An Inside Look At An African Safarri
March 11, 2021
Greetings, fellow travelers. I meet people from all over the world in my business as a travel agent and learn about many beautiful destinations. But, perhaps, more importantly, I get to know some of the folks behind the scenes and have the chance to learn more about what they do. One such person comes to mind, immediately. He is an animal tracker and Safari guide in the province of Limpopo, South Africa. Peter Stone has tracked and studied dangerous animals in their natural habitats for a lifetime. He has a wealth of knowledge and loves sharing what he knows with others.
Why is a tracker so integral to having the best African safari experience? The answer is simple. If you can’t find game, you can’t see it. And let’s face it, seeing animals is the main point of going on a safari. That makes great wildlife tracking so vital for a great safari. And Trackers’ talents are not refined in a few short years in the bush but rather take lots of hard work, study, and hands-on experience to learn. There are few people who know every watering hole, wallow, ravine, and viewpoint as well as those who grew up here. They understand animal behavior and have experienced first-hand the many surprises offered by the African bush. They are natural-born storytellers who can enhance your experience as you visit these exotic creatures in their natural habitat. The bush is a foreign landscape for most, a place forgotten by your mind but not by your instinct. The physical fear felt when a lion walks past the vehicle is enough to send your adrenaline levels through the canvas roof. The fight or flight response kicks in and a sense of foolishness is felt by all. All except the guide and the tracker, who is often still perched on the hood of the vehicle throughout.
But now, more about Peter and the important work he does at the nDzuti Safari Camp. What follows is a short conversation I had with him last week.
Question: Where did you grow up?
Peter: “I was born on the Timbavati Game Reserve (original property) which my parents looked after when I was a boy. I helped my dad with jobs such as watering the garden, collecting firewood, and many other chores. The owner, Mr. Verkenise, taught me how to use tools and do handy work around the camp. The Verkenise family supported me through school and later gave me a job in the workshop where I worked my way to a management position by the age of 20. After that, I began to study tracking and was promoted to assistant Ranger and guide. I went on to work at the Timbavati game reserve for 10 years.”
Question: What is one of your passions?
Peter: “I am passionate about birds. I listened to bird calls instead of the radio. Sometimes people would think birds were trapped inside my house, but it was just the sounds they made living nearby.”
Question: What are some of the things you like best about your job?
Peter: “I like meeting people from all over the world and getting to know about where they come from and their culture. And I enjoy seeing how excited my guests get when I show them where the animals live on the reserve.”
Question: If you could change anything about this business, what would it be?
Peter: “I would like guests to stay longer so I can get to know them better. I would increase traversing more ground as we have so much available land. And, I would introduce a late-night game drive through the reserve.”
Question: What do you like to do?
Peter: “I love birding, stargazing, and watching animals live in their natural habitat. I see many things today that I have not seen before, so I learn something new every day.
Question: What has been your key to success?
Peter: “Stay positive and focused. There is no shortcut to success in life.”
Here are just a few pictures shared with me:
According to Expedia, the nDzuti Safari Camp is built in the shadow of a spectacular rocky outcrop or koppie as they are called in Africa. The word nDzuti means shadow or shade in the local Shangaan language. The four chalets in the indigenous garden are roomy and well-spaced, sleeping 4 guests in each and ideal for families. The four tents with views over the waterhole are newly added, offering experiential accommodation at its best – sleeping under canvas! In-suite bathrooms, doors and not zips with flaps, and air- conditioning add a touch of luxury to tents.
Now is the time to plan this once-in-a-lifetime journey to the savanna! For more information about the nDzuti Safari camp, contact them directly at https://ndzutisafaricamp.com. Be sure and request Peter.