02 November 2012 by Mildred Thabane

A nature guide’s top must-see destinations in South Africa

Englishman William Lawson fell in love with the bush after just 1 trip to Africa. This nature guide instructor tells us about his favourite places in South Africa.

Nature guide instructor William Lawson

I’d been at the Karongwe Private Game Reserve for a week – chasing rhinos, marvelling at the beauty of the bush and learning about biomimicry. And, of course, learning all sorts of fascinating things from my nature guide instructor, William Lawson.

I took time out to ask William what brought him to the bush and about his top 5 places in South Africa.

A view of the Drakensberg mountains from the Karongwe Private Game Reserve

He was born in Yorkshire in the United Kingdom, and, when asked what brought him all the way to the South African bush, said he’s always been a 'country bumpkin'.

'Yorkshire has lots of countryside and I always wanted to be outdoors,' said William.

That’s what led William to study geography at the University of Edinburgh, and it was then that he got a chance to travel to Maasai Mara in Kenya. He said he found himself quizzing one of the guides on the trip, and his interest for the bush was born.

He searched for nature guiding courses online when he returned home and found EcoTraining, a leading field guide and nature training programme. 'On my 21st birthday I was given a grant from my university to go to Karongwe and do the 28-day field guide and nature training course with EcoTraining.'

On my 21st birthday I was given a grant from my university to go to Karongwe and do the 28-day field guide and nature training course.

He has subsequently worked at the Kruger National Park, Shamwari in the Eastern Cape, and Sabi Sabi.

William also has a dive-master qualification, which he obtained because of his further passion for the marine environment.

These are William's top 5 places to visit in South Africa:

Kruger National Park: 'The Kruger is just so special to me. I’ll always love it.'

Sabi Sands: 'The game viewing at Sabi Sands is absolutely prolific. If you want the best game-viewing experience, then you have to go to Sabi Sands.'

Drakensberg: 'Those mountains are too beautiful for words.'

Southern Kalahari: 'The Kalahari is such a peaceful place. It’s open and I just go there to get in touch with nature.'

The Cape: 'I love the Cape for its fynbos and, of course, Table Mountain.'

Category: Attractions

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