Who we are

Heritage Africa is an independent family business founded by Michael Giles and Bernadette Moffat. Michael is an expatriate American and Bernadette is South African. Bernadette left apartheid South Africa to go to college in the US. We met in law school in NY, both practiced law in Washington, DC and moved to South Africa as a couple nearly a quarter of a century ago. Our move here and our business endeavors have attracted quite a few news stories.

In the American press, we have enjoyed television coverage on Good Morning America, and on CNN’s Travel Guide, the latter piece aired for the second time in January 2000. Some of the publications that have covered us are Fortune Magazine, Newsweek, The Washington Post and The Chicago Tribune.

The London Times also did a story on us. As have all three of South Africa’s then largest national papers – Sunday Business Times, Business Day and the Sunday Times.

Here is what some have noted.


Heritage Africa is … at the epicenter of [tourism] to South Africa.

September 10, 2002

South Africa will have to create new wealth… for democracy to work. So far the couple [Michael Giles and Bernadette Moffat] is off to a good start.

May 14, 1994

[With] missionary zeal [to] make their contribution to the new South Africa…Bernadette Moffat and her husband Michael Giles sold their house and gave up six figure salaries as lawyers in Washington.

October 2, 1994

Michael Giles saw opportunity … the Columbia Law graduate left the US to settle in South Africa in 1993

October 17, 1994

Why We Left Law To Do Safaris

An important business
Sadly in today’s world wildlife has to “pay” its way and safaris do just that. People pay to see wild animals in their natural habitat. This creates jobs for locals who are trackers, guides, chefs, game rangers at safari lodges and camps. Safaris are a critical source of employment – in a place like South Africa for example one person working at a game lodge could easily be supporting 7 or more family members – their housing, their food, their educational costs, their medical costs. Without the salaries and tips that come from wildlife tourists, there are few alternatives for these locals. Poaching and natural habitat erosion – already huge problems – would dramatically increase and threatened animal species would soon be extinct.

A good business
On top of our love for nature and wildlife, on top of the vital role that wildlife safaris play in terms of preserving animals and habitats, on a daily basis we experience the satisfaction of seeing that our safaris make people HAPPY!

And that makes us feel good – seeing people reconnect and bond again as families, spouses, friends. Or connect in ways that they never connected before. No trip does that better than an African safari – where everyone is in awe of the majesty of nature and wildlife. Creating precious life long memories. And in a practical and sustainable way helping to save Africa’s wild habitats and wild animals while giving meaningful work to its local people. Transforming lives both of those who go on safari and the locals who host them.

For me and Bernadette (and by extension for our daughter Maya who is also involved in the business now), there is just no comparison between what we do now and practicing law for big city law firms. We are happy, we get to do what we love and our guests are happy – take a look at the testimonials – and let us know if we can help put together a life changing, amazing safari for you!