I was born on the 28th of March
1988 in my hometown Ladysmith, where my family
still lives. I completed Grade 12 at Ladysmith
High School in 2006. Since I was little, I
wanted to be a ranger. We had a holiday house
just outside the Kruger National Park and we
spent every school holiday visiting the park.
This is where I fell in love with the bush and
the animals. I did my FGASA (Field Guide
Association of SA) qualification at Bush Academy
in Thabazimbi during 2007. After completing the
course I worked on a hunting farm in the
Ellisras area where I also did my PH course.
I started working at Elephant Plains Game
Lodge on the 16th of February 2008. I was
not yet 21 and could not take guests out on game
drives because I did not have my PDP (public
drive permit). During this time I worked on the
web cam, did general maintenance and spent time
learning the inns and outs of the game lodge
industry. I went on game drives and bush walks
with the qualified guides and in this way picked
up on invaluable experience.
When I turned 21 I did my PDP. I still worked as
a general lodge assistant at Elephant Plains.
Later that year Chitwa Chitwa Game Lodge needed
a temporary guide and I helped them out for
about two weeks. This was a great experience as
I realised that I really needed to be out in the
bush fulltime. Not long after that a ranger’s
position opened up at Elephant Plains. I
was on leave when Etienne and Marlet phoned and
offered me the position.
That was the happiest day of my life!
Favourite Animal : Pangolin
I was born in a small town called Dixie on the 4th of June 1978. This is the last town you pass before arriving at the Gowrie Gate.
As part of my school education I attended Hananani Primary School at Dixie and Manyanga High School at Utha Trust, where I passed grade 11.
When I was 13 years old I visited my uncle and he started teaching me about the bush. This was during 1991. This is where my love for the bush started. After I left school, I did some training at Londolozi. I worked at the following lodges since then: Londolozi, Lions Sands, Djuma Bush Lodge, Djuma Vuyetela and Galago, as well as a part time job at Arathusa. I started working at Elephant Plains during 2012 and I enjoy and love my job here.
Favourite Animal : Giraffe
I was born in Phalaborwa on the 23rd of March 1986. I went to primary school at
Mabine Primary School and did my secondary
school at Leboko High School. I joined the
Junior Honorary Rangers in the Kruger National
Park at Letaba Camp in 2005. My duties included
assisting guests at the Elephant Museum and
providing information about the African
Elephant. At the end of the year I received my
Junior Orientation and Junior Practical
In March 2007 I was accepted at the South
African Wildlife College to study guiding and
conservation for a year. At the end of the year
I received my game ranger certificate. I started
working at Elephant Plains during July 2009.
Here I gained a lot of experience and also
obtained more qualifications. I am a young,
dynamic individual that has passion, knowledge
and above all, respect for the environment.
My main aim is to contribute in attaining the
company’s objectives and concurrently improving
my teamwork skills in order to serve the company
to my maximum capacity. I wish to make a
meaningful contribution in this way. I strive
for quality work and enjoy learning new skills,
willing to tackle any challenge that comes my
way with a resilient character.
Animal : Honey Badger
My name is Devon and I am the newest member of the ranger team at Elephant Plains Game Lodge. I was born in the city of Johannesburg in 1988. My real love for the bush only started when I attended an agricultural high school in Magaliesberg, an area just west of Johannesburg.
After school I started working in the construction industry and found myself wanting to spend more and more time out in the bush. My passion for the bush grew and I felt compelled to share this with other people. After doing my initial training at one of SA’s leading eco training facilities, I was asked to stay on. Situated in the north of the Kruger National Park, I helped them with training and it is here that I found my love for walking in the bush.
Guiding in the Sabi Sand at Elephant Plains Game Lodge is a dream come true! It is in my opinion one of the best places in the world to watch leopards and other animals in their natural environment. I also love taking photos and in my line of work I have some of the best photographic opportunities one can ask for.
In my spare time I love walking on the family farm, experimenting with my camera and riding my motor bike.
Favourite Animal : Elephant
My name is Derrick Munyuku Mthabini. I was born on the 2nd of February 1970 in Acornhoek. I attended Shiviti Primary School and Munghena High School.
I worked at Ngala as a tracker for 11 years. I also worked at Kwamadwala Game Lodge, Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge and Kapama for six years in total. That gives me a total of 17 years’ experience as a tracker.
I started working at Elephant Plains Game Lodge on the 28th of September 2011 and I am looking forward to finding many animals here.
Favourite Animal : Leopard
I was born on the 1st of February
1983 in a very small town, in the Free State
province, called Bothaville. I started primary
school in January 1990 at Eben Dönges Primary
School and also completed my Grade 12 in
Bothaville High School. I grew up on a farm
with wide open spaces to play and a big river to
go fishing and swimming whenever I wanted to.
After high school I went to Naboomspruit in the
Limpopo Province and completed my Field Guide
course at Inkwazi. Once finished, I started
working at Kapama Private Game Reserve in
Hoedspruit. It was really unbelievable to
finally work in the bush and I was aiming on
getting all the experience I possibly could.
I worked at Kapama as a guide for about 3 years
and then came to Elephant Plains in
December 2006. I have been here ever since and
still enjoying every day’s new, exciting and
sometimes, unexpected happenings in the bush.
Favourite Animal : Elephant
I was born on the 14th of March 1968 in a village called Dixie. It is the very last village you go through before you enter the Gowrie Gate into the Sabi Sand Wildtuin. I’ve been living there all my life.
Since I can remember I spent a lot of time with my grandfather. He was a cattle farmer and that is how I learnt how to track animals. We used to leave the cattle at a place and then if you need to find them again you just follow the tracks.
I started my career in the lodge industry as a general worker at Londolozi and as a substitute tracker every now and again. Eventually I gained enough knowledge and experience to become a full time tracker.
I’ve worked as a tracker at various lodges like Londolozi, Mala Mala, Djuma, Vuyetela, Savanna and in Thornybush. I started working at Elephant plains in the beginning of 2013 and I’m looking forward to finding many animals here.
Favourite Animal : Rhino
I was born on the 24th of July 1991 in Vanderbijlpark, Gauteng. I went to school in Meyerton, which is also my hometown. I completed grade 12 in 2009 at Hoërskool Dr. Malan. As a kid my family and I spent a lot of time outdoors. I love photography and there’s no better place to practice it than out in the bush. I’ve always enjoyed spending time in the bush, but never as a kid did I think that I would be a guide.
Late 2009 I made a spontaneous decision not to study engineering, as planned, but rather to do a guiding course. What a great decision.
In January 2010 I started a field guide training course at EcoTraining. During my training I got placed at Elephant Plains Game Lodge to do my practical.
After completing my 6 months practical at the lodge I got offered a permanent position as a junior ranger. I’ve permanently been working at Elephant Plains since June 2010 and during this time I gained much needed knowledge and experience in the tourism industry. In 2011 I turned 21 and was able to do my PDP and soon after I could start with game drives. I helped out whenever one of our permanent guides were sick or took extra days off. In the beginning of March 2013 I got offered a full guiding position at the lodge. What a privilege! I have been enjoying every moment since I started.
Favourite Animal : Cheetah