When did you finish at Ulovane and briefly tell us what you have been doing since then?
I left in December 2013. I have had the privilege of working and travelling in wilderness areas since I left Ulovane. I did a brief stint in Lake Manyara National Park, a 3-week self-drive exploring Namibia, which had always been a dream of mine. I also travelled to Mahale National Park, Katavi National Park Ruaha National Park and Selous Game Reserve on a freelance basis. I started my own guiding company, Olotoroki Ltd which aimed at designing tailor-made tours and promoting women guides in Tanzania. Unfortunately, due to the economic climate and the Ebola crisis, I had to put that on hold. A great reminder of how fragile tourism is!
I was then offered a job with Asilia Africa as a relief manager, which I did for 1 month before being offered my own camp in Ruaha National Park. I have been running this camp for 2 years now
Where are you now?
I am in Tanzania, based in Ruaha National Park.
What are your future plans?
My future plans will be in Southern Tanzania, as I am now moving away from Camp management into an Operations role for Ruaha National Park. The long term plan/hope will be one day move into conservation and operations in wilderness areas.
How did your Ulovane experience prepare you for a career in the guiding, hospitality industry?
More than I could ever have imagined. Ulovane was much more than what was on their brochure. It was a life changing experience. The course seemed tailored to me in a way, encapsulating all my passions for the bush, quenching my thirst for knowledge and also the chance to grow into someone I am proud to be. It holds firm on its morals and values that Schalk and Candice live by and that is then imprinted on the wildlife enthusiast we all are inside for the rest of our careers.
Any advice for someone considering a career in the guiding and lodge industry?
Yes. Working in this industry is a responsibility and every person in this industry contributes to its success. So from the word go, acknowledge the responsibility, own your place in it and take all the tools that are given to you to craft your place in this industry. Take nothing for granted in the bush!
What are your best memories of your time at Ulovane?
We were tracking on the reserve, when Charlie saw a cuckoo fly over his head and he turned to try and id what it was, only to see a herd of buffalo stampeding its way towards us. With a cliff nearby, we ran towards it and torn down to the river. Everyone was deathly silent, munching on their sandwiches. We still had a long way to go to our campsite on foot. Nervously we left the river and continued on our way. Suddenly Schalk stopped us to show us a Solifuge spider drilling into the ground. For some reason, we all burst into hysterical laughter. We couldn’t stop laughing, probably due to shock, but we felt as if we had “survived” something together (even though we knew we were safe with Schalk). From that day on we were much closer, felt that much older and I knew this was what I would do for as long as I can.
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