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Sustain is a consulting services company possessing extensive expertise and experience in the ecotourism, environmental management and agricultural consulting sectors. We love to provide solutions to projects that enhance ecotourism potential and/or offer optimal environmental outcomes, and believe in pursuing sustainable and responsible development and operations.


Our offices are based in Cape Town, South Africa, and the company manages a range of ecotourism, environmental and agricultural projects across the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and Middle East regions. We seek to offer passion, expertise, excellence and honesty to every project, and are able to work in remote locations and overcome most logistical challenges.

At Sustain we believe and understand that achieving biodiversity preservation and expansion in a global environment increasingly under developmental and utilization pressures, requires sustainable and responsible developments and operations that provide socio-economic benefits and environmental education, while simultaneously respecting communities and cultures. Hence, in undertaking our work we subscribe to the 4Cs framework, which provides our business with a concrete way to internalize sustainability in our operations and decision-making, namely: Conservation, Community, Culture and Commerce.

In essence, we care about creating a biodiversity economy that provides real returns in the following four areas: the Return of Virtue and Inspiration, the Return of Natural Capital, the Return of Social Capital, and the Return of Financial Capital. These returns need to be realized in the following two zones: the Natural Zone and the Socio-economic Zone. Without such interventions, the alternative is certain development and utilization in an unsustainable manner, which leads to the unaffordable loss of biodiversity and life.

Our focus disciplines include:

  • Tourism Planning, Development and Consulting – primarily ecotourism and adventure tourism;

  • Environmental Consulting – management, planning, assessments and agricultural potential assessments;

  • Project Management – project control manager role.

Sustain currently holds a Level 4 B-BBEE certification and is a B-BBEE Exempted Micro Enterprise in South Africa.

Download our Company Brochure here.

In addition to our consulting division, we also have a second division to our company, a tour operating division named Sustain Wildlife and Birding Safaris. For more information, see:​

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SUSTAIN Company Brochure
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Development for biodiversity
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The company was founded in 2010, and is owned and managed by Michael Wright and his good wife, Natalie Wright.


Michael possesses over 23 years of valuable consulting experience from providing ecotourism and environmental management services to a multitude of greenfields and brownfields projects throughout Africa and the Middle East. Natalie possesses 27 years of valuable business experience from having managed the finances and offices of several companies.

Michael Wright
Founder, Ecotourism Consultant and Environmental Scientist, Nature Tour Operator
Natalie Wright
Founder, Finance and Administration Manager

Download Michael's CV here.

Michael is a passionate naturalist, conservationist and adventurer who loves birding, rare mammals, flyfishing, hiking, walking trails and photography. He is a registered professional in natural science, nature tour guiding and ecotourism consulting with 23 years’ of industry experience.

Michael has worked in South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Eswatini (Swaziland), Mozambique, Lesotho, and the United States of America, and has visited Mauritius and Mexico several times on holiday. During his Southern and East African adventures he has explored 119 National Parks, Game Reserves and Nature Reserves, and to date has stayed in 157 safari lodges, bush camps, resorts, hotels and campsites, while having visited many more.

Michael currently holds a Southern African bird lifelist of 722 species, a Southern African mammal lifelist of 124 species, a South African butterfly lifelist of 104 species, and a South African frog lifelist of 35 species.

​Although Michael has developed valuable knowledge and experience in the field over many years, he loves taking every opportunity to immerse himself in nature, to continue to learn from it, to teach others about its extraordinary beauty and value, to learn from those who conserve it, and to share nature-based and adventure experiences with people from all over the world.

His work life has largely been entrepreneurial in nature: relating to the nature guiding, environmental consulting, ecotourism consulting, safari lodge development, operating and marketing fields. When combined with his tertiary education, he has developed significant experience in these disciplines.

​In addition to owning and managing Sustain Ecotourism and Environmental, Michael also owns and manages a nature tour operating business called Sustain Wildlife and Birding Safaris, for which he is also the Principal Tour Leader.

Purpose in Work

  • To ensure sustainable and responsible tourism developments and operations;

  • To establish viable wildlife economies and tourism destinations;

  • To expand and enhance protected areas and biodiversity through regenerative tourism, conservation and wildlife enterprise;

  • To promote the environmental education of our clients and communities;

  • To positively transform ecosystems and the communities around them;

  • To bring about both environmental and social good.


Key Characteristics and Experience

  • Key skills include leadership, administration, analysis, research, project co-ordination, creativity.

  • Values love, integrity, honour, faithfulness, excellence, professionalism, business ethic, respect, teamwork, relationships, service, socio-economic upliftment, and justice;

  • Man of faith, family and friends;

  • Reverence for the Lord, all His people and His creation;

  • Passionate about ecotourism, environmental planning and management, ecotourism property development and guest experiences, and shared vacation ownership;

  • Passionate about nature, wildlife, adventure, sport, the outdoors, travel and exploring;

  • Acquired broad and significant skills and experience in business at shareholder, director, executive management and employee level in several companies over 23 years;

  • Analytical, diligent, methodical, like results and to grow and develop things to fruition;

  • Hobbies: fishing, birding, golf, touch rugby, gym, photography, nature getaways, ministry, snowboarding, other ball sports; 

  • Countries worked in: South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, United States of America, Dubai, Mozambique, Eswatini, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Kenya, Morocco, Egypt, and Senegal.


