PEOPLE OF THE WILDERNESS: SAFARI GUIDE AND TRACKER TEAM, SAM MBOKODA AND NICO SITHOLE

The second instalment of our People of the Wilderness series is here, and this time we’re talking to two men who have rooted their careers in their passion for wildlife and nature. Safari guide and tracker team at Mohlabetsi Safari Lodge, Sam Mbokoda and Nico Sithole, sat down with Brett to talk about what has drawn them to their lives in the wilderness and how important it is to pass their ambitions on to the next generation. A few weeks ago, we introduced you to Sharon Haussmann, who is effecting change in her position as Chairperson of Balule Nature Reserve, and now we take a closer look at two men who describe their love for nature as being something that runs through their veins.

There are so many layers to the field of conservation; so many elements, individuals, and teams, which play important roles in preserving our natural heritage. Those who dive into guiding careers are instrumental in teaching visitors about the value of wildlife and the importance of conservation. Equally, if not more important, is the role Sam and Nico play in passing down a passion for the wilderness to the next generation.

If our wildlife areas are going to stand the test of time, we need to teach sustainability, and spread the word of conservation to the people who will safeguard it tomorrow. Educating young citizens, particularly those who live in wildlife areas, to love and appreciate nature and to find rewarding careers in safari and tourism is vital to the future of Africa’s natural habitats and the animals that depend on them to survive.

In this video, Sam and Nico express what it means to them to spend so much time with wild animals in their natural habitats, what it is to learn about their behaviour and read the signs of the bush to better understand what our wild world is made of. It is people like this who lead by example, and who should have their stories told. Discovering a devotion to wildlife and stepping into a career that not only gives visitors the experience of a lifetime, but teaches our children to value the wilderness and to believe in protecting it.