Friday, June 27, 2008

Training Bird Guides in Rwanda

I just returned from Nyungwe Forest, Rwanda, where I trained bird guides.

I conducted bird guide trainings in two locations recently: Nyungwe National Park in Rwanda and Quirimbas National Park in Mozambique. The enthusiasm of the trainees is matched only by the exuberance of the park managers, who see clearly the impact that trained guides will have on visitors’ experiences.

One highlight: while in Quirimbas I got ten “lifers” and two ringing ticks. For me, that was quite something. The trainee guides understood when I explained that even an experienced birder still has a lot to get excited about.

In Rwanda, we had some great ringing, catching no less than eight Albertine Rift endemics, including: Grauer's Rush Warbler, Archer's robin chat, Red-throated alethe, and Strange Weaver (it was a bit odd!).

I got two lifers as well, Kungwe Apalis and Red-collared Mountain Babbler.

We're looking forward to returning for our next trip. I've made arrangements to go on more extensive ringing expeditions to look for Albertine Owlet and Shelley's Crimsonwing.

Consider joining us on our next expedition, and contact me if you're interested.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Who We Are


Ornithologist Malcolm Wilson (born UK, 1961) has been living and working in Africa for many years. He is the head of African Affinity, formed in 2005. Currently based in Johannesburg, South Africa, he travels monthly throughout the continent.

Malcolm is an expert guide with personal contacts in countries throughout Africa. He is not only knowledgeable about birds, wildlife and plants but also thoroughly prepared to handle any situation that may arise.

Malcolm specialises in avi-tourism and primates, ringing/banding schemes, and training. He also conducts Environmental Impact Assessments. He has a BTO Trainer’s License (British Trust for Ornithology). He has ringed over 600 species on three continents.

Malcolm lived in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda, for eight years. He established Uganda’s first bird observatory and served as its Warden. He also initiated the first nationwide bird guide-training programme, which enabled the country to become a world-class bird-watching destination.

He is known in his field for contributing articles to journals and magazines, and he is often contacted by researchers visiting Africa. He has strong working relationships with conservation organisations such as the WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) and the administrators of national parks in many countries, such as the Jane Goodall Institute.

What We Do


Welcome to African Affinity.

We are a company committed to environmental conservation in three main areas:

Bird Ringing/Banding Expeditions. Join a ringing expedition in unique African environments, including tropical rainforest and Albertine Rift montane forest. Experts and newcomers welcome; on-site training available. Our ringing contributes to global research …

Bird-watching Trips. We will lead your group to the best birding at both famous and personally-discovered sites. Stay in luxury accommodation or build your own self-catering trip …

Bird Guide Training. We work with the world’s foremost conservation organisations to raise skills and awareness. We train guides to bird-watch and ring. We are introducing the concept of avi-tourism to developing regions. We also conduct Environmental Impact Assessments. Learn more …