December 2022

Singita’s expert trackers – your window into the wilderness

in People of Singita

Singita’s expert trackers – your window into the wilderness

Our guests unfailingly form deep connections with the people they encounter during their stays and many still reminisce, years on, about the warmth they were met by.

These connections are immediate and heartfelt not only because of the passion each individual has for what they do, but because of the relationships they have with each other – underscored by a love of the wilderness, and a desire to share that with others.

This is nowhere more apparent than in the bonds between our Field Guide and Tracker pairs, dynamic duos whose wisdom elevates the wilderness experience for guests.

Our Field Guide and Tracker teams' combined wisdom and experience unfailingly elevate the wilderness experience for guests

We are because of our people

Each of our lodges offers a unique wildlife setting – varying landscapes and species. And while on safari, a personal Field Guide allocated to guests for the duration of their stay ensures a personal experience, one tailormade to each guest’s interests. But at our South African and Zimbabwean properties, guests benefit from the combined experience of a dedicated Field Guide and Tracker team.

Together, their complementary guiding and tracking skills and wealth of knowledge allow them to offer an enriching immersion into the wilderness – creating an engaging way to learn more about your surroundings.

WATCH Tracker Johnson Mhlanga has been with Singita for 19 years, the entirety of which he's spent working with Field Guide Sipho Sibuyi. Their partnership epitomises the teamwork that makes our guest experience special

Partnerships built on trust & respect

The nature of guiding is that it requires communication and trust and a desire to create meaningful and memorable experiences, while being ever mindful of guests' comfort and safety. To understand what makes the partnerships between our Field Guides and Trackers so special, you have to meet our teams and learn how their journeys have led them here. Tracker Johnson Mhlanga and Field Guide Sipho Sibuyi are one such pair and epitomise the spirit of teamwork that makes our guests feel so welcome and well looked after.

Johnson grew up just north of the Sabi Sand Nature Reserve. His career in the wilderness started while doing work clearing bush at a lodge, but his ambition to get into tracking prompted him to start to work towards his qualification in 2001. He’s been with Singita since 2003 – testament to the love and commitment he has for his vocation – and has worked with Sipho since then, for 19 years. They see themselves as more than colleagues, but rather brothers. It’s a bond that is felt by all who spend time with them.

Many Trackers grow up surrounded by nature, but regardless of how they come to this profession, they have in common a love of sharing their knowledge with others

Uniquely connected to nature

Many Trackers, like Johnson, grow up in close proximity to nature – whether on farms, or looking after animals – and a lifelong love of nature is deeply entrenched. Some come to this profession in other ways, perhaps learning to appreciate it later. All trackers however, offer unparalleled knowledge into the bush – the tiny, often hard to see details that allow them to find and follow game, locate birds and open the window on how life unfolds over a day in the wilderness.

From being able to assess exactly how old an animal’s tracks are, to its recent actions – if a lion lay on a patch of grass, whether a porcupine was relaxed or agitated, how old a kill is and myriad other insights – they are expertly equipped to help locate game and birdlife, as well as give great insights into their behaviour. And each is committed to sharing their knowledge and passion with our guests. This passion, and the partnerships that our Trackers and Field Guides have make lasting impact on guests time and time again.

Meet your Singita family

Visit our Wildlife section to read the latest wildlife reports and meet other members of our highly skilled Field Guide and Tracker teams here >

Julia Freemantle
By Julia Freemantle

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