Tendai Moyo is a ranger and guide at Samara Private Game Reserve in South Africa’s Great Karoo, a reserve that boasts an extensive wildlife population whilst adhering to outstanding conservation credentials. This month we interviewed Tendai about his work, his aspirations and his inspiration.
How long have you been guiding?
What led you to become a guide?
I always had passion about the African bush. I loved showing people interesting things about nature conservation and sharing my knowledge. For me to fulfil my passion was to became a field guide/game ranger.
Describe your typical day?
I wake up at 05:30 and arrive at the lodge at 06:15. I prepare coffee/tea for the guests before wake up call at 06:30. At 07:00 we have tea and then leave for morning game drive or nature walk. Breakfast is normally at 09:30 or brunch after 10:00. Then I see the guests off who are departing and start getting things ready for the afternoon sundowner drive. I prepare the cooler box, hot box and snacks. At 15:00 guests take afternoon high tea and shortly after we depart for the afternoon/night drive returning at around 18:30-19:00 for dinner. After dinner and when the guests are ready to retire to their rooms, I will walk them back to their tents ensuring they are safe at all times. The lodge host locks the lodge and I drive the team back to the staff village and then I retire to my bed.
What experience has scared you the most?
I was once charged by a black rhino and he knocked the land cruiser! No one was injured but that was pretty scary!
What experience has made you the happiest?
Wow! That’s really a tough one! I think every moment is special for me but what really make me happy is every moment I and my guests spend walking with the cheetahs.
What other profession would you have followed?
If I did not become a game ranger, I wanted to be an army solder.
What is the most amusing experience you have had as a guide?
Every time I and my guests have a great sighting of the elusive Aardvark.
What makes you sad?
I feel sad to see a great part of destruction of our environment is caused either by ignorance or by lack of foresight due to irrational short term exploitation of the natural environment. Our ecosystem, plants and animals are in a great danger created by man. Ecosystems are regulated by natural processes and these processes are as yet insufficiently understood but as their intrinsic workings are investigated they are seen to be highly efficient. Human actions have often caused alterations to these processes and affected their balance with unpredictable and harmful consequences. That is why the conservation of nature can only be successful if there is a substantial change in human attitudes towards the other living beings that share the biosphere and the ecosystem that occupy it.
What advice would you give to yourself at 18 years old?
Live in harmony with nature, every creature deserves to live. Look deep, deep into the nature and you will understand everything better.
What plans after guiding?
After guiding I want to start my own business.
Where in the world would you like to travel?
I would like to travel to USA and Norway.
What inspires you?
Nature inspires me, knowing that every breath I take, every step the presence of God is all around me and within me. My kids inspire me because they are the future generation which needs to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt. We must leave them something more than the miracle of technology; we must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning not just after we got through with it.