Professional Qualifications - Michael Wright


  • Registered Tour Guide – KwaZulu-Natal Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs – Reg. No. KZN0688 (2019);

  • Certified South African Specialist – South African Tourism – (2020);

  • Professional Natural Scientist: Environmental Science – South African Council for Natural Science Professions (SACNASP) – Reg. No. 009205 (2018);

  • B.Sc. Agriculture (Agribusiness & Wildlife Science) – University of KwaZulu-Natal (1998 - 2001);

  • Toastmasters South Africa (2018);

  • Introduction to Project Management Course by SiVEST – ECSA accredited (2014);

  • Estate Agency Affairs Board – Qualified Estate Agent (2007);

  • Regional Nature Guide – NQF Level 4 – KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga – THETA (2003);

  • Field Guides Association of Southern Africa - Reg. No. W0924 (2001);

  • Local Bird Guide – TG27 – Birdlife South Africa (2003);

  • Firearms Competency – Firearms Control Act, Rifle, Shotgun, Handgun, Self-loading Carbine – (2009);

  • Professional Driving Permit (PDP) – Code 08 and Code 10 (2002);

  • South African Red Cross Society – Level 1 First Aid Course (2002);

  • Educational Institute of the American Hotel & Lodging Association – Spirit of Hospitality Programme (2002);

  • Beaver Run Resort and Conference Centre (Premier Resorts) – Spirit in Service Training Class (2001);

  • Temba Game Viewers (Pty) Ltd – 2 Week Safari Vehicle Mechanics Training (2002).


  • South African Council for Natural Science Professions (SACNASP) – Reg. No. 009205 – Since 2014;

  • Environmental Assessment Practitioners Association of South Africa – Since 2019;

  • International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) Tourism and Protected Areas Specialist (TAPAS) Group – Since 2016;

  • Birdlife South Africa – Reg. No. 1039173 – Since 2015;

  • The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) – Since 2012;

  • International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIAsa) – Reg. No. 3287 – Since 2012;

  • Field Guides Association of Southern Africa - Since 2001.


Language Proficiency

Michael is fluent in English, speaks fair Afrikaans and can communicate at an elementary level in Zulu.

Owner & Head Guide - Michael Wright


Michael is a passionate naturalist, conservationist and adventurer who loves birding, walking trails, flyfishing and photography. He is an environmental scientist and ecotourism specialist, and is very well travelled in Southern Africa.


Michael currently holds a Southern African bird lifelist of 619 species, a South African butterfly lifelist of 91 species, and a South African frog lifelist of 30 species. He also enjoys animal behaviour, wilderness, herping and trees.

Michael is also an ecotourism consultant and environmental scientist, through the other operating division of Sustain, namely Sustain Ecotourism and Environmental. See this division's website here:

Although Michael is an environmental scientist and ecotourism specialist, and has developed valuable knowledge and experience in these fields, 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.

Over the past 18 years Michael’s work 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 is very well-traveled in Southern Africa. He has worked in South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Mozambique, and Lesotho, and has visited Zimbabwe, Swaziland, and Mauritius several times on holiday. During these trips he have visited a total of 45 National Parks and Game Reserves (excluding nature reserves). He has also stayed in 107 safari lodges, bush camps, resorts, hotels and campsites, and visited many more.

Through the years, some of this professional work has focused on:


  • Developing the tourism master plans for Tembe Elephant Park and Ndumo Game Reserve;

  • 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;

  • Undertaking infrastructural assessments of most of Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife's tourist infrastructure;

  • Undertaking viability assessments of tourist accommodation for the National Department of Tourism;

  • Facilitating a tourism concessions workshop for Boundless Southern Africa to all SADC stakeholders;

  • Undertaking business plans 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 13 years to a wonderful lady and has 2 amazing children, a courageous son aged 12 years and a delightful daughter aged 8 years.


Please click on the hyperlink to peruse Michael’s CV.