Jeremy Wallace Williamson was born in Durban in 1948 to third generation settlers, originally from Great Britain.
He was brought up on farms in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands and Zululand, where he learnt to speak Zulu and to understand the people and their ways. The environment in which he was raised nurtured his love for nature and wildlife.
Jeremy was a highly qualified tour guide and a longstanding member of various wildlife and ornithological clubs.
As an avid book collector, Jeremy maintains a library on all material pertaining to the fauna, flora and peoples of the sub-region, primarily as a study aid. His collection, which includes a photographic slide library, is continually being added to.
A tour company is born
Jeremy began extended touring of southern Africa in the early 1980s, taking friends and acquaintances on tours into the wildlife protected areas of KwaZulu-Natal, the Kruger National Park and other regions within South Africa.
These tours increased in popularity and he received more and more frequent requests to guide safaris to many southern African wildlife destinations. As the political climate changed so the tours visited Botswana, Zimbabwe, then later Zambia and Malawi.
Guided tours were usually preceded by trips to the area with his family in order to research the potential and to gain local knowledge. This way of life led Jeremy to formalise his tour guiding operation and to the formation of African Wilderness Tours cc in 1991 with an associate.
Far and Wild Safaris cc was registered in 1993 as Jeremy’s primary safari tour operation. He is the only member of the close corporation.
Jeremy was registered as a National Tour guide in both Nature and Culture at NQF Level 4. KZN 083 by the former Tourism and Hospitality Sector Education and Training Authority (Theta).
He wss registered by Theta as a National Guide assessor (#WIL107C), and holds an SA Tourism qualification as a wildlife specialist and a Kruger National Park guide.
He was a member of the KZN South Field Guides Association of South Africa local committee between 2004 and 2005. He also has a Level 2 qualification from the Field Guides Association of South Africa.
It’s not only on land where Jeremy’s expertise lies. He is qualified in SCUBA as a Master Diver, having dived extensively off South Africa’s shores as well as the Seychelles and Madagascar. He has also done diving trips to British Colombia and the Mediterranean off Spain, the Greek Isles and Turkey.
Far and Wild Safaris cc presently has a number of SA Tourism registered tour guides on its books which it uses on a regular basis. The company is a member of the South African Tourism Services Association, Durban CTO and the Battlefields Route.
The early years
Jeremy attended school in Durban and, after matriculating, furthered his studies in Zoology and Botany in Pietermaritzburg. He’s been married since 1974 and has three children.
During the 1980s Jeremy was invited by the Bureau of Natural Resources, Department of Nature Conservation, now known as Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, to assist their conservation and cultural efforts as an honorary officer. He worked mainly in northern KZN (Maputaland) and the Drakensberg regions.
Jeremy joined the Natal Parks Board Honorary Officers in the Durban, Inland Unit, in 1995. Soon after he joined the committee and became chairman of the unit a year later.
Jeremy then served as chairman of the Hluhluwe Honorary Officers Group, between 1999 to 2002. In 2002 he was appointed coordinator of Zululand, of the Honorary Officer Organisation, here he had to liaise with all the Zululand Honorary Officer Groups, he resigned in October 2006.
He was also a member of the Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife Local Board for the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park between 2000 and 2005.
Jeremy now focuses on the general operation of Far and Wild Safaris and in particular, the marketing of various wildlife orientated venues throughout South Africa. Jeremy and his wife Lana are presently actively promoting these destinations, visiting as many as possible to secure photographs of the Lodges and their wildlife.
These photographs are used on their various websites and Social Media forums.