Part of what makes the Kings Camp experience so special is the strength of our loyal and talented team. When Remember Mashele joined Kings Camp in 2004, he joined as a tracker. After six years of impressive determination, training, and expanding his working knowledge of the bush, he rose to the position of qualified field guide in 2010. He will be celebrating his 14th year at Kings Camp this year, and is an invaluable member of our team.
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and where you grew up.
I’m the oldest and the only boy in our family, followed by four sisters. I was born and raised in Hluvukani (Bushbuckridge) Mpumalanga. This is where I attended my Primary School and passed High School Matric in 1998.
2. What’s your favourite thing about the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve?
The reserve is open to the Kruger National Park and there are not too many vehicles when you go out on safari.
3. Have you always been passionate about the bush? How did your passion begin?
Initially, I wanted to do something else, but everything changed in 2000 when my friend invited me to join him at Ngala Game Reserve. While I was there my love of wildlife grew on me.
4. How long have you been working as a field guide? And how much of that time has been at Kings Camp?
In 2004 I started here at Kings Camp as a full-time tracker and standby guide. I spent most of my time driving guests for Waterbuck which was then a self-catering camp. I’ve spent a total of 14 years at Kings Camp.
5. Did you receive formal training as a tracker? If so, where?
Took some courses as a tracker at Ngala and now we have FGASA that assesses Trackers and Guides. To be a tracker you only need to do a practical and not a theory exam – I hold a Tracker level 3.
6. Describe your most memorable sighting at Kings Camp Private Game Reserve.
We came across a fight between 3 male Kudus close to our border with the Kruger National Park. There were 5 female Kudus watching from a distance, one male hit the other from behind and broke his spine and hind legs, so he was unable to walk. The following day we went to look for him and found lions feeding on him.
7. Is there a particular aspect of conservation that you’re most passionate about?
I am most passionate about erosion control and bush rehabilitation.
8. Do you have any advice for people looking to get involved in tracking or field guiding?
Be patient and try to practice every day, especially with the tracks and signs of the animals – watch when they walk and notice their behaviour.
Image Credit: Lion – Almero Klingenberg