Meet Gareth Robbins (Full Time Tour Leader)

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Gareth hails from Kimberly in South Africa and holds a qualification in Game Ranging and Lodge Management. He has worked in various game lodges as a guide as well as running his own tour company with a specific focus on bird tours.

  1. Read more on Gareth Robbins

    Gareth was born in Kimberly but moved to Cape Town when he was 5 years old. After school, he studied Game Ranging and Lodge Management, following which he worked in various game lodges as a guide. Deciding he needed a greater challenge, he then started his own tour company along South Africa’s Garden Route where he focused primarily on guided bird tours. During this time he continued his studies and qualified as a tour guide and specialist bird guide for the forest and Fynbos biomes. 

    How did you get into birding?
    From the age of 10, I visited the Kruger National Park with my grandparents on an annual basis and thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of spotting the birds before anyone else could. After receiving my first bird book I realised that this was something I would be doing for the rest of my life.

    What led you to choose a career in tourism?
    After visiting game reserves on a regular basis, all I wanted to do was become a game ranger. I studied Game Ranging and Lodge Management and worked on a small private reserve in Cape Town for a year. I subsequently got registered and qualified with the Field Guided Association of South Africa and have been involved in tourism ever since.

    What are your other hobbies and interests?
    I am a keen bird photographer and I play tennis whenever I get a chance.

    What do you enjoy most about being on tour?
    I enjoy meeting new people, the friendships that are formed, and I enjoy the challenge of finding a new bird and being part of the excitement when somebody adds a new species to their list.

    What are your strengths as a tour leader?
    I have had a fair amount of experience working as a tour guide and am able to adapt quickly to the group dynamics. My key strength is identifying bird calls and I also have a great sense of humour and a good background in explaining the natural world to people, whether it be mammals, birds, plants or trees.

    Are you a keen bird photographer?
    Yes, I am, I love the challenge of continuously improving my photos and find this a very relaxing and rewarding pass time.

    Are you a lister; and if so, which lists are your main focus?
    I keep a Southern Africa bird list and since joining Rockjumper Bird Tours I am now also starting a world list.

    What are your future goals as a birding tour leader?
    I have visited Australia, New Zealand and Singapore and have thoroughly enjoyed my time in these countries and I hope to be able to lead tours in these countries at some point.

    What is your favourite place/country to guide?
    South Africa: it’s nice to be able to guide in my back yard, I believe that we have some amazing bird species in South Africa and it is always great to show these special birds to Rockjumper Clients. 

    Namibia: This country is just a beautiful country to travel through, it has good landscapes and scenery complimented by some good birding especially in the Caprivi Strip.

    Madagascar: I have currently led a few tours in Madagascar and I really enjoyed guiding in this fascinating Country. I really enjoy seeing the Ground Roller, Vanga and Coua families and the Chameleons! I also find the local Malagasy people to be very friendly and the local guides are fantastic to work with. 

SH, South Africa Comp V 2015

Thoroughly enjoyed Gareth - sense of humour was great and he worked tirelessly to ensure everyone could see the bird.

DH, South Africa Comp V

Gareth studiously worked to meet each participant’s individual needs without sacrificing the overall experience of the group. His audio sense and grasp of song probably even exceeded his other birding skills (which were quite formidable in their own right). His sense of humour and engagement with people was excellent.

NK, South Africa Comp V 2015

Gareth was very considerate of all tour members and kept everything on schedule. He went out of his way to find bird species of particular interest to those on the tour and is a very enthusiastic about birding.

AE, Eastern South Africa VIII 2015

Our guide, Gareth Robbins, was excellent. His knowledge of the area covered was exceptional, sometimes down to the rock the bird might land on. His repertoire of the bird calls and songs was impressive. He was adamant about getting each of us on the bird, and his delight when we saw it was transparent.

SM, South Africa 2016

Gareth was an excellent guide. He was always on hand to give help and advice when needed and didn’t favour one guest over another. His enthusiasm could not be faulted and local and birding knowledge faultless.

HL, South Africa 2015

This was my first tour with Rockjumper and hopefully will not be my last. The service provided was excellent and Gareth Robbins was an excellent guide. I would have no hesitation in travelling with him again.

South Africa 2015

Gareth was very considerate of all tour members and kept everything on schedule. He went out of his way to find bird species of particular interest to those on the tour and very enthusiastic about birding.

SM, Budget Western South Africa

Gareth is a first class guide both in his ability to hear and find birds as well as being able to handle clients in an understanding manner which at times cannot be easy. I cannot compliment him highly enough on his inter-personal skills. He is both amusing and entertaining, yet serious when the need arises. This tour, as with my previous tour with him, ran so smoothly without any problems, probably due to his foresight in planning and telephoning ahead for the next or even following days.

SH & PB, South Africa

Gareth was really good value – nice bloke, very knowledgeable and expert bird guide, and handled some fairly tricky situations during the tour very well. We really enjoyed the tour and would have no hesitation recommending Rockjumper and travelling with you again.

DH & RD, Papua New Guinea

The birds were magnificent, and when you combine this with the awesome guide combo of Adam Walleyn and the 'Big G' (Gareth Robbins), it made for a once in a lifetime trip. Thanks again Rockjumper for delivering a first-class birding experience.

JC, Madagascar

Gareth Robbins made special efforts to ensure everyone saw the wildlife. An amazing tour.

KS & SS, Madagascar 2017

We take our hats off to Gareth Robbins, who worked day and night to make the tour work in the most effective way, taking the local infrastructure into consideration.

GM, Madagascar 2017

In addition to his obvious birding skills, Gareth Robbins' ability to handle all types of situations was remarkable. He was an excellent travelling companion, and his humour made the tour so much more enjoyable. What a great tour this was. I also want to say that the entire staff did a wonderful job, like they always do. I've asked many questions and had some concerns about various aspects of tours, and the staff handles all of them so efficiently. To all of you at Rockjumper, Thanks So Much!

SP, South Africa 2018

Gareth Robbins is an excellent guide and did a fantastic job managing the group and our expectations. He has a wealth of knowledge and provided information on various topics, including the flora, fauna, culture and everything in between.

DB, South Africa 2018

This was a trip of firsts for me - first time in Africa, first time on a birding tour, and first time travelling solo on an international trip. I couldn't have asked for a better experience or a better guide. The primary reason the experience was so positive was due to the efforts of our guide, Gareth Robbins. He is an excellent birder and was determined to accommodate all of our wishlists. He was not satisfied unless everyone in the group got good looks at a bird, and went to great lengths to ensure this. His enthusiasm was contagious and set the tone for a fun and pleasant group dynamic. As an added bonus, Gareth had me, and the rest of our group, breaking out in laughter on many occasions! I look forward to participating in a future Rockjumper tour (and hopefully one where Gareth is the guide!).

RG, Tanzania 2018

We both had a very enjoyable tour with Gareth Robbins. There were a couple of occasions where we needed medical attention and our needs were taken care of in a very timely manner. We were very impressed with the professional way in which Gareth lead the tour and with his care and consideration of the tour participants. His wildlife, cultural knowledge and experiences contributed to a really great tour.

RG, Kenya 2018

We both had a very enjoyable tour with Gareth Robbins. There were a couple of occasions where we needed medical attention and our needs were taken care of in a very timely manner. We were very impressed with the professional way in which Gareth lead the tour and with his care and consideration of the tour participants. His wildlife, cultural knowledge and experiences contributed to a really great tour.

RG, Rwanda 2018

We both had a very enjoyable tour with Gareth Robbins. There were a couple of occasions where we needed medical attention and our needs were taken care of in a very timely manner. We were very impressed with the professional way in which Gareth lead the tour and with his care and consideration of the tour participants. His wildlife, cultural knowledge and experiences contributed to a really great tour.

JB & SB, Papua New Guinea 2018

We are home having had an amazing trip to PNG....we were very impressed with Adam Walleyn and Gareth Robbins and would rate them very highly as tour leaders. Very Best Wishes from very satisfied customers.

PB - South Africa 2019

Gareth Robbins was an excellent guide. He was friendly and approachable, made all the group feel welcome and his sense of humour kept us all amused. His ability to find birds is second to none and he took great pains to ensure everyone had seen every bird. I would love to travel with him again.

BH - South Africa 2019

Gareth Robbins was one of the better guides I have travelled with. He did an outstanding job of finding the avian species, providing an enjoyable outing for all participants, and serving the needs of individuals. His humour is delightful and his personality endearing both in the field and during non-birding times. His outstanding relationship with local guides and hoteliers makes for an added benefit to the overall tour.

NR - South Africa 2019

Gareth Robbins' knowledge is awesome, and his ability to keep us organised and focussed was exceptional.

OB - South Africa

This was my first Rockjumper trip, and it was a great one! Gareth was an outstanding guide, with a detailed knowledge about the birds and where to find them, and a great sense of humor as well. I will be signing up for another tour with him.

RB - South Africa

Gareth Robbins was a very good guide. He had a lot of responsibilities doing all the driving, dealing with logistics, keeping various interests satisfied.

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