Leading by example in the wilderness – Solomon Ndlovu’s award-winning journeyin People of Singita
Leading by example in the wilderness – Solomon Ndlovu’s award-winning journey
Our Field Guides and Trackers are the heart and soul of all our guests' experience in nature. It’s their expertise and passion that open up the wonders of the bush to first-time and repeat guests as they discover its countless life-forms.
Time and again, our guests leave having formed deep bonds with various members of our teams – especially those who uncover the secrets of the African wilderness with them during their stay. We are fortunate to have nature lovers and conservation advocates at all of our properties, whose calling it is to share their love of the environment while highlighting the importance of its protection.
When members of our guiding teams are awarded for their excellence, we are honoured to celebrate with them – in full awareness of the hours and years of work that goes into honing their skills. Recently, Solomon Ndlovu, Assistant Head Guide based in South Africa, was recognised as one of South Africa’s top five guides by the Field Guides Association of South Africa (FGASA).
Steadfast on his path
Since his school days, Solomon knew he was destined for a career that would allow him to engage with nature, and with likeminded people who are equally passionate about the natural world. “When I was in high school, my dad bought me books about mammals and birds, so when I finished my schooling, I knew exactly what I wanted to do. Unfortunately, he passed before I started working,” he says.
Despite some of the challenges Solomon encountered, his perseverance ensured that he remained true to his calling: “It was sometimes difficult for me when I was studying because of how I learned English at school, so I had to check the dictionary most of the time to understand what words meant.”
Upon entering the profession, he loved being a guide right from the start and credits his successful career to various mentors and colleagues along the way – as well as his own personal desire to learn. But sharing this knowledge with others is where he finds the most satisfaction. “I enjoy being a guide because I get to meet people from all over the world, learn about their cultures, share my passion with them, and see the bush through their eyes. Their reactions are priceless,” he says.
Inspiring the guides of tomorrow
Solomon has been part of the Singita family for 12 years now, and over this time he’s been on his own personal journey – growing in aptitude and experience. From starting as a Tracker, to qualifying as a Field Guide in 2014, he has now moved up to Assistant Head Guide at Singita Kruger National Park. “With the support and training I’ve had, I have learned and gained experience in how to interpret animal tracks and how to guide guests on game drives,” he says.
His dedication to his role has earned him this most recent recognition and is apparent in the superb experience he offers guests. “I appreciate that there is an organisation like FGASA that recognises us for what we do. It’s a huge privilege for me to be nominated as one of the final five, and I see this as a good opportunity that will encourage all guides to continue learning.”
His love for learning has inspired him to pass his knowledge on to the next generation. “I would like to train guides and trackers. Starting with them while they are still in high school helps them to choose their career based on passion when they finish school. I’m currently busy with an Assessor Mentorship Programme,” he says.
A world of discovery and exploration awaits
Learn more about Solomon and other members of our excellent Field Guide teams – your doorway into the magic of the wilderness – here >