> > Etosha National Park

Outstanding Etosha National Park Guide

It's critical to find a good field guide and safari company when visiting this iconic wildlife area and these guides have all the necessary qualifications and experience to ensure a fantastic trip.

QUALIFICATIONS
  • NAMIBIA NATIONAL LEVEL 4
  • NATIONAL DIPLOMA IN TOURISM MANAGEMENT AT NAMIBIA POLYTECHNIC (NUST)
  • BTECH DEGREE IN TOURISM MANAGEMENT FROM CAPE PENINSULA UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
EXPERIENCE
  • 2003 TO PRESENT: I started at the well-known Wolwedans collection of lodges south of the famous Sossusvlei area in Namibia. This lodge is based in the NamibRand Nature Reserve, one of the biggest private Reserves in Southern Africa.

WHY AND HOW DID YOU BECOME A GUIDE?

Growing up in the Kalahari Desert, I always had a love for the outdoors, collecting berries, collecting firewood and of course playing in the bush whilst collecting.

After school I got the opportunity to study in Windhoek and I chose to study tourism. Whilst studying I had the chance to do my internship at Wolwedans, and also had a great part-time lecturer who was also training guides at a private institution, and she convinced me to join.

I joined and finished the guide training and had some of the best trainers such as the late Dr. Hu Berry and Helmut zur Strassen, legends in Namibia.

WHAT MAKES A GOOD SAFARI GUIDE?

Someone who is well-versed, well articulated and knows the area he works in very well. But more than that he should have good global knowledge on many issues. In my opinion, a good guide should also speak loud and clear when explaining things.

FAVOURITE ANIMAL?

Clear winner is the leopard, being such a shy, secretive and rarely seen animal.

MOST MEMORABLE SIGHTING?

A leopard, whilst I was doing a walking safari on the NamibRand Nature Reserve. We were disembarking from our vehicle to start our walk and spotted the leopard sitting a few meters away from us, next to an old water reservoir.

He was so shocked to see us and started walking away from us, but moved in the same direction that we were to go. He disappeared behind some grasses and I had to make sure where he was. I went with my walking stick and tapped on the grass and he got out behind the grass and went in a different direction. Of course, everyone was all smiles arriving back at the camp.

INTERESTING ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR?

Lions in the Etosha National Park. I was driving out of the Park, Okaukuejo side towards the Andersson gate, and just about 2-3km before the gate I spotted a lioness and we went back to look at her. She walked straight up to us behind the car and came to my side and started smelling the right rear tyre, and started biting on it.

Suddenly I heard the tyre losing air and I pulled away and luckily got to the gate, which was already closed and I had to convince the police that it was because of the lion. I had to change the tyre after they let me out.

Back to the Top

QUALIFICATIONS
  • BVSc VETERINARY SCIENCE DEGREE
  • ECOTRAINING FIELD GUIDING COURSE, SOUTH AFRICA
EXPERIENCE
  • 2008 TO PRESENT: Guiding wildlife, birding, conservation and veterinary safaris throughout Namibia as well as leading tours all over Africa. As a wildlife and conservation vet I also guide a lot of veterinary and conservation trips with vet students and clients interested in getting a behind the scenes look at wildlife conservation.

WHY AND HOW DID YOU BECOME A GUIDE?

I grew up exploring the bush at every possible opportunity and realised that I enjoy sharing that love and passion with people. And I believe that if you really love what you then you don’t work a day in your life. With this in mind I realised that to become a safari guide is something that I would love and can do for the rest of my life. Haven’t looked back since!!

WHAT MAKES A GOOD SAFARI GUIDE?

A guide must want to be out there in the bush as much or even more than the clients. And of course a passion and love for the bush and sharing that with people.

FAVOURITE ANIMAL?

Definitely African wild dog. Love the pack dynamics and organisation of these endangered carnivores. Also have a soft spot for spotted hyaenas as I have been fortunate to spend a lot of time working with them as a wildlife vet.

MOST MEMORABLE SIGHTING?

