Simply because we have ‘walked our talk’ as an eco-committed couple with a shared interest in the wilderness around us that led to the formation of ‘Avian Leisure’, an eco-tour operator specialising in wildlife and birding safaris in South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe. Uganda is a special case as we lived there for 3 years and travelled the length and breadth of the country – we now book this destination through our Ugandan travel partners.

During our time we have zigzagged our way across sub-equatorial Africa in our 4×4, from coast to coast, from north to south, exploring and evaluating environments within the tapestry of safari options, as well as where to stay and the pace required to derive maximum benefit in each area.

As a result our itineraries are crafted based on first-hand exposure to these countries and habitats within them, and dedicated to the concept of tours and safaris designed and operated with ‘the personal touch’, always willing to go the extra mile …..

As such we offer a ‘boutique’ eco-tourism experience based on personal exposure limited to hand-picked destination options. This we believe is the hallmark that sets us aside within the eco travel industry. 

To summarise:

  • Small groups and private tours
  • Highly personalized and flexible approach
  • Focus on Southern Africa with first hand knowledge of South Africa and neighbouring countries, constantly updated through personal travel and guiding assignments
  • Tours paced with client comfort and leisure foremost in mind
  • Family business with low overheads dedicated to maintaining high standards
  • Professionalism: fully registered, insured and tax compliant, and committed to a high standard of conservation ethics
  • Proven track record and highly satisfied clients
  • Our own accommodation in Simon’s Town, Cape Town, in a bird-rich environment overlooking the Boulders penguin colony

Our Accreditation:

  • Avian Leisure operates as a fully accredited and registered tour operator
  • We are committed to working with fully registered and accredited guides and service providers
  • Fully tax compliant
  • Comprehensively insured through Bryte Insurance, including passenger liability and professional liability cover
  • Member of SATSA – Southern African Tourism Services Association of Southern Africa
  • SATSA Bonding Insurance which further protects Avian Leisure and our clients https://www.satsa.com/bonding
  • Namibia Tourism Board Foreign Tour Operator
  • Endorsed by American Birding Association (ABA) and Birdlife South Africa
  • Accommodation endorsed by Birdlife SA as ‘birder-friendly’
  • Trip Advisor guest reviews, client feedback
  • Longstanding working relationships with service providers

birding wildlife safaris southern africa avianleisurePatrick’s registrations:

  • Patrick is a highly accredited guide specialized in birding and nature, but also a very capable wine and culture guide.
  • Field Guides Association of South Africa (FGASA) registered in 2004. Membership No. 2782. Qualifications FGASA Levels 1, 2 and 3 plus Honourary SKS: Birding (Specialized Knowledge & Skills: Birding)
  • DEAT Registered South African Tourist Guide  2004 – National Nature Guide and National Culture Guide – All Nine Provinces NQF 4  Registration No. WC 2782
  • Professional Driving Permit Licence No. 60030000185J
  • Vehicles: Department of Transport Operating Licence No. OLB1815087/0 and OLB1815090/0
  • Member Botanical Society of South Africa/Bird Life South Africa / Endangered Wildlife Trust/ American Birding Association


Patrick and Marie-Louise Cardwell
PO Box 74, Simons Town 7995 South Africa
Ph/Fax: +27 21 786 1414
Mobile: +27 83 272 2455
Skype: mlcardwell
Email: enquiries@avianleisure.com

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