World Ranger Day is held annually on 31 July in commemoration of the rangers killed or injured in the line of duty, as well as a special celebration of the critical work rangers continue to do to protect the fauna and flora in the world’s wilderness areas. The International Ranger Federation together with The Thin Green Line Foundation and various other global organisations have been leading the observation of this important day for 12 years now.
This World Ranger Day, we speak to three bush guides from Robin Pope Safaris’ camps who educate visitors on the importance of wildlife conservation and the responsibilities of rangers in the South Luangwa National Park, Mana Pools National Park and Majete Wildlife Reserve.
What made you decide to become a guide? “Being born near and around South Luangwa National Park made me love the nature it contains. I was also in a conservation club at school, which made my inspiration greater to become a guide.”
What has been the highlight or best moment of you career as a guide? “It’s to encounter big game on foot and interpret nature to my guests – those are my highlights and the best moments of being out here.”
What would happen if there were no longer any rangers in our wilderness areas in Africa? “Those wilderness areas wouldn’t have been recognised as they are now. If rangers don’t help fight for wildlife then there wouldn’t be any wildlife for the guests to come and experience.”
David Amyot has been a bush guide for 20 years and is currently stationed at John’s Camp in Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe.
What made you decide to become a guide? “As a child I spent many years walking in the bush on our family ranch in Shangani District and learnt to love and appreciate the wildlife within it.”
What has been the highlight or best moment of you career as a guide? “Sharing with my guests and their children a better understanding of wildlife. It brings me tremendous satisfaction when I see the same passion and desire to see the wildlife conserved. After all, it’s the children we need to get excited about African wildlife.”
What would happen if there were no longer any rangers in our wilderness areas in Africa? “A lot less knowledge would be imparted and people would never have the opportunity to walk with wildlife.”
Malizani (Mali) Mulenga has been a bush guide for over a year now and is currently stationed at Mkulumadzi Lodge in Majete Game Reserve, Malawi.
What made you decide to become a guide? “I was inspired by a friend who I grew up together with in the bush. We are now both guides in different national parks here in Malawi.”
What has been the highlight or best moment of you career as a guide? “When African Parks took over management of Liwonde National Park. Before that time there was a lot of poaching in the park, but this year when I went back I saw lots more animals than before.”
What would happen if there were no longer any rangers in our wilderness areas in Africa? “If there were no rangers in our wilderness areas most of the animals and vegetation will be gone because there will be no one to protect, conserve and spread the good news about it all.”
These bush guides from Robin Pope Safaris would like to pay tribute to rangers Zebron Chirwa, Agrippa Nhamo and Emanuel Kandiyