Bronwyn Howard is a freelance environmental writer and has been scribbling since she was six years old. She won awards for poetry and writing when she was still at school. Due to circumstances, she had to write on a part-time, freelance basis for many years. When in her early twenties, Bronwyn started hiking and backpacking and this broadened her horizons and also enhanced her awareness of the natural world. After realizing that many of the pristine areas she enjoyed wandering through with her backpack on her back might not be around in years to come, she developed a keen interest and passion for conservation. She began writing on outdoor recreation (hiking, camping, birding and game reserve visits) in the mid-1990s, writing regularly for Great Outdoors and Out There magazines, as well as for The Saturday Star – Travel supplement and various others. She also wrote for the New York-based Fodor’s Guide to Southern Africa in 1997 and 1999, writing and updating several chapters for the book. In order to pay the rent, she worked first as a legal secretary before entering the South African travel industry in 1997, working as editor for Rennies Travel. A year later, after being retrenched, she started her own business as a marketing agent to the South African hospitality industry, representing game lodges, hotels and conference venues. She also wrote numerous travel articles for a variety of local publications. However, she still remained interested in conservation and began working part-time as an environmental education officer in 2001, working for Lapalala Wilderness in the Waterberg and the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens in western Johannesburg, as well as a variety of other concerns. She developed and ran her own programmes for Johannesburg schools, which included educational slide shows and outings. In 2004, Bronwyn began working as Marketing Manager for Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa, a travel NGO based in Pretoria. Later that year, she met Jock Tame, who is now her partner. The two became a writer/photographer team, with Bronwyn doing writing and Jock taking photographs. The two worked freelance for AA Traveller, Equinox and other magazines and newspapers.
In 2005, Bronwyn had an opportunity to work on a regular basis for the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens and did so for almost a year, working with a variety of school groups and facilitating various programmes. She also registered formally as a National Nature Guide. During this time, she started a business doing conference organizing and event management for Johannesburg corporates. Bronwyn and Jock then moved to the Southern Cape, where Bronwyn worked as marketing consultant to hotels, did travel writing and continued to work long-distance for her corporate conference and event clients. She and Jock later established a team building arm, which was very well received.
In mid-2009, the two moved back to Johannesburg due to the international recession. The idea was to start a birding tour company but they mainly took clients to Pilanesberg National Park to view big game and the Big Five in particular. They also offered nature-based tours during the Soccer World Cup in 2010. Bronwyn started a newsletter cum e-zine to promote the tours, which was very well received by the local and international market. In March 2009, Jock suggested she turn it into a proper magazine and The Birder was born. The e-zine went commercial in November that year and it was decided not to offer any advertising, to produce the e-zine electronically in order to save paper and the environment, and to have the e-zine available at a very affordable subscription. The e-zine has gone from strength to strength and, based on this success, Bronwyn and Jock decided to create two new e-zines – Conservation Africa and Young Ranger.
Jock Tame is a horticulturalist, botanist and golf course consultant. He has been working in the golf course industry in South Africa and abroad for over 30 years and has developed environmentally-friendly technologies for golf course management which also ensure excellent course condition. He was also responsible for managing the Alfred Dunhill tournaments at Houghton Golf Club, as well as other tournaments. He has been doing photography on a part-time basis for over 20 years and has had pictures published in a variety of magazines. He also worked as gardening editor for Homes & Gardens magazine, taking the publication into a new league. While in the Southern Cape, he worked as photographer for various accommodation establishments and tour companies and also consulted to golf courses. He also took photographs of conference venues and team builds for Bronwyn’s corporate clients. He currently takes nearly all the photographs for the magazines. He sells bird photographs printed on canvas, part of the proceeds of which go to BirdLife South Africa’s Secretarybird Project.