About The Founders

 Our energy, passion and excitement motivated us to work with many of South Africa’s top Authors and publishers. This resulted in the Creation of South Africa’s most Comprehensive Nature focused book store

Joe Harwood:Founder and Chairman of Escape to the Wild Pty Ltd and Wildbooks.

Having been a corporate executive in sales and marketing, it was a natural progression to start his own business which became an industry leader spanning over 40 years and still going strong. Thereafter Joe retired to persue his passion for nature.

Joe’s love of Nature, Wildlife and Birding enabled him to travel to many of the Nature and Wildlife Reserves in South Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Angola, Europe, Asia and India. As an avid book lover he has a large collection of non-fiction books, in excess of 600 titles. Wildbooks online bookstore is a result of this passion. 

Bradwin Adendorff has been involved in his family business, Box Office Computers, as a graphic and web designer from a young age. His interest in nature ultimately drew him into guiding and photography. Bradwin is a passionate citizen scientist and conservationist who has been involved in a number of research, environmental and anti poaching projects.  Bradwin has been actively involved through CE safaris in training projects aimed at children and youth through walks and talks in local reserves and schools.

Bradwin is a member and partner of Escape to the Wild Birding and Wildlife tours. His technical, IT and website development background along with his passion for biodiversity enabled his progression to become a founding member of Wildbooks.

joe and brad
Joe Harwood & Bradwin Adendorff

Dr Rob Little attained Diplomas in Forestry and Nature Conservation, a BSc degree in Wildlife Resources University of Idaho, USA, and a PhD degree on the conservation biology of the Grey-winged Francolin from the University of Cape Town. During 1974-1985, he was warden of the Cathedral Peak in the Drakensberg (Unesco World Heritage Site) and published the book Birds of the Natal Drakensberg Park. 

During 1988-1997, Rob was the co-ordinator of the Gamebird Research Programme at the FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, UCT. During 1997 until 2008 he was director of conservation at WWF (World Wildlife Fund) South Africa and published Gamebirds of Southern Africa.

In 2009 he took up the post of Manager of the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence (CoE) at the FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, managing  research activities. Rob is the Patron of Escape to the Wild, Vice Chairman of the Mabula Ground Hornbill Project and a Trustee of the Wild Bird Trust. Rob has authored 84 papers in peer-reviewed journals, 130 popular articles, 5 books and 10 book chapters. His latest two books are Terrestrial Gamebirds & Snipes of Africa and Birding in South Africa’s National Parks. Rob is also currently an Associate Editor for Ostrich.

Dr Rob Little.

Meryl-Lynne Harwood is a founding member of  Wildbooks and Escape to the Wild. Her Career path has led her to be involved in the advertising agency industry, where she held various management, executive and director positions. With her involvement in the advertising industry she gained vast experience and knowledge in printing and publishing. Thereafter Meryl-Lynne was national manager of the customer care division in a large company.

Meryl-Lynne is responsible for all administration, purchasing, distribution and customer care aspects of the company.

Meryl-Lynne and Joe’s combined love of nature, wildlife and birding led them to travel worldwide together enjoying their passion. 

Meryl-Lynne Harwood.

Tsakane Pila is a born South African entrepreneur, CEO and owner of Protech Training (Pty) Ltd, a company involved in the artisanal development in Construction And Electrical fields. Protech is accredited by the Energy and Water Sector Education and Training Authority (EWSETA).
He is the owner of Meloding Guest house (5 star rating) in Bela Bela.
The name Meloding means ‘singing of birds’. Tsakane is passionate about nature and birding and is in the process of developing a natural wetland at the guest house

Tsakane Pila

Our Independant Ambassadors and Associates

 Wildbooks has developed a ground breaking collaboration with local community, birding and wildlife tour leaders, conservationists and ambassadors.

The Birding Life

Birding is so much more than a hobby, it’s a lifestyle!

The Birding Life is dedicated to this crazy lifestyle that we call birding! It’s a lot more than just a page about chasing birds and adding more birds to a ‘life list’. This website is about getting to know the people that make up this birding community, learning more about birds (and how to conserve them), and along the way finding some amazing birds. 

Limpopo Birding Route

The Limpopo Birding Route was formed in 2003 successfully placing the Limpopo, Soutpansberg and Mpumalanga Valley on the birding map, both locally and internationally, which is a non-profit company promoting birding, conservation and biodiversity, rural economic development and empowerment amongst the local population. 

The Limpopo Birding Route is an IBA (Important Bird Area) and a hotspot.

  • Nylsvley Nature Reserve, This RAMSAR sit,e the largest and most intact seasonal floodplain in the country.
  • Magoebaskloof, Woodbush Forest, the Magoebaskloof, a mountainous region known for its untouched afromontane forests and bird life.
  • Kruger National Park. Located in the Province of Limpopo and Mpumalanga
  • Soutpansberg and Waterberg mountain range. The Soutpansberg forms part of the ‘Vhembe Biosphere Reserve’.

Escape to the Wild

Let us take you to visit and explore many of the most exciting birding and wildlife destinations in Southern Africa, Uganda, Ethiopia, Ghana and India. We would like to share this experience with you. Our born-and-bred local community guides and tour leaders, will enrich your journey. Escape with us to the birding and wildlife hot-spots in these uniquely diverse countries. Imagine visiting these spectacular wild places? Enjoy the Jungles, Nature Reserves, Deserts, Plains, Mountains, Rivers, Lakes along with the amazing Birds and Wildlife that call these destinations home. 

Jonathan Leeming

Jonathan is an author of 9 books including Scorpions of Southern Africa, First Aid Guide To Spider Bites & Scorpion Stings, and One World. His written work has shaped our understanding of venomous animals and influenced the next generation of conservationists and environmentalists.

Jonathan is one of Southern Africa’s leading experts on scorpions and their envenomation. Jonathan’s work aims to create a better understanding and tolerance of these misunderstood creatures. His unique use of human values and beliefs towards these animals as leverage for understanding where we are now, and how to create the future that we so desperately need.

Bustards Birding

Bustards Birding Tours

Bustards Birding Tours specialises in scheduled and customised tours for the avid birding and nature enthusiast.  Based in Johannesburg, South Africa, the Bustards are well positioned for access into Kgalagadi Augrabies National parks, Marrick Safari (Kimberly /birding and nocturnal animals) ,  Northern Tanzania, Kenya and Papua New Guinea birds of paradise. Pelagic trips out of Durban, Cape town and Occasionaly Maputo, Barra and Richards Bay

Bustards Birding Tours is run by Niall Perrins, a highly distinguished birder in southern Africa, Niall Perrins became renowned for his legendary birding skills and currently holds the record for seeing the most birds in the region in a single year, a remarkable 826 species in 2011. Niall Perrins is also a co author of Sasol Birds of Southern Africa 5th Edition.

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