ORYX Photography: Photo Tour Leader: Daniel Danckwerts

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Daniel Danckwerts grew up in southern Zambia where, from a very young age, he gained a strong appreciation for all things wild. His weekends were spent wandering through dambos and in miombo woodland, always in hot pursuit of the next lifer, or otherwise trying to persuade his family to join him on more distant trips further afield. From the age of about 9, Daniel was already an enthusiastic birdwatcher but, at the age of 10, he moved to South Africa to attend a boarding school. This move presented him with a smorgasbord of new potential lifers and opportunities for travel.

Daniel’s childhood passion for birds ignited a spark that led him to pursue an academic career, studying the feathered creatures he had so fallen in love with. After finishing his BSc, Honours, and Masters Degrees in Zoology at Rhodes University, Daniel completed his PhD – his greatest achievement to date – which centred around the population structure of tropical seabirds in the Indian Ocean. This research has critically influenced the conservation of several threatened species and has spring-boarded many future research projects.

As one of his greatest pleasures in life is sharing his passion and knowledge of birds with anyone who is willing to listen, it seemed almost natural that Daniel has progressed into bird guiding.

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