passion for place, people, and all landscape! Thank you for all the windows you’ve opened: Audrey Benedict, Founder and Director, Cloud Ridge Naturalists, Colorado USA

Patrick, this has been the most incredible experience of our 35 years in nature photography. Your knowledge and passion are beyond words. You are the 8th wonder of the Nature World!! Wendy Shattil and Bob Rozinski, Dancing Pelicans Nature Photography, Denver, Colorado USA

Patrick, you’re the best! Thanks much for giving us such a high quality experience: Dr Geoff Hammerson, Port Townsend, Washington, USA

Patrick, you made Namibia come alive, Thank you: Karen Fiant, USA

Marie-Louise, How can we ever thank you for all the details, kindnesses, patience, and behind-the-scenes support ?! You and Patrick have built an incredible natural history tour company – you can be so proud! We’ll look forward to future adventures with Avian Leisure!!!  Audrey Benedict, Founder and Director, Cloud Ridge Naturalists, Colorado USA

Group Nature Tour for Cloud Ridge Naturalists (Colorado, USA) and Causana Viajes (Argentina) – Cape Town to Namaqualand  – August  2012:  Thanks for sharing your outstanding knowledge, for helping us see things, for interpreting  your beautiful country. Each day was different and full of delightful surprises:

Carol and Carlos Passera, Causana Viajes Nature Tours, Argentina, and other tour participants, USA

It has been a fantastic trip! I have loved every bit of it: the botany, the scenery, the food, wine and hospitality of everyone! Thanks!! 

Barbara Shweger, USA

Private, Guided Safari, with birding focus to Northern Kruger, Victoria Falls, Chobe and Northern  Namibia through to Walvis Bay – July 2012: Another delightful trip with Patrick (Avian Leisure). We birded, took photographs, enjoyed mammals, fascinating cultures, splendid vistas, sunrises, sunsets, and had a thoroughly enjoyable 3 weeks, too bad it had to end! We cannot recommend Patrick enough – thank you!

The detailed itinerary was so helpful – thank you for working hard to prepare it – we appreciate it! This is another of the factors that contributed to our enjoyment of the trip, in addition to Patrick’s skill and knowledge about the birds as well as many other areas.

Frank & Susan Gilliland, California USA

Guided Birding Tour Nylsvlei, Wakkerstroom and Sani Pass – November 2011:Patrick put together a personalized itinerary which was exactly what we wanted and suited our timescales. His enthusiasm and attention to detail and his unwavering support for us during the whole trip was impressive. (PS: David reached 4000 birds for his life-list on this trip! )

Rosemary and David Jackson, UK

Summer Birding Cape Town, and Western Cape – a combination of guided and self-drive birding – November 2011:I want to thank you again for a wonderful time in Cape Town.  The apartment in Simon’s Town was a lovely base for our time in the area, and you and Patrick were thoughtful and welcoming hosts. The birds of the Western Cape are unique and fascinating, making for a very memorable birding experience.  However, it would not have been the same without Patrick.  He is an exceptional guide with not only the ability to find the various species of the area, but also deep knowledge of their habits and calls.  In addition, he provided us with an entertaining botany, mammal and history tour of the various places that we went.  On top of that, he was great fun to be around.  We could not have asked for a better guide.

 Once we were on our own, the areas that you and he identified for us proved to be very productive.  I have to mention Keith and Michelle Moodie, our hosts at Grootvadersbosch farm.  They were such friendly and helpful hosts.  Keith drove us all over the farm and led us on several walks through the forest to find our target species.  The meal in their historic farm was a highlight, as well.  The pelagic was great as well.

 All in all an outstanding experience, and I hope to return soon to tour the Kruger area with Patrick.

Allen Ryan, California, USA

Summer Birding from Kruger to Cape Town – a combination of guided and self-drive birding – November 2011:  Avian Leisure exceeded our expectations – Patrick is an excellent birder, teacher and guide. Not only did he show us the Kruger, but he educated us too – his expertise was invaluable in every way. Patrick & Marie-Louise are genuinely great people & we are fortunate to have their expertise, organizational skills & caring natures. The trip was perfect for our needs (birds & all things nature). Thanks so much for everything. We hope to join you again soon! 

