Who or what is a Game Ranger and most importantly what makes a good Game Ranger in Hluhluwe.
After years of experience in the tourism and safari business we have employed numerous rangers, not to mention meeting some incredible free lance rangers. They are incredible people both young and old, some retired and looking for something new to do or a career change or maybe just a midlife crisis. But what really makes a true ranger so special.
A true Ranger has only one thing in mind, the bush and the wildlife within it. They will study and spend so much time out their, listening watching and trying to understand what it is that they are seeing. We have rangers that spend more time in the bush than they are at home, and believe it or not when they are on leave where do they go yip the bush. This is what makes a true ranger not someone that has decided that this might be a easy life not by far its hard work and incredible hours. From early morning to late evening they have to not only entertain and get some incredible sightings but they have to love it otherwise this career choice will quickly dissipate into a unwise choice with very unhappy customers.
We have been approached by numerous people wanting to make a career change, they see how happy the clients look and deem this as something as fun and easy, however let it be known how surprised we have been over the years with certain individuals that today have made this choice their career and have st-rived at it.
A good ranger will go out of his or her way to ensure that you have seen something incredible it might not be one of the Big 5 but something unique and interesting definitely something you will never forget for the rest of your life. To see a smile is undoubtedly the most valuable and encouraging thing to note for a ranger. A ranger has so much to share and most importantly remember that each individual has a personal favorite animal that he or she has a world of information on. Get them to share it with you while you are out in the Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game Reserve and quickly realise what makes this reserve so amazing.
We hear it all of the time from the rangers, we had such amazing clients they where so interested and grateful for everything, not only did they want to see and experience everything but added to our total safari. Its important to try to establish exactly what it is that you would like to see while out on a safari, ask your ranger if it would be possible right from the word go and also ask as many questions as possible, their is nothing better for a ranger than to see your are interested in what it is that they do and do every day.
So how does a ranger become a ranger then well in South Africa its really is quite a process, first of all they need to register online for a ranger number also depending on what organisation it is that they would like to study through, in S.A. their is FGASA and THETA both organisations offer various levels for one to study through with in depth practical experience.
However once they have completed this course maybe a level 1 they need practical experience and a lot of it. It only makes sense that a minimum of 1 year should be obtained before even contemplating applying for a position for a rangers job.
We assist in the practical training of rangers and have done so for numerous years, by now we have been able to establish very quickly whether or not the particular individual will make it as a ranger. Please note that becoming a jeep jockey is easy and quick ( Look that is a Lion lets move on), it takes dedication and determination for a true ranger to stay focused and passionate about what it is that they do day in and day out.
We would like to thank each and every dedicated ranger be it in Zambia or South Africa where ever you are we are proud of you and we applaud you for what it is that you have dedicated your life to.