Ranger Mino is exceptionally popular. He has a love for Shamwari that cannot be faltered and is made visible to guests through his eyes. He guides out of our premiere lodge, Eagles Crag. His vast knowledge, friendly personality and passion for the bush make him one of our top rangers.
Name: Minolan Munien
Title: Senior Game Ranger
Started at Shamwari: 1 April 2012
Previous roles: Tala Private Game Reserve, Hluhluwe Game Reserve, Mkuze Game Reserve, Intabane Game Reserve and Cleaveland Nature Reserve – Kruger National Park
FGASA level 3
Senior Lead trails guide
Level 3 track and sign
Soccer, cricket, volleyball, snooker and spending time with my family
I am passionate about many things…Enjoying every day to its fullest, meeting people from all walks of life, creating African safaris where clients are left mesmerised. The love and joy of being one with the bush and the animals.
Favourite part of the job:
I live to provide guests with the ultimate experience and seeing how incredibly awed they are during their stay makes it that much more exciting for me. Many of my guests become return guests – of which I have the highest percentage at Shamwari of all the rangers.
Seeing how my name is the most mentioned ranger on TripAdvisor week in and week out gives me the gratification that I am doing the best I can to make this a once in a lifetime holiday for them.
I love introducing clients to the beauty of Shamwari, the history, the background and foreground when I first meet them. My office changes every second of the day and that makes me love it even more.
“Realisation is harder than cure. ”– A quote that I live by from experience
African Elephant – I always find that I have the most amazing sightings and experiences with elephants. I have currently seen three births of African Elephants in Shamwari alone. Their intelligence system is unique in comparison to other mammals.
Favourite animal in a sighting:
African Elephant – A mother nurturing her young and the way that she gently covers his body with mud as to act like a sunblock, I’ve seen this various times. I’ve seen a mother that refused to desert her young for two days after he passed away sadly from drowning at Eland Dam in the North of the Reserve. I have also seen Elephants mourning an adult that passed away near Bayethe Lodge for two days.
Most exciting encounter while on game drive:
I had a wonderful family of clients over the last 4 years. The youngest daughter, Celeste, decided to come to Shamwari. She was four months pregnant and demanded to be on game drive and after much retaliation, I obliged. All she wanted to see was the African Elephant based on my wonderful experiences with her family previously. After about an hour and a half I spotted a female African Elephant on Nkonkoni Flats which I approached.
With my playful behaviour, I asked the Elephant to come closer. She obliged thereby sniffing Celeste’s hair which had a strong scent from her shampoo. What the African Elephant did next surprised me and my mentor who has been working with them for the last 39 years. It dropped its trunk towards her rounded belly and Celeste’s words at that moment in time were: “Mino, is it going to harm my baby?” To which I answered, “No ways. The Elephant’s eyes and behaviour told me it was more intrigued rather than agitated.” It then sniffed Celeste’s stomach, took two steps back and sent a communication call to the rest of the herd. Within 8 minutes, my vehicle was surrounded with 44 elephants.
That day her husband took a panoramic photograph of Elephants right around us but there was something interesting that was evident, something only a professor could describe after seeing the photo. Maternal or paternal instinct is yet to be understood by a human man as his photograph showed that there were six trunks closer to Celeste. Upon closer inspection, we found out that only the females were curious and not the males in the herd. This was the ultimate sighting for me, one that I will never forget!