Frank & Susan Gilliland, Larry Allen, California, USA

Spring Birding Day Trip in Cape Town – October 2011:  Unparalleled bird sightings, often several varieties of the same bird in a single view; the fact that it was a private tour and the personable interaction with our guide (Patrick) contributed to the enjoyment of the day 

Eva Moldovanyi, USA

Guided private Safari in SA & Namibia  – August 2011: Patrick’s wealth of knowledge not only of birds but also of flora/fauna, culture made this outing to the Western coastal region a fabulous trip! Patrick, it was such a pleasure to spend the day birding with you! A tour of outstanding quality, regarding organization, ornithological and photographic guidance in these superb countries

Jean-Michel Paulus & Micheline Jaquemin, Belgium

Winter Birding Day Trip in Cape Town – June 2011: Patrick’s wealth of knowledge not only of birds but also of flora/fauna, culture made this outing to the Western coastal region a fabulous trip! Patrick, it was such a pleasure to spend the day birding with you!

Valerie and Makena Deveraux, USA

Winter Birding Excursions in Cape Town – June 2011: Patrick, our guide, moved at our pace, making sure our bird sightings were high quality. His knowledge of birds and their habitats yielded great quantity, even with limited time. Accommodations (Shearwater Apartment in Simon’s Town) were comfortable and beautiful with special touches that made us feel welcome.

Gary & Marla Craven, USA

Short Birding Excursion in Western Cape – April 2011: This (Avian Leisure) is a 5 star tourist facility! Our guide (Patrick) was interesting, highly professional and knowledgeable – a wonderful place to spend a birding and environmental vacation. Our Canadian friends will be advised of Avian leisure.

Ray & Helen Fast, Canada

Birding in the Northern Cape – March 2011: A trip to the Northern Cape gives you a totally different image of South Africa. Patrick’s knowledge of the area and its history greatly enhanced the experience. This was a wonderful trip which we greatly enjoyed.. even though we are getting older, we wouldn’t have missed it for the world!

Laurie & Sheila Garner, UK

Birding break-away weekend in Cape Town – clients booked for pelagic which was cancelled due to high winds, February 2011: Thank you both for your hospitality. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and will recommend your facilities to others. As for the birds we found them both! The (Hottentot) Buttonquail specifically will be an abiding memory. We had one flushed bird which got hung up in a headwind giving us fantastic views. The (Cape Long-billed) larks were much easier to find once we had the right spot. The first was a thrill, the second fantastic, the third good, the twentieth okay …..

SA couple, Johannesburg

Birding Day Trip in Cape Town, February 2011: Excellent – due to Patrick and the birds in a relaxed atmosphere

Liz & Jim Lidgate, UK

21 day Self-drive Birding Tour in Namibia, January-February 2011 for a small group of Swedish birders, their 3rd tour with Avian Leisure: So, we had a great time in Namibia saw 424 bird species, think we never had had so much good food, nice and friendly people, fantastic landscape, thou lots of bush in many places. Namibia is a great country to go birding in. Thank you for all your help making our trip successful. We will be back.

Staffan Nordgren, Mats & Lars-Ake Lundberg, Sweden

Self-drive Birding Tour – Kwazulu Natal, Mpumalanga, Kruger, January 2011: This was a dream of a trip! A particular highlight was the Sani Pass trip with Stuart Maclean. We are especially appreciative of the efforts of Marie-Louise and Patrick to help us plan our trip, their care, thoughtfulness and thorough knowledge made the trip a great experience. The itinerary was perfect, the accommodations excellent, and your service could hardly be better! Thank you

Thomas & Dee Clary, USA

19 Day Guided Birding Tour covering Zambia (Vic Falls), and South Africa, January 2011: Patrick’s knowledge about South Africa in general and the birds in particular was stellar. He obviously cares deeply about his country and about giving his clients the best experience possible. I cannot imagine a better birding tour of South Africa than we received. Overall–Thank you, thank you, thank you. 

Liz & Sam Febba, USA

Birding Tour – mixture of self-drive and guided, using Avian Leisure as a base, October 2010: Avian Leisure built a perfect customized trip based on our wishes. All was set up perfectly and at short notice. Absolutely perfect! Patrick is a World Class Birding Guide that treats his clients like they want to be treated. Birding intensity can be full-bore or laid back!

Bud & Margaret Widdowson, USA

Birding Tours out of Cape Town, using Avian Leisure as a base, following an organized tour, October 2010: We gave Patrick a list of the birds we hoped to see and he showed us almost every one of them, and was very good about being sure we actually did have a good look at them often with his scope.

