In June 2022, Bushwise and the Southern African Wildlife College (the SAWC) welcomed the first group of scholarship recipients under our new collaboration. In January 2023, two new field guide candidates arrived on campus. Let’s hear their stories and how they realised this was the career they always wanted!
3 min read
Born in 1998, Ziphozonke comes from Ladysmith in KwaZulu Natal. Ziphozonke is passionate about wildlife and sees herself as a dedicated and hardworking individual.
“I am eager to learn all there is about wildlife and hope that this experience with Bushwise helps kickstart my career. I believe that in life you have to start somewhere. I started with the Southern African Wildlife College where I completed a short course in Responsible Resource Use and was encouraged to find out more about their other course offerings. That led me to apply for the Bushwise training, and I hope this helps kickstart my career. I believe hard work and diligence pays off.”
When asked why she wants to become a field guide, Ziphozonke said, “I wanted a place where I will be constantly learning new things everyday and be able to meet different kinds of people each day. I also love that field guiding can teach you about everything in nature. I’d rather be outside than indoors in some office!”
“I love the outdoors and am a keen hiker and jogger but also believe in giving back to the community and assisting and educating where I can.” She added, “Apart from becoming a guide, I would also like to engage in wildlife research if given the opportunity.”
Edward Papado Tivana
Edward is a 27-year-old male from Timbavati Village in Acornhoek. He finished his Grade 12 studies at Masingatana High School in 2014 and then went on to do a Diploma in Office Computing. He has been waiting a long time for an opportunity to study as a guide after working at Blyde Canyon Safaris, Mariepskop View and Sable Tours as a Driver.
He says he is a hard worker having come from a family of 10 and being raised by his mother, a single parent, after his father passed away. Edward’s father worked in Kruger National Park, which is part of what inspires him to want a career in ecotourism and conservation. He wants to become a guide so that he can help change people’s perceptions so that they want to help protect our natural environment.
“If you can change one person’s thinking or inform them better, it means that you can actually change lots of people’s thinking or inform a lot more people about nature and wildlife. Guiding gives you this opportunity as everyone loves to share their experiences after having been on a game drive.”
For so long now he has been hoping for an opportunity to study field guiding, and the opportunity finally arrived with Bushwise and the SAWC. “I love to tell stories so I think I will be a good guide sharing information about nature and the animals tourists see. I want to work my way up as a professional guide so that I can become a head guide. I also want to bring community members together so that I can tell them the importance of conserving our nature,” he added.
A bright future ahead of them
We’re so proud to have Ziphozonke and Edward with us this year. They both have a strong drive to learn and make a difference in the world. Ziphozonke’s eagerness to learn and her passion for the outdoors, and Edward’s love of storytelling and desire to educate the community about nature, will certainly make them valuable additions to the field of wildlife conservation!
Thank you to the SAWC for the photos and quotes.