Reece grew up on a farm in Zimbabwe, spending as much time as possible in nature. After leaving school he worked as a field guide in various game reserves, where he developed a great passion for conservation, wildlife photography, and filmmaking. Whilst spending time outdoors with experts in the industry he also discovered a great appreciation for birding, reptiles, and insects.
With as much time as possible spent outdoors as a child and young adult, I became passionate about identifying the prominent species of flora and fauna of the African Bush. This naturally flowed into an exciting career as a safari guide and professional trails guide, granting the unique opportunity for me to interpret the African bush to clients on foot in ‘Big 5’ territory.
A marketing position within Rockjumper Birding Tours offered the perfect opportunity for me to unleash my creativity and share the incredible sightings and stories from others on tour, while also leading tours and being able to share my never-ending enthusiasm and energy for birding and wildlife.
What got you into birding?
My childhood fascination with identifying species meant that I didn’t go too long before being bitten by the birding bug and any chance I could, I found myself navigating perilous habitats and remote regions in search of the next species or scanning through field guides, studying the species in my area to the ninth degree.
What attracted you to a career in tourism?
My love for wildlife turned into a passion for conservation and sharing the beauty and interesting information of wildlife with others was just one way to spread awareness of conservation issues, all the while allowing me to spend time in nature and the chance to meet many new people every day.
Do you have any other hobbies?
I have always been very passionate about sharing interesting things I have seen with others and photographing birds has been an excellent way to do this. It has been a great opportunity for me to introduce stunning bird species to people who have previously not had an interest or the means to be able to see them.
Are you a lister?
Absolutely, I have been keeping country lists and cataloguing photographs of birds, reptiles, amphibians, flowers, and even tree species since they first piqued my interest! Fairly recently I have converted to eBird and really enjoy watching the countries fill up with species and having the ability to keep track of which species I’ve photographed at the same time.
What are your strengths as a tour leader?
I have been very fortunate in that I have had the opportunity to guide a great variety of people and share my knowledge with them, and in doing so, develop the ability to relate to clients of all ages, interests, and skill levels. This has also provided me with the confidence to deal with logistics on tour, as well as the quick thinking required when things don’t go exactly according to plan!