Wian van Zyl

Read the blog article 'Getting to Know our Guides - Wian van Zyl'

Tour Leader and Social Media Manager

Growing up on a 50 000-acre Big Five private game reserve in the heart of the African bush with an ecologist father, it is only understandable how Wian managed to develop a strong love for nature and wildlife starting from his early childhood days. It all started with the identification of indigenous trees at the tender age of three, and from there things progressed at a rapid rate, his curiosity leading him to explore all aspects of his natural surroundings. First the larger mammals, then trees, and then onto the ‘creepy crawlies’, but at the age of 13, when an extravagantly colored Southern Red Bishop caught his attention, his addiction for all things feathered was ignited.

Now a qualified and experienced field guide through the Field Guides Association of South Africa (FGASA), Wian finds himself swapping his beloved second home, the Kruger National Park, for the fynbos-dotted landscape of the Western Cape, where he now resides. Having grown up traversing various parts of Southern Africa with his family and having subsequently guided in a lot of South Africa’s varying biomes, Wian’s knowledge of the local fauna and flora is truly remarkable.

When traveling with Wian you are bound to have a good laugh and an enjoyable, fun-filled time exploring nature as a whole but making sure to focus on the business end of finding target species when the time calls for it! His undying passion, enthusiasm, chivalry, and willingness to go the extra mile are characteristics hard to find in some modern-day bird guides but are all characteristics which make Wian, well, Wian!

When not birding, he enjoys exploring nature with his family, hiking, photography, dreaming of one day experiencing birding in the Neotropics, and sitting around the campfire listening to the stories of likeminded world travelers.

Join Wian on the following upcoming tours:

Birding Tour Kenya: 20-day Birding Adventure September 2018

Birding Tour Kenya: 20-day Birding Adventure September 2018

July 28, 2017

Birding Tour South Africa: Subtropical South Africa October 2018

Birding Tour South Africa: Subtropical South Africa October 2018

July 30, 2017

Birding Tour South Africa: 12-day Western Cape February 2019

Birding Tour South Africa: 12-day Western Cape February 2019

April 21, 2017

Birding Tour South Africa: Subtropical South Africa February 2019

Birding Tour South Africa: Subtropical South Africa February 2019

April 22, 2017

Birding Tour Cameroon: 26-day Complete North and South April 2019

Birding Tour Cameroon: 26-day Complete North and South April 2019

April 23, 2017

Birding Tour Zambia and Malawi August 2019

Birding Tour Zambia and Malawi August 2019

September 12, 2018

Birding Tour Kenya: 20-day Birding Adventure September 2019

Birding Tour Kenya: 20-day Birding Adventure September 2019

November 30, 2016

Birding Tour South Africa: 8-day Western Cape October 2019

Birding Tour South Africa: 8-day Western Cape October 2019

December 1, 2016

Birding Tour South Africa: Subtropical South Africa October 2019

Birding Tour South Africa: Subtropical South Africa October 2019

July 2, 2018

Birding Tour Namibia: Namibia, Okavango, and Victoria Falls November 2019

Birding Tour Namibia: Namibia, Okavango, and Victoria Falls November 2019

June 5, 2018

Birding Tour South Africa: 12-day Western Cape February 2020

Birding Tour South Africa: 12-day Western Cape February 2020

June 21, 2018

Birding Tour South Africa: Subtropical South Africa February 2020

Birding Tour South Africa: Subtropical South Africa February 2020

June 21, 2018

Birding Tour Cameroon: 26-day Complete North and South April 2020

Birding Tour Cameroon: 26-day Complete North and South April 2020

June 25, 2018

Birding Tour Zambia and Malawi August 2020

Birding Tour Zambia and Malawi August 2020

August 31, 2018

Birding Tour Kenya: 20-day Birding Adventure September 2020

Birding Tour Kenya: 20-day Birding Adventure September 2020

September 1, 2018

Birding Tour South Africa: 8-day Western Cape October 2020

Birding Tour South Africa: 8-day Western Cape October 2020

September 2, 2018

Birding Tour South Africa: Subtropical South Africa October 2020

Birding Tour South Africa: Subtropical South Africa October 2020

September 2, 2018

Birding Tour Namibia: Namibia, Okavango, and Victoria Falls November 2020

Birding Tour Namibia: Namibia, Okavango, and Victoria Falls November 2020

August 20, 2018

Read Wian’s feedback from clients:

We traveled with Wian for nearly three weeks and 4,000 kilometres across Namibia, Botswana and Zambia. He went above and beyond in every way: driving, guiding, birding, dealing with the occasional difficulties and keeping us and our tour-mates safe and happy. His knowledge and skills belie his age and his stock of stories of growing up in the African bush provided background and entertainment. On top of all this, he found virtually all of the target species for us. We couldn’t have asked for more.

Ron & Ruth Bonner – USA