Easy question with a very long answer but will keep it to a summary. Was watching a leopard drink at a river’s edge when Wild Dogs chased an impala straight to the leopard. Leopard caught the impala (with spectacular backflip) looked up and saw the dogs coming straight at him.

He let the impala go and ran up the nearest tree flushing a Vereaux’s Eagle-owl. The impala jumped into the river where a Hippo tried to push it out. A Crocodile eventually killed the Impala, Dogs moved off leaving a very grumpy leopard in the tree. On the way back to camp we found another leopard sleeping in a tree. All this being the only vehicle at the scene!

INTERESTING ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR?

So many come to mind but I still love watching the interaction between a honey badger digging up rodents and Pale Chanting Goshawks.

BEST EXPERIENCE OF YOUR GUIDING CAREER?

Every time I drive into Etosha National Park which is my favourite park (grew up very close to the park) and one of the best in Africa. And getting the opportunity to explore a new park or area.

MOST EMBARRASSING GUIDING MOMENT?

I was tracking down (fresh tracks) the desert adapted Lions in north-western Namibia when I got the vehicle stuck between two low dunes. Being the only vehicle and no mobile network, I had to make my way to the nearest ranger station which was about 4km away. Luckily the lions were nowhere to be seen.

Back to the Top

QUALIFICATIONS
  • DEGREE IN NATURE CONSERVATION
  • FGASA FIELD GUIDE NQF4
  • SKS BIRDING SPECIALIST
EXPERIENCE
  • 2011 TO PRESENT: I have lead wildlife and birding tours across Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia and know Namibia like the back of my hand.

WHY AND HOW DID YOU BECOME A GUIDE?

I have always grown up around wildlife since I literally grew up in the JHB Zoo. Since a young age I was exposed to a wide variety of wildlife and been involved in wildlife education and the threats they face. While finishing my degree in Nature Conservation I soon realized the only way to protect our wildlife is through education and exposing people to wildlife in a positive manner.

I qualified as a guide as I started the educational and tour program at the Chimpanzee Sanctuary; I also got involved in guiding school groups in the wildlife areas and this lead to me becoming a qualified guide to do this in an effective manner. Educating the public is a passion almost as strong as my love for the wildlife.

WHAT MAKES A GOOD SAFARI GUIDE?

A person with a love for wildlife, love for people, and a clear strong mind. We must be able to share our wonderful office with our guests and must enjoy spending time with people in the wild on safari. We must ensure our guests are safe and enjoying themselves all the time and ensure we give our best to our guests.

We are there to ensure they have an amazing safari while staying safe. We must be able to handle stressful situations and be good problem solvers and ensure that this does not affect our guests and their safari experience. We have the best office in the world; we can’t let simple things upset us.

FAVOURITE ANIMAL?

The Wild Dog- also called African painted dogs or cape hunting dogs. They are just amazing, the most endangered carnivore in Africa after the Ethiopian wolf. I love their mannerisms, way of life, and their character. They are so beautiful and are very interesting. I have been lucky in the sense that I have been able to join researchers conducting research on this special mammal.

MOST MEMORABLE SIGHTING?

Being fortunate enough to watch the entire hunt from start to finish of two male cheetah killing and eating a springbok on the edge of Etosha Pan in Etosha National Park. A close second was having lions bring down a buffalo next to us while on safari in Bwabwata National Park in the Caprivi Strip-Northern Namibia.

INTERESTING ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR?

Definitely seeing a spotted hyaena eating another hyaena in Etosha National Park.

BEST EXPERIENCE OF YOUR GUIDING CAREER?

Finding my first ever Pangolin in the wild with repeat guests as we exited Etosha National Park and headed for the Caprivi Strip.

MOST EMBARRASSING GUIDING MOMENT?

I was guiding a wildlife safari in Namibia and during our stay in Etosha I lost the keys for the safari vehicle in the trash. I had cleaned out the vehicle the night before and had accidently thrown the keys in the bin with the trash. Imagine having your guests up early and ready and waiting to go on safari and you can’t find the keys. After retracing my steps I did finally get the keys. Very embarrassing.

