Tag Archives: Field Guide training

Introducing James Suter

May 16, 2012 - Safari,Wildlife

From a young age I had always dreamed of working in the bush. I visited the Lowveld a couple of times with my family growing up and had always longed to work in this beautiful area that was filled with all sorts of natural wonders. In 2008 I was selected to partake in the Singita Guide training course. This entailed an intensive six months of training under the head trainer Alan Yeowart, based at Singita Sabi Sand.

This is where my career as a guide began and where my passion for photography grew. We spent most of the six months out in the bush – learning to track game, and animal behaviour, how to shoot a rifle and identify the vast amount of organisms found in the area. We were also able to visit the Malilangwe Reserve in Zimbabwe (Singita Pamushana Lodge) and trail the elusive black rhino as well as visiting the N’wanetsi concession in the Kruger National Park in South Africa. These three concessions were all so different and so we became familiar with  many different types of vegetation, birdlife, and wildlife that occur in Southern Africa.

Once I was equipped with the skills that were instilled in me during my training, I was placed up at Singita Kruger National Park working as a Field Guide in the N’wanetsi concession.  This would be my home for the next three years. It was an incredible place with high concentrations of lion, breathtaking scenery and a wealth of diversity, all within fifteen thousand hectares of wilderness.

With four years of guiding under my belt, this year I have the opportunity to revisit my old stomping ground at Singita Kruger National Park, as well as all of the other Singita properties situated in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Tanzania. I hope to continue learning throughout the year, and share the newfound knowledge gained. I also hope to document my time spent in these incredible locations and all the beautiful and amazing sightings I am exposed to. Follow me as I share with you the unique character, amazing wildlife and incredible people that make Singita the place it is.

(Singita Kruger National Park – photograph by James Suter)

(Singita Sabi Sand – photograph by James Suter)

(Singita Grumeti Reserves – photograph by James Suter)

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Field Guiding – Where Theory Becomes Practice

July 27, 2011 - Wildlife

Have you ever wondered about the strength of spider webs or the smell of a lion’s breath or what it feels like to be an arm’s-length away from an elephant?  These are the daily experiences of Field Guides, living and working in the wild, sharing the adventure of safari with Singita guests.

Alan Yeowart, Guiding Skills Facilitator and Private Guide, Singita Sabi Sand – shares insights into the initial phase of training individuals to become “Game Rangers”.   Singita Field Guide Training Academy – 2011.

Apart from the obvious basics about learning the theory of Field Guiding and its associated knowledge component, the real essence of spending 6 months as an aspirant Field Guide or “Game Ranger” is the accrual of stories and experiences that will equip you from a practical sense.

Where better than Singita’s iconic properties can you be exposed to such an onslaught of experiential opportunities?

Alan Yeowart’s 9 new recruits are currently busy developing their skills and the following are some photographs after their first 4 weeks of training.

How strong does a Musth Bull smell at 2 metres?

What does a lion’s breath smell like?

How loud does your heart-beat sound when you are told – “now let’s see if we can get a little bit closer”?

Joining the dots; collecting evidence; analyzing the scene and recreating the sequence of events.

Spectacular places…

To keep up with news about the Field Guide training – follow the Guides’ Diaries posted monthly on Singita’s website.

To ensure our Field Guides and Trackers are as passionate about the wildlife and flora as we are – and to ensure they are able to convey this to Singita guests through sharing accurate information and insights about the land which they traverse – Singita has established an in-house Field Guide and Tracker Training Academy under the care of one of our most experienced and knowledgeable guides.  A comprehensive six month training programme covers all areas of field guiding and tracking from an in-depth understanding of all flora and fauna, to responding appropriately and professionally to the specific needs and interests of each of our guests.  For more information refer to Singita’s website.

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