Bernard was born and grew up in Pretoria, although he spent as much time as he could going to the Kruger National Park and surrounding areas. The three years following his graduation from high school he spent hitchhiking through Botswana and Namibia, training and working with horses in the eastern Free State, bartending and also completing various nature guiding courses.
Bernard started his guiding career a week after turning 21 and has worked in the Klaserie Private Game Reserve and on a private concession in the Kruger National Park for the past seven years. His main interests are African history, ethnobotany, birding and indigenous southern African languages and cultures. He also speaks Xitsonga fluently and has been studying the language for the last seven years.