I am a nature guide and the newest addition to Elephant Plains Game Lodge family. Becoming a guide has been a lifelong dream which started on my first family holiday to the Kruger National Park when I was 4 years old – it was then that I fell in love with South Africa’s wildlife. One month after graduating from school, I left home and headed for the Lowveld to begin my studies. I started guiding in 2017 in the Eastern Cape, and then in 2020 moved back to the Lowveld in Limpopo. Due to the worldwide pandemic work opportunities became very scarce, however, I kept myself motivated by doing freelance guiding and studying. On the last day of 2021 – I was given the opportunity to guide at Elephant Plains. Whilst out driving with my inspirational, dedicated Tracker I love searching and tracking for beautiful sightings that will make our guests’ dreams come true. I love learning about plants and their uses and traditions – Every day brings a new plant and story. I am excited to experience Elephant Plains with guests from all over the world and introduce them to the place I call home.
Growing up in Utah, I would help my father track his cows after school. He would teach me the differences between male and female tracks, the freshness and how the soil type would affect the tracks. He taught me that all tracks should be treated the same and that the only thing that changes is the animal’s footprint.
I started as a General Worker at Mala Mala in 1999 and was promoted to the position of Tracker in 2000. I gained my tracker certification at the Londolozi Tracker academy, and then continued to work at Mala Mala for a further 12 years.
Following my time at Mala Mala I worked as a tracker in Thornybush with our Head Ranger, Darryn. I am now fortunate enough to work in the Sabi Sand Wildtuin, where I can continue to pursue my passion.
I look forward to meeting new guests and teaching them some of what I know about tracking.
I grew up in a nearby village called Utah, close to the Gowrie Gate of the Sabi Sand. As a young boy I had the responsibility of herding my father’s cattle, however I spent most of the day playing with my friends and then, before dark, would track the cattle before I went home. While tracking the cattle I would see many tracks of animals and this is where I learnt to track. My father was a tracker at Simbambili Game Lodge and during school holidays I would go visit my dad and he taught me how to identify and follow tracks. I have now been tracking for 5 years, spending the last 2 years at Elephant Plains.
I was born and raised in a village called Utah. I passed my matric during the year 2000. I grew up in a family where my parents had livestock – cattle, cows and goats.
I was the cattle herder and used to know and identify where they were going and if they were safe, by making use of the technique called tracking.
My ambition was to become a tracker. My dream came true when I started my training at Londolozi CC Africa Training Academy as a tracker. I received my certificate in 2002. I started my tracking career at Kapama Game Reserve and for more experience, I decided to move to Umkumbe Game Lodge.
I started at Elephant Plains Game Lodge in 2021 and I love working closely with the team. It is also close to my home. I enjoy it here!
I grew up in Allandale trust, a village near Thulamahashe. That’s where I passed Matric in 1998. I ended up working in the Timbavati Game Reserve, where my parents used to work. My dream was to start guiding guests. I decided to undergo training at Eco training and received my FGASA Level 1 during 2003. I worked as a tracker at Elephant Plains from 2004 to 2006. Thereafter I also worked at Kapama and Madikwe. I did my lead Trails Guide during 2012. While working at Madikwe Game Reserve during 2017, I completed my FGASA Level 2 studies on my own. I enjoy being back at Elephant Plains, as part of this amazing team.
I grew up in a village called Thorndale, close to the Manyeleti Reserve. I spent many hours tracking and following my family’s goats and cows. While out looking after the livestock, I passed the time by learning to identify tracks of small antelope, mongoose and other small mammals. When I first joined Elephant Plains, I was part of the maintenance team, but whenever a tracker was sick or on leave, I filled in as a tracker. About a year later I was promoted to be a tracker and have now been tracking at Elephant Plains for the past 5 years.
Born and raised in the City of Johannesburg, my heart has always been set on getting away from the city-life hustle and move to the bushveld. In 2014 I completed my training in the Eastern Cape under some incredible mentorship. I started my guiding career in the Pongola Game Reserve in Kwazulu-Natal, situated along the banks of Lake Jozini. Here I did both land and water-based activities. After a few years, I decided to move on and complete my Trails Guide qualification in the Lowveld. I immediately fell in love with the Lowveld and started working in the Karongwe Private Game Reserve. Almost 3 years later, I now find myself in the Sabi Sands Game Reserve, which is a dream for so many guides. I am fortunate to work alongside an amazing team and continue to learn something new every day. I love sharing my knowledge with our guests, as well as learning about their countries and different cultures. I look forward to introducing you to this little piece of heaven, called Elephant Plains.
Dylan van Aardt
From a young age, I was fortunate enough to be exposed to wildlife all over Southern Africa and this is where my love for the Bush started.
I completed my field guide training in 2014 in the Eastern Cape under the guidance of some incredible mentors who instilled even more of a passion in wildlife in me.
I started my guiding career at Sibuya Private Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape which entailed both water and land-based activities. From Sibuya I moved to Shamwari Private Game Reserve where I worked for 5 years, here I did training in walking dangerous game, which in my opinion is one of the best ways to enjoy the bush.
I am currently guiding in the Lowveld, which has been a dream of mine since I started guiding and I am incredibly fortunate to be here and love every minute of it. I enjoy showing guests all kinds of animals, but it’s the smaller animals like reptiles and insects that make me utterly excited. The biggest reward to me is when guests get off my vehicle with some incredible memories and experiences that they can look back on and cherish for a lifetime.