Being a Field Guide is not your average career, like all jobs it requires hard work and dedication, but its probably one of the most rewarding things you can do. It is a life changing experience, but you can’t just jump into a vehicle and start doing game drives, there is more to it than that.
Before we are allowed to take guests on game drives and bush walks, we have to go through some extensive training where we learn to interpret the bush and everything in it. We are taught to respect and have empathy towards the fauna and flora, to view the animals without disrupting their natural behaviour and to give guests a once in a life time experience.
In 2014 I decided to become a guide with the dream that I might get the opportunity to one day work at Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve. After completing my studies to become a qualified Field Guide, I was thrilled to hear that I was selected to join the Sabi Sabi selection course where we spent ten days camping in the bush. It was a tough, yet amazing experience that I will never forget.
I passed the selection course and started working for Sabi Sabi on the 15th of May 2015 and for the first few months I went through various lodge training based on all departments, which gave me a better, more hands-on understanding on how the lodges work and prepared me for my guiding career.
I still remember going on my first safari, being proud of myself for getting this far and grateful for the opportunity to live out my dream.
I love the fact that I can share my knowledge with my guests and I want them to leave Sabi Sabi not just with memories of the epic sighting we had, but with a better understanding and appreciation of the African Bush. I also find it captivating that there is still so much more that I need to know about the bush, and I’m eager to learn more about it.
I could not have done this without my tracker Zeblon, who I have been working with for over three years. We have become best friends and have learned to work together as a team to give guests the best safari experience possible. His wealth of knowledge regarding tracks, traditional beliefs, local medicinal uses of plants, and bush experience is a fundamental part of a safari.
Being a Field Guide, you get to experience so many wonderful natural events and you get to meet so many different people from all over the world. I have seen so many unforgettable things and experienced it with so many wonderful people. It doesn’t matter how many times you have been on safari, the bushveld won’t stop surprising you. I always say that you might get to see the same species of animals over and over again, but their behaviour will never be exactly the same, and the more you get to see them, the more you realize that different individuals have different personalities. You also get to see different animals interacting with each other and this makes every safari a mystery which still gives me goose bumps not knowing what I’m going to see on the next safari.
Being a Field Guide is not just a job, it’s a passion.