Back to the Top

QUALIFICATIONS
  • BSC (HONS) IN FOREST RESOURCES AND WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT
  • ZIMBABWEAN GUIDING LICENCE
EXPERIENCE
  • 2006 TO PRESENT: Victoria Falls Zimbabwe (1 year), Hwange National Park Zimbabwe (1 year), Kafue National Park Zambia (1 year), Etosha National Park Namibia (3 years), Kavita Lion Lodge ,Western Etosha, Namibia (1 year), Okonjima Reserve, North Central Namibia (5 years), tour guiding around Namibia, Kaokoveld, Damaraland, Khaudum, Zambezi, Fish River and Skeleton Coast (3 years).

WHY AND HOW DID YOU BECOME A GUIDE?

From a young age herding cattle in the African bush, I was always fascinated by nature and would have a good time. Travelling and experiencing different cultures around the world, I find it life fulfilling. The link between humans and our natural world and striking the balance is fascinating.

My pre-graduate study was mainly focused on biodiversity conservation and research, of which man has much influence on, hence sustainability implies incorporation of human cultures and attitudes towards nature. Being a safari guide gives me the opportunity to travel and enjoy cultures and nature at the same time ensuring long term survival of biodiversity.

WHAT MAKES A GOOD SAFARI GUIDE?

Love what you do as a safari guide. It does not feel like a job but feels like living a life. Your guest experience and interests are your priority. Enjoy every moment with your guests and make sure they are well informed and happy all the time. Get to know your guests and they get to know you as well. As a safari guide be well versed with different topics around the world and have ethics and respect towards nature.

FAVOURITE ANIMAL?

Very difficult question. I enjoy all animals from birds to large mammals.

MOST MEMORABLE SIGHTING?

I must admit, it is a very difficult question as I have had lots of sightings ranging from witnessing lion, leopard and cheetah kills, rare bird/vagrant sighting, intra and interspecific competition in the animal world, interacting with wildlife on foot. Mostly when I look at an animal it will remind on the memorable sighting with that specific species.

INTERESTING ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR?

Quite a lot as well. Cheetahs hunting and killing in a rocky mountainous areas a couple of times, opposed to popular notion that they are in open savannah. They learnt their environment and adapt. Leopard being chased away from a kill by cheetahs. Interspecific competition between wild dog and cheetah, resulting in the cheetah up in a tree.

Tree climbing lions in the Busanga Plains in Zambia. Honey Badger digging for ground squirrels, doing all the hard work, flushing the squirrels and the Southern Pale Chanting Goshawk grabbing a meal for themselves.

BEST EXPERIENCE OF YOUR GUIDING CAREER?

I always enjoy a walking safari and experiencing a kill on foot. Seeing a special bird or animal that is not supposed to be within a specific area is also fascinating. Again quite difficult to mention the best experience in my guiding career because when I sit and reflect, I always laugh and appreciate moments ranging from my guests to animal experience.

MOST EMBARRASSING GUIDING MOMENT?

Mistaking a sleeping Rhino in Etosha for a termite mound in a nice open area. I did mention something about termite mounds, one of my guests realised the supposedly termite mound has ears that are moving. Yes it was a Rhino!

As a trainee guide when I was starting my guiding career, not being able to change a flat tyre and calling the lodge through a 2 way radio for help. I went towards Pelican point in Walvis Bay beach in a deep sandy area with a 4 x 4 vehicle for birding with a guest. We got stuck in sand for almost an hour. I lowered the tyre pressure and the guest was helping me to push the sand from underneath the vehicle.

I had to call the head office in Windhoek to get another vehicle to rescue us. When the vehicle was on the way, another vehicle finally came going towards Pelican point lodge. The old man driving the vehicle stopped to help us. He got in our stuck vehicle, moved it back and forth, within 30 seconds he was out! Like a boss!

Back to the Top

More Namibia Guides