About The Bateleurs

Founded in 1998, The Bateleurs is a South African Non Profit Company (NPC), with over 200 volunteer pilots and aircraft. It provides its beneficiaries and the public with an aerial perspective of the environment and has coordinated several diverse missions throughout South Africa and Africa in support of environmental issues.  Its mission is well-aligned with the United Nations Millennium Goals, ensuring environmental sustainability and assisting with the integration of the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes.

The Bateleurs provides decision-makers, researchers, educators, other NPC’s and the media with information which assists them to make sound environmental decisions. There is no charge to beneficiaries for the environmental missions flown by The Bateleurs, and a rigorous process is in place to review and approve (or not) all flight requests, to monitor missions and track all the activities of The Bateleurs. Pilot members and their aircraft provide the equivalent of 70% of the annual budget, the balance is sourced through fundraising activities.

In addition to assisting the above organisations, The Bateleurs’ Bonizwe Programme assists university students who have already chosen a course of study within conservation and/or the environment.  We offer Bateleurs flights to our partner tertiary institutions as part of a practical exercise to be included in the curriculum of a relevant course for senior students.  In this way, flights sponsored by The Bateleurs Bonizwe project build on learning and knowledge already acquired by the students and add the benefit of an aerial perspective.

Should you have any queries about The Bateleurs – Flying for the Environment in Africa, please

What we Do


The Bateleurs provides a free-of-charge aerial service to beneficiary (requesting) organisations, providing them with an aerial perspective on environmental issues, with the objective of informing better decision-making.

The Bateleurs will fly to:

Conserve and protect the earth’s diverse ecosystems;

Expose and reverse the unsustainable use and destructive human exploitation of the earth’s biotic resources;

Assist those who design and advocate natural resource policies that protect or restore life-sustaining ecosystems, and empower others in their efforts to maintain a healthy and productive environment;

Support biodiversity research and management in the area of wildlife conservation, including game counts, habitat surveys and the translocation of animals and birds.

Operational procedures

Sign-up, as pilot members

of our NPC, people in South Africa and southern Africa who are private pilots and have purchased their own aircraft, and who are willing to volunteer their time and aircraft to fly missions to help other NPCs, engaged with conserving and protecting our environment – land, water, plant- and wild-life

Connect with other NPCs

and government departments, educators, researchers, parks and reserves, the media, etc., and offer them an aerial perspective of the problems or issues that they are addressing – free of charge. We call these organisations ‘beneficiaries’ and there is no charge at all to a beneficiary organisation or individual for a Bateleurs-supported flight

Review requests:

When a beneficiary asks for a flight to determine the extent of, or record or photograph or otherwise explore, an issue or problem, we review their request and, if it is approved, we find a volunteer pilot willing to fly the mission for them

Co-ordinate missions:

We put the volunteer pilot in touch with the beneficiary and ensure that the mission is flown, following which The Bateleurs makes a small donation to the pilot related to the costs of the fuel and landing fees for the specific mission. The only contribution that we ask of a beneficiary is that they provide us with a short report and photographs of the mission, for use in our newsletters, on our website and in our reports to donors. Pilots are also asked to provide post-flight reports and captioned photographs.

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