This is a story told by a Field Guide working in the Kruger National Park…
My name is Lourens Botha, working in Berg en Dal Rest Camp in the Southern side of the Park.
A quick review of my history:
I was born and grew up in the Capital City of South Africa namely, Pretoria. Went to Primary and Secondary school over there and after school went to now called the Tshwane University of Technology (Old Technikon Pretoria) to study Nature Conservation.
For the 3rd year of your Diploma you have to get a experential learning place and I was one of 8 lucky students to do my practical year in the Park in Letaba Rest Camp within the Department People and Conservation from December 2004 until end of November 2005.
I worked in the Elephant Museum, with school groups and every second week with the Field Rangers, doing patrols etc.
After my practical year I got a Junior Field Guide position in Olifants Rest Camp, where I gained most of my experience. Worked with many excellent guides who I learned alot from to be where I am today. I did all the exciting activities which included the drives, walks, Mountain bikes and Astronomy (Star Gazing), with all its scary, close and memorable sightings. I got a promotion to Second Rifle (walking as back-up on walks and bikes) and after a year and 4 months got a permanent position and promotion to Senior Field Guide in Berg en Dal. I started to study my Bachelors Degree in Nature Conservation and finished my final exams last week, but still waiting for my results.
On the 15th of May 2007 I started posting all the activity sightings around Berg en Dal on the Forum, and over 13 000 people have visited the website, so I started the Diary today (2007-12-04) and will take you through the life of a Field Guide from day to day of all the nice, spectacular, sad, happy and lucky sightings that I do come across with or without guests and as long as I have the privilege to work in this land of Paradise with you as readers, friends and family…