Schalk is a seasoned naturalist, guide trainer, mentor, and private guide with an unwavering passion for geology, conservation, ecology, and the interconnectedness of the entire ecosystem. With a holistic approach to guiding and training, Schalk is dedicated to cultivating a profound comprehension of the natural world and empowering others to recognize the vital role humans play in preserving our environment.
Throughout his career, Schalk has consistently demonstrated his commitment to the development of guides and the conservation of natural resources. His profound love for nature and his belief in the potential for humanity to positively impact the environment are some of his greatest strengths.
Schalk’s journey in guiding began in 1996, and since then, he has achieved numerous certifications and qualifications, including the Field Guides Association of Southern Africa (FGASA) Professional Field Guide, Specialized Knowledge and Skills (SKS) in Dangerous Animals and Birds, as well as the Marine Guide and Tracker Level 3 qualifications. He has also served as an FGASA and CATHSSETA accredited trainer, assessor, and moderator since 2001, contributing to the growth and professionalization of the guiding industry.
Currently, Schalk holds a pivotal role as a member of the FGASA Board of Directors, where he actively contributes to the ongoing development of guiding standards and training programs throughout South Africa & Africa.
When Schalk is immersed in nature, he is truly in his element. He excels at exploring the bush and sharing his vast knowledge with enthusiastic learners, creating unforgettable experiences for all.
He leads with his heart, infusing his guiding approach with passion and reverence for mother nature, connecting people to the natural world in truly transformative ways.
Schalk Pretorius embodies the essence of a dedicated naturalist, guide trainer, and mentor. With his profound knowledge, unwavering passion, and exceptional ability to inspire, he continues to make a meaningful impact in the industry and beyond.
With over 27 years of experience in the eco-tourism industry, I have developed a diverse skill set and a deep passion for fostering meaningful relationships and creating exceptional experiences. Throughout my career, I have worked in various departments and game reserves across South Africa, which has provided me with a comprehensive understanding of the industry.
My journey began in 1996 at Mabula Game Lodge, where I eagerly immersed myself in every aspect of the lodge operations. This experience allowed me to gain invaluable knowledge, learn from challenges, and develop a keen attention to detail. From the very start, I recognized the importance of building strong relationships and the power of teamwork in achieving remarkable outcomes.
One significant turning point in my career was when I met my partner, Schalk, who shared my vision and mission in the industry. Together, we embarked on a journey of collaboration and growth, consciously deciding to work together in harmony, regardless of the circumstances. This partnership brought about incredible opportunities for both personal and professional development.
For the past 24 years, I have been actively involved in the guide training industry. In addition to overseeing menu planning and food ordering, I have played a vital role in guiding and supporting students through their personal and professional challenges. Acting as a nurturing figure in camp, I ensured the well-being and satisfaction of all individuals involved.
In 2004, driven by our entrepreneurial spirit and the desire for a fresh start, my husband and I took a leap of faith and established our own business in a new province. While my husband focused on training, I took charge of marketing and sales, overseeing the growth and success of our venture. We faced numerous obstacles, but through determination and perseverance, we built a thriving enterprise over 18 years.
Now, as our children have grown and our business has reached new heights, we find ourselves at a turning point. With Ulovane’s successful graduation and our “baby” preparing to leave home, we are ready for a new chapter. While the future is uncertain, we embrace change and await the next opportunity to combine our love for nature and people.
With my strong skills in relationship building, event coordination, excellent people skills, strong work ethics, attention to detail, and a proven track record in the eco-tourism industry, I am confident in my ability to contribute to new ventures and make a positive impact. I am open to discussing any opportunities that align with my expertise and experiences.
“Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose wisely.”
― Roy T. Bennett