Vuyo is a wonderful and friendly ranger that guides out of Bayethe Tented Lodge. Although slightly introverted, he is a passionate and knowledgeable ranger that exudes happiness and loves his life as a guide at Shamwari.

Name: Vuyo Busakwe
Title: Game Ranger
Started at Shamwari: 11 April 2005
Hometown: Paterson, Eastern Cape
Previous roles: I’ve worked at Shamwari my entire guiding career.

Vuyo - Shamwari Ranger

Qualification:

FGASA Field Guide

Back up trails guide

Hobbies:

Socialising with my friends, reading and walking.

Passion:

I love meeting new people from around the world, I am passionate about animals. I started working at Born Free Foundation before becoming a ranger.

Favourite part of the job:

Meeting new people and making their dreams come true. They all have different expectations when coming on safari from seeing bird species to fauna and flora and I try my best to fulfil their wishes of seeing their favourite animals.

“The earth has music for those who listen.” – George Santayana

Favourite animal:

Elephants!

I love their intelligence. What I find intriguing is that elephants are led by a matriarch that is able to lead a group of elephants and she is respected by them. She makes the decisions and they follow her instruction without question.

Elephants at Shamwari

Image taken by Iky’s Photographic: Iky & Ryan Plakonouris

Favourite animal in a sighting:

Elephants, once again.

You can watch them for hours, I’ve only ever seen elephants sleeping twice in 12 years of guiding and even that was exciting as it’s not common. There is always something that they are doing, how they feed, how they drink, how they change from feeding behaviour of one plant species to another. Their change of behaviour of feeding as they focus on the bulbs and roots of the plants after the rain.

Most exciting encounter while on game drive:

Recently, my guests and I had an amazing sighting of a female cheetah teaching her youngsters how to hunt. It was on our morning drive, we hadn’t been able to find her and on that morning I tracked her for a good two hours in the south of the reserve. From the distance I caught a glimpse of babies playing and when I tried to get closer they were out of sight. Luckily, one of my colleagues was in the area and I went back to look from a distance to find her again. My colleague went to where I saw her last and when she got there, she called me in and saw the female cheetah lying under the bush.

When I got there, I realised that the female had caught a baby impala and she was teaching her young how to kill it. It was cruel to watch but in nature she has to teach her young how to hunt and kill in order to survive. Eventually, they managed to kill the impala. My guests were shocked initially when we came across the sighting, but as I explained that it was a part of nature and that the cubs had to learn how to kill they understood why it was necessary and enjoyed seeing this act of nature.