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As a boy I grew up on a farm in the Limpopo province of South Africa. I come from a family of farmers. They have been farmers all their lives. After school hours, together with the farm workers’ kids, I used to sneak off into the bush on little adventures, not returning before dusk.

Being country kids, this was how we entertained ourselves. This was where my calling to work and live in the bush began. I worked at a dairy farm together with my father for a year, but the bush kept calling for me, and I undertook a field guide course and began the journey towards a new life as a bush guide.

My first job was at a well known local animal rehab center, where I was arranging tours and helping out with animal rehabilitation. After that I worked for several different commercial lodges throughout the Lowveld in the Waterberg area, as well as the north and the west provinces.

During this time I also went out to see the World, and went to work in both England and Scotland.

On my return to South Africa I went back to doing what I loved most: tour guiding and animal work. I got involved with large animal introduction and training of prospective new guides.

 

My job at Mpala

I started working for Mpala Safari Lodge on September 22 this year. I consider my job at the Mpala Safari Lodge as the culmination of 13 years in the industry. I had reached a point in my career where I needed a new challenge and the variety of activities at the lodge interested me from day one.

Since my first course I have kept adding to my education and have gained the following certifications:

• Level 3 track and sign certificate
• Level 1 first aid certificate
• Trails guide certificate
• Level 2 FGASA (Field Guides Association of South Africa)
• Wine course
• Customer care certificate

I feel deeply blessed to be in the nature and like to call it my office.

My biggest passion in the wild is tracking. I find the story told by the signs left by the animals very fascinating. I also enjoy fishing whenever I can.

 

Elephants cross our path at Mpala

On a bushwalk recently I was reminded just how much we as humans are living in the backyard of the animals.

As we drove to an area in which we wanted to walk in the afternoon, we were lucky to see three young black backed jackals playing outside their den, carefully avoiding straying too far from their hole.

We walked towards a waterhole looking at tracks and interesting trees along the way. I had the guests sample sour plums, which no sweet from a shop can rival.

On the return loop I noticed a breeding herd of elephants on our left hand side on a pathway leading towards the water. I moved us a bit further away to give the elephants the space they needed to move on along the pathway. We found ourselves on a bush track that offered good space all around. A breeding herd of elephants always have to be approached with some caution, as the presence of elephant babies make the mothers a bit tense. The important thing in this situation was to give the elephants enough space to cross the track safely, which they did. We counted 18 in all, including a tiny baby elephant protectively surrounded by adults. We were awestruck at their quiet passing, and a few elephant heads turned towards us as to say “we see you…”.