Richard & Elisabeth Vanderlip, USA

Self-Drive tour in Kruger area, September 2010: In answer to the question ‘what contributed to your enjoyment of the trip, Marita writes ‘your meticulous planning, the quality of the lodges, particularly Nottens and Toro Yaka, the fact that I learnt a lot at these lodges so was able to enjoy driving myself in Kruger with better understanding of the wildlife, your instructions about how to get from place top place were perfect…

Marita Macrae, Australia

Guided Birding Tour for client’s Target birds, September 2010: Nick had a few days to spare at the end of a business trip and a target list of birds to see, so we put together a highly tailored tour for him, guided by Patrick: Thanks Patrick for your companionship, your enthusiasm, knowledge and field craft, as well as the meticulous preparation! A truly memorable trip.

Nick Prentice, UK

Tailored Self-drive family holiday with mixed interests – birds, safari big game, natural history, Cape to Kruger, August 2010: In answer to the question ‘what contributed to your enjoyment of the trip, our client writes  ‘The friendliness of the people everywhere, the quality of the food and accommodation. Everything went according to the plan and we enjoyed the varied package you organized for us – we were genuinely very happy with what you provided for us and more than content to recommend you’

Stewart-Smith Family, UK

Fly-in Safari in private lodges in Greater Kruger, following a stay at Avian Leisure’s Guest House, August 2010: Marie wrote us a long note covering her delight with her tour in detail, and in summary says ‘ I am incredibly grateful to have had the experience and I thank you very much Marie-Louise for your help! You have contributed to my quest for more visits to Africa!’

Marie Kazan-Komarek, California, USA

Tailored, guided Tour in Western Cape – Habitat, Birds & Flora, August 2010: Excellent guiding on a well-tailored itinerary. Marie-Louise is amazing, offering a warm and personal service in setting up our trip – nothing was too much trouble – thank you!

Reg & Rowena Langston, UK

Tailored guided and self-drive birding Tour, South Africa, June 2010:

The quality and the experience was first rate – we got the birds AND had rich social experiences!

Price Webb, USA

Private tailored mixed holiday in South Africa – World Cup, Cape Town & Garden Route, Safari, June 2010:

All in all we had a terrific trip – and your planning and preparation were key to its success.

Rob Malcolm & Family, USA

Birding Day Trips in Cape Town using Avian Leisure as base, July 2010: An instructive and entertaining experience with Patrick as field guide. Please reference us as appreciative relaxed birders. The accommodations were great. Thanks for the bird feeders and squash for the birds and porcupine views. Wish we could stay longer.

Sharon Center & Kirk Sapa, New York USA

Birding Trip Cape Town & Western Cape, Autumn April 2010: ‘Touring with Patrick and Avian Leisure was a delight! – professional, easy to get on with, flexible to our needs and interpreted our brief precisely.Highly recommended! ‘.Timothy & Lynda Hyde, Australia

Birding Day Tour in Cape Town, February 2010: ‘Want to say a huge thank you to Patrick for an amazing bird watching day. We both had a fabulous time & will definitely recommend you to any friends visiting SA’ .

Debra & Malcolm Higgs, UK

Birding Day Tour in Cape Town, February 2010: ‘An excellent day to marvellous birding sites; if the bird is around you will see it with Patrick!’ .

Michael Smithson, UK

Fully guided short tour of the Coast of Namibia, January 2010, for Islands Holidays UK: ‘A beautifully planned and executed itinerary with first class guiding’.

Libby Weir-Breen, Island Holidays UK

June/July 2009: Self-drive mixed interest tour in South Africa, including rugby, birding and battlefields, for Gareth, Pat & Padraig Goodwin, Wales: ‘We would like to thank you so much for your excellent organization and bookings for our recent trip, everything went very smoothly and all the accommodation fitted the bill. Thank you also for the directions that you included, it made life much simpler….You will come highly recommended to anyone who is planning a trip to your wonderfully varied country. With very best wishes and thanks for a great adventure.’

