Michael Wright - Owner & Principal Tour Leader
Michael is a passionate naturalist, conservationist and adventurer who loves birding, walking trails and photography. He is a registered professional in natural science, ecotourism and nature tour guiding with 20 years’ of industry experience. He has travelled extensively through Southern Africa and North America, and further to his great passion for birds; also enjoys animal behaviour, flyfishing, butterflies, herping and trees.
Michael currently holds a Southern African bird lifelist of 664 species, a Southern African mammal lifelist of 104 species, a South African butterfly lifelist of 100 species, and a South African frog lifelist of 30 species.
In addition to managing Sustain’s tour operating division, Michael also manages its consulting division, called Sustain Ecotourism and Environmental. See the website here: http://www.sustainecoenv.com
Although Michael has developed valuable knowledge and experience in the field over many years, he loves taking every opportunity to immerse himself in nature, to continue to learn from it, to teach others about its extraordinary beauty and value, and to share nature-based experiences with people from all over the world.
His work life has largely been entrepreneurial in nature: relating to the nature guiding, environmental consulting, ecotourism consulting, safari lodge development, operating and marketing fields. When combined with his tertiary education, he has developed significant experience in these disciplines.
Michael has worked in South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Mozambique, Lesotho, and the United States of America, and has visited Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Mauritius and Mexico several times on holiday. During his Southern African adventures he has explored over 110 National Parks, Game Reserves and Nature Reserves, and to date has stayed in 133 safari lodges, bush camps, resorts, hotels and campsites, while having visited many more.
Through the years some of this professional work has focused on:
Tourism master planning of Tembe Elephant Park, Ndumo Game Reserve and Usuthu Gorge;
Developing (with partners) the 60 bed luxury Shepherd’s Tree Game Lodge in Pilanesberg National Park, North West Province, South Africa. The lodge opened in 2010;
Development planning of the 240 bed luxury Radisson Blu Safari Lodge in Kruger National Park, Mpumalanga Province, South Africa;
Advising the acquisition of the 32 bed Royal Thonga Safari Lodge in Tembe Elephant Park, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa;
The ecotourism financial feasibility modelling of the 10,600ha Kameelhoek Private Game Reserve near Kimberley, Northern Cape;
Infrastructural assessments of most of Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife's tourist infrastructure;
Viability assessments of tourist accommodation for the National Department of Tourism;
Facilitating a tourism concessions workshop for Boundless Southern Africa to all SADC stakeholders;
Business planning for numerous lodges, game reserves and hotels.
When combined with his dedication and enthusiasm for nature and outdoor adventure, these experiences should ensure that he hosts and guides you with professionalism, skill and care.
Michael has been married for 14 years to his wonderful lady, Natalie, and together they have 2 amazing children, a courageous son aged 12 years and a delightful daughter aged 8 years.
Click on this link to peruse Michael’s CV.
Natalie Wright - Owner & Office Manager
Natalie is an financial and administrative whizz who loves family, staying healthy, the outdoors and reading.
Natalie is our office manager and the administrative heart of the company, ensuring its efficient functioning, and keeping all the good checks and balances in place.
Natalie has worked in South Africa and Mozambique, and holds diplomas in Bookkeeping and Nature Conservation, and certificates in financial accounting and payroll.
Natalie also manages the company’s bookkeeping consulting division, called Sustain Bookkeeping, and, with Michael, she manages its consulting division as well, called Sustain Ecotourism and Environmental.