Andrew Stainthorpe is a passionate birder who hails from our home country, South Africa. With over 20 years birding experience, he is also a qualified bird ringer (bander) and has an additional qualification as an SKS (Specialized Knowledge & Skills) guide involving dangerous game.
Andrew was born raised in the small town of White River, where he had the opportunity to grow his interests in wildlife and birding whilst living on the doorstep of the great Kruger National Park. His passion for the bush and conservation led him to completing a Conservation Diploma, after which he started working in various fields; from being a guide in the Kruger National Park and the Kalahari, guiding & managing camps in Namibia and game reserve management in the Northern Cape. Birding was his constant companion and this led to him becoming involved in various bird monitoring programmes in South Africa. His general knowledge and wealth of bush experience and enthusiasm for birds will ensure that you have a thoroughly enjoyable and memorable tour with Andrew.
How did you get into Birding?
I think that it is in my blood, my mom always said that I was pointing out birds in the Kruger National Park before I could even say ‘mommy’. Besides that, how can one not enjoy the amazing diversity of birds around us, in our gardens to our great national parks, what a fantastic excuse to get out!
What led you to choose a career in tourism?
My career path was always going to be one of conservation and I guess that tourism found me along the way, as it was one way to stay in the bush and I don’t regret it for one moment. All the amazing experiences shared with people over the years have been incredible.
What are your other hobbies and interests?
Besides birding I enjoy playing golf and camping with my wife and two kids and sharing the wonders of our natural world with them.
What are your strengths as a tour leader?
I believe that I have a relaxed manner around people and I am confident about my abilities to share my knowledge and experience with people.
Are you a keen bird photographer?
Yes, I enjoy taking photographs of birds and all other aspects of nature, when the opportunity arises, however still need to work on my abilities as a photographer.
Are you a lister; and if so, which lists is your main focus?
The simple answer is yes, I enjoy keeping lists. At this stage I keep pretty much a list for everywhere destination that I go to, but I would personally like to work on my Africa list and get nearer to the 2000 bird mark.
Any interesting stories or anecdotes from recent tours?
Yes, many, not enough space or time to tell all, but I believe in what happens on tour stays on tour, something like that.
What are your future goals as a birding tour leader?
At this stage I would like to concentrate on birding in Africa, but would also like to expand my horizons into Asia and then the America’s.
What is your favourite place / country to guide?
It must be Namibia. A country with vast landscapes, startling contrasts, amazing wildlife and breathtaking landscapes. The rich biodiversity of Namibia is amazing from seals and waders along the stark Skeleton Coast, to the game rich salt pans of Etosha, to the woodlands and swamps of the Caprivi Strip. A must visit country.