August 2009: Fly-in Honeymoon Safari to Kwazulu Natal for Natalie & Ben Shaw, UK: ‘Thank you for arranging such a fabulous time for Natalie and me. We enjoyed every moment. The country was so beautiful, the lodges really looked after us so well. Everything was perfect, right amount of time at each lodge, you did a great job. Best wishes and many thanks again for a perfect Honeymoon’

July-August 2009: Family Safari over a 4 week period in Kwazulu Natal, Kruger, Botswana and Cape Town for the Bell Family, USA: ‘Thanks again for all your work in making the family trip such a success. We all had a great experience, and very much enjoyed finally meeting you and Patrick. The combination of luxury and ‘camping’ was ideal. The ‘beach break’ at Thonga was also perfect. Excellent service, thanks’

August 2009: Mixed Birding, Wildlife and Horse-riding Self-drive Safari in Northern South Africa for Duncan Coates & Helen Elliott, UK: ‘The birding was great … Helen really enjoyed Horizon (Horse-riding lodge) and was happy that they selected horses according to ability and that they were all obviously well looked after. She even went swimming on a horse in the hippo filled lake. I was happy walking around the grounds.

All the accommodation was great and we liked the fact that each was very individual. I was a little concerned at the directions, thinking they were going to be too vague, but each one was easy to follow and we didn’t come even close to getting lost once- thanks, all your documents were very helpful.

We missed the ability to walk for longer at Rhino, but did manage a few short strolls at Nottens and Kirkmans. The latter was a very up-market replacement for Rhino and we liked some of their smaller touches, especially the hot water bottles in the morning jeeps! We had great food everywhere.

We’d definitely come back, and use Avian Leisure again.
Thanks again for all the help organising the trip. We’d be happy to recommend you to anyone’

July 2009: Fully Guided Birding Tour, Karoo, for Ron & Carol Majors, North America: ‘We enjoyed our winter birding in the Karoo with our experienced guide, beautiful scenery and excellent sightings of birds’.

July 2009: Fully Guided Birding Tour, Namibia, for Kim Frost, Denmark: ‘This was my 4th trip with Patrick and as usual very few possible birds were missed despite leisurely birding. Highly recommended! I look forward to the next trip to Botswana and Zambia!’

June 2009: Combination of self-drive and guided Tour with birding as the focus, in Sani, Pafuri and the Western Cape, for Bev & David Crocker, Canada: ‘Our guides all exceeded our expectations – fountains of knowledge … sensitive to needs and always a pleasure to be with. Marie-Louise’s planning was so thorough that we never once had a cause to worry, all transitions were seamless. She clearly did her homework! Bev and I had a wonderful introduction and stay in South Africa, thanks to the thoughtful and thorough planning of Marie-Louise and Patrick!!’

May 2009: Guided Birding and Winelands Tour in the Western Cape for Barbara & Jay Salzman, USA: ‘Patrick & Marie-Louise of Avian Leisure provided the ultimate birding & wine tasting experience in the Cape Peninsula. Patrick as our guide added hugely to the enjoyment of our trip – his interests and ours meshed beautifully. A 5 Star experience – it’s a ‘keeper’!

March 2009: Patrick did a guided birding tour in Kruger Park and surrounds on a free-lance basis for Tropical Birding, for Steve Smith, USA: ‘His feedback to the tour company was : ‘My leader (Patrick Cardwell) was excellent. I’d recommend him to any one any time.  He knew his birds, animals and trees.  He was always helpful to make sure I was on the bird and that I always got good looks. We saw 285 species and most of them were new birds for me’ And direct feedback to Patrick: ‘ I had a great time finding birds & mammals with you, Patrick. Thank you for showing me such a great time and taking case of all my needs!’

March 2009: Short Guided Tour Cape of Cape Town & Winelands, for Leiha Macauley & Jim Palumbo, USA: ‘Patrick, you were the highlight of our trip – unparalleled service, from getting us the best tables to picking the vineyards we visited, to your specialized knowledge of absolutely everything! We are so appreciative.’

December – January 2009: Self-drive Tour – Birding/Nature/Cultural heritage – Cape Town & Western Cape for Liz & Paul Harvey, UK: ‘First Class Birding, Wildlife, Organisation, Accommodation & Food – Look no further: superb trip largely due to your enormous help!’

November 2008: Safari in South Africa – Madikwe, Kruger & Cape Town, for Lesley & Ian Patterson, Australia: ‘We’ve arrived home safely after an absolutely fantastic holiday. Thank you so much for organizing such a great itinerary.’

November 2008: Accommodation arrangements for self-drive trip in South Africa, for Mags & Les Veldman, USA: ‘Just wanted to thank you so much for organizing 2 very excellent B&B’s – both were a pleasure to stay in!’

November 2008: Self-drive Tour in Namibia, for Jeff & Maryann Williams, Wales, UK: ‘If you are looking for an immaculately planned nature holiday you can do not better than booking with Avian Leisure.’

October 2008: Guided Birding Tour Cape to Kruger for Nestling Tours, USA: Bill Eden – ‘Thank you for showing me the ‘Bird’s of South Africa’. Your friendly manner, leadership skills and incredible birding expertise made this trip special! You sure know how to find the Birds!

Tom Bush – ‘The trip met all expectations and certainly exceeded them. Not only the incredible number and quality of bird, flora and fauna sightings but Patrick’s knowledge and expertise as our guide was exceptional. Additionally the accommodation, service and meals were delightful. Both Patrick & Marie Louise were the perfect hosts and did a fabulous job of representing SA and showing us the best both culturally and environmentally’

Frank & Pat Stermitz – ‘Thanks a million for one of our very best trips! Congenial and knowledgeable guide and Marie Louise’s graciousness and competence in handling an unusual accident occurrence. I recommend Avian Leisure to any and all without reservation”

September – October 2008: Private Guided Birding Tour – Kwazulu Natal to Kruger including Sani Pass, Dr Kim & Mrs Sunneva Frost, Denmark: ‘Despite the term ‘leisure’ we cannot imagine a more skilled, energetic guided and indefatigable search. ‘ Leisure’ should here be understood as responsibility and avoidance of any possible risky situation which makes one totally relaxed and comfortable from first to last minute. Accommodation was pleasant and peaceful making every day enjoyable and leisurely. Every effort is made to secure top birding experiences. All birds are seen well. All round knowledge, cautious driving and meticulous caretaking. I cannot imagine what could be done to improve on the service.’

September 2008: Classic Western Cape Spring Birding Tour, fully guided tour for Mark and Janice Hollingworth, Norfolk, UK: ‘You gave us one of the best trips we have ever had!’

August 2008: Mega Safari to South Africa, Botswana, Zambia and Namibia! For Ross & Natalie Aitken, New Zealand: ‘Marie-Louise & Patrick planned an itinerary of Southern African countries for us. The detail and delivery far exceeded our wildest dreams! Thank you both, there was absolutely nothing more we could have wished for.’

August 2008: A Short Guided Birding Tour in the Western Cape’s Spring for Greg Balogh and Ken Morgan, USA & Canada: Greg Balogh – ‘I was continually amazed at Patrick’s grasp of all aspects of natural history. He was always pleasant company and was very sensitive to his client’s needs and preferences.’

Ken Morgan – ‘Patrick’s approach – professional, yet casual and friendly. Can’t see how you could make it any better. Excellent! If I could have stayed longer I would have’

November 2008: Self drive birding tour in Tanqua Karoo and Namibia for Jeff & Maryann Williams, Wales: ‘If you are looking for an immaculately planned nature holiday you can do no better than booking with Avian Leisure’

November 2008: Fly-in Wildlife Safari in South Africa for Ian & Lesley Patterson, Australia: ‘Absolutely fantastic holiday. Thank you so much for organizing such a great itinerary’

Alan McTavish: Ontario, Canada: 1st class bird tour – it gets a 10.

Richard Hell: MA, USA: Wonderful accommodation and perfect birding directions. I will especially remember your detailed maps! Plus a dream come true pelagic seabird trip.

Arnoud van den Berg: Netherlands: Thanks to Pat’s directions, we had some of our most memorable sightings on our last full day in South Africa.

Jim France & Brian Clasper, UK: Dear Marie-Louise and Patrick, many thanks again for an absolutely fantastic trip. The birding was amazing, the accommodation throughout incredible and the food out of this world. Add the awesome mammals and spectacular scenery and all in all this trip was probably the best either myself or Brian have been involved in. We really can’t thank Patrick enough for sharing his incredible knowledge of all things to do with the natural history of the area, and for being an incredible guide and jolly good company!!! BRILLIANT TRIP!

Susan Wilkinson, USA: We had a great day with super birds and spectacular scenery and lots of information on SA. Patrick was wonderful! What a marvelous country!

Dr Kim Frost, Denmark: Patrick was an exceptional guide, not only on account of his unique knowledge of birds, but especially because of his personality, friendliness and truly indefatigable endeavor to ensure his clients a holistic and optimum experience of the Cape nature and social conditions. In addition to pleasant and considerate driving, he provided us with the best accommodation, meals and wine! To the last minute we were taken care of including arrangement with shuttle to the Airport Terminal. Thus I give Avian Leisure my warmest recommendations!