Professional Qualifications

  • Professional Natural Scientist: Environmental Science (2018) – South African Council for Natural Science Professions (SACNASP) – Reg. No. 009205;

  • B.Sc. Agriculture (Agribusiness & Wildlife Science) (2001) – University of KwaZulu-Natal Pietermaritzburg (1998 - 2001);

  • Estate Agency Affairs Board – Qualified Estate Agent (2007);

  • Regional Nature Guide – NQF Level 4 – THETA (2003);

  • Local Bird Guide – NQF Level 4 – Birdlife South Africa (2003).


Professional Memberships

  • Environmental Assessment Practitioners Association of South Africa (EAPASA) – Since 2019;

  • South African Council for Natural Science Professions (SACNASP) – Reg. No. 009205 – Since 2014;

  • International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) Tourism and Protected Areas Specialist (TAPAS) Group – Since 2016;

  • The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) – Since 2012;

  • International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIAsa) – Reg. No. 3287 – Since 2012;

  • Birdlife South Africa – Reg. No. 1039173 – Since 2015;

  • Field Guide Association of Southern Africa (FGASA) – Reg. No. W0924 – Since 2002.


Academic Honours

  • Awarded the Agricultural Economics of South Africa National Prize for the best Under-Graduate Thesis of 2001;

  • Awarded the H.I. Berhmann Book Prize for the final year BScAgric, BAgricMgt (Hons) or BCom (Hons) candidate with the best performance in Agricultural Economics or Agribusiness.



  • Author of a chapter entitled, “Funding Proposals for New Tourism Ventures”, in the book entitled, “Handbook of Applied Research for Sustainable Tourism: A Guide for Practitioners”, edited by Dr Anna Spenceley. Edward Elgar Publishing, 2021.

  • Tariff Determination of Safari Lodges in South African Game Reserves using the Hedonic Pricing Method. Michael Wright.: Lambert Academic Publishing, 2017. ISDN: 978-3-330-31738-3.


Additional Qualifications, Certificates and Training

  • Certified South African Specialist – South African Tourism – May 2020;

  • EIA Law Event – Business Success Solutions (BSS) – February 2020;

  • Public-Private Partnerships Foundation Training Course – May 2019;

  • Toastmasters South Africa – Oct 2018;

  • Tourist Guide – National Department of Tourism (NDT) – Reg. No. KZN0688 – 2003-2005, 2019-2022;

  • National Federation of Tourist Guides & Affiliates (South Africa) – Reg. No. 1900464 – Since 2020;

  • Introduction to Project Management Course – ECSA accredited – Nov 2014;

  • Firearms Competency – Firearms Control Act, Rifle, Shotgun, Handgun, Self-loading Carbine – Apr 2009;

  • Field Guide Association of South Africa (FGASA) – Level 1 – Oct 2002;

  • Professional Driving Permit (PDP) – Code 08 and Code 10 – 2002, 2015, 2019;

  • South African Red Cross Society – Level 1 First Aid Course – May 2002, renewed Apr 2019;

  • Educational Institute of the American Hotel & Lodging Association – Spirit of Hospitality Programme – Aug 2002;

  • Beaver Run Resort and Conference Centre (Premier Resorts) – Spirit in Service Training Class – Dec 2001;

  • Temba Game Viewers (Pty) Ltd – 2 Week Safari Vehicle Mechanics Training – 2002.


Conferences Attended

  • Eco Hotel Summit – 2021;

  • Virtual African Bird Fair – 2020, 2023;

  • World Travel Market Africa – 2023;

  • Indaba Tourism Show – 2003, 2004, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2013 to 2017, 2019;

  • Environmental Assessment Practitioners Association of South Africa (EAPASA) Launch – 2018;

  • Hotelier Summit Africa – 2016;

  • Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife Investor Summit – 2016;

  • International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIAsa) Conference – 2016;

  • Animal Demography Unit Conference, by the University of Cape Town – 2015;

  • SADC Transfrontier Conservation Areas Workshop – 2014;

  • Hospitality Investment Conference for Africa (HICA) – 2007, 2013;

  • Vacation Ownership Association of South Africa (VOASA) – 2010.

Download Natalie's CV here.

Natalie is an financial and administrative whizz who loves taking care of her family, staying healthy, the outdoors and reading.

Natalie is our office manager and the administrative and financial heart of the company, ensuring its efficient functioning, and keeping all the good checks and balances in place.

Natalie has worked in South Africa and Mozambique, and holds diplomas in Bookkeeping and Nature Conservation, and certificates in financial accounting and payroll.

Natalie also manages Sustain's sister company, a nature tour operating business called Sustain Wildlife and Birding Safaris.

Key Characteristics and Experience

  • Key skills include financial management, administration, organisation.

  • Countries worked in: South Africa, Mozambique.


Professional Qualifications

  • Diploma in Bookkeeping (2003);

  • National Diploma in Nature Conservation - Incomplete (2000).


Additional Qualifications, Certificates and Training

  • Financial Accounts I (Advanced Bookkeeping) (2005);

  • Pastel Partner, Advanced, Payroll (2004).

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“We are a small and growing consultancy. We look forward to meeting you and your team and helping you define your vision, develop solutions, and realize them! Let's make it happen :-)" 

Michael Wright, Owner of Sustain

“With age, comes wisdom. With travel, comes understanding.”

Sandra Lake

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