Adrian Gardiner "was educated in Zimbabwe and completed a B.Comm Degree at the University of Cape Town. His entrepreneurial career began in 1974 and his commercial flair in building businesses spanned swimming pool construction and specialist plant hire to commercial retirement and health care centres.
"He has been highly successful in the tourism industry where he developed the Mantis Group comprising luxury hotels and the internationally famous award winning Shamwari Game Reserve. His extensive business empire includes retirement villages, travel agencies, hire companies and consultancies." 
"In 1990, Adrian Gardiner, a successful businessman from Port Elizabeth bought a small farm as a week-end getaway for his family, this consisted of 1200 ha of African bush, a dream he had always had, growing up in Zimbabwe...
"Adrian developed a close and enduring relationship with renowned conservationists, Dr Ian Player and John Aspinall. The concept of conservation and tourism working in synergy was possible.
"On 15th October 1992, Shamwari was officially opened, receiving it’s first guests into Long Lee Manor, circa 1916, the original Manor House, once owned by the Fowld’s family. Highfield and Carn Ingly, two 1820 Settler cottages were also, at this time lovingly restored and opened to guests.
"An Animal Rescue and Educational program was launched, in partnership with the Born Free Foundation to home rescued big cats from captivity. The Julie Ward Centre was opened on 30 September 1999 with five bush enclosures." 
- Chair, Wilderness Foundation (South Africa)
- Trustee, African Wildlife Foundation 
- Former Trustee, Wilderness Leadership School