Today we meet Buselaphi ͞Themba Mngomezulu, one of our professional field guides at Leopard Mountain Game Lodge. To put it simply, he is nothing short of a gentlemen full charisma passion and enthusiasm. By those who know him he is slow to anger and his energy is highly infectious to those who come in close proximity to him.
“I describe myself as a duck. A duck appears calm and floats in the water harmoniously while underneath it is paddling. Similar to myself, I appear to be a humble, harmonious guy, of which – I naturally am, but on the inside I’m furiously paddling, I am driven by passion and the love of my career – Being the best professional field guide I can be….”
What led you down this path?
Growing up in a financially unstable home, I found a job just after I matriculated, working at a lodge. I never knew about this type of career before, in our race, especially my community, as children we are exposed to careers such as nursing, teaching, being a policeman etc. I started out doing maintenance at a safari lodge where I soon developed an interest in the bush. I was taught a lot about being a guide, the more I knew about this ͞unique͟ career, the more my interest grew. I knew I was going to do a different career, something unusual to my community, I knew I would get a chance to educate and inspire youth in my community. I worked very hard doing maintenance also helping out in the bush. My hard work and dedication opened doors for me. I received a sponsor which fully paid for my study fees to become a professional field guide.
Why Leopard Mountain Game Lodge?
During my first month I was still finding my way, nerves were also rushing through me as this was and still is my first work place after I qualified, after 2 months of working here it became clear why this lodge is so highly rated. I am very honoured to be working at one of the top 15 lodges in South Africa, it has become my home, the opportunities, training and massive growth I received at Leopard Mountain are beyond words. I am able to give ͞top notch͟ service through the guidance and continuous training we receive at Leopard Mountain.
What are some of the Qualifications you had to get?
First Aid level one, Enviro-tour guide certificate NQF4 level 2, Professional field guide level one NQF2(FGASA), Advanced Rifle handling (ARH) FGASA, Back up Trails Guide (FGASA), Tracking level one (FGASA), Drivers Licence code C1 & PDP, Firearm certificate of Proficiency.
Who has been an Instrumental Person in reaching your dream?
Mr Guy Tomlinson was and still is my inspiration, he motivated me, his motivation cultivated my passion and I made it my responsibility to grow that passion. He is very much proud of me.
Your three essential items for a safari?
To me the three essential items for a safari is firstly a first aid kit, a bush knife, if there are branches blocking your way in the road, lastly it is water. Water is the substance of all living things. To keep hydrated in the bush is very important.
Whats been your top sighting at Leopard Mountain?
My absolute top sighting was when three male lions were taking down a Buffalo Bull. We observed this for more than 45 minutes, looking at the lions dragging it to the shade, it was heartbreaking yet beautiful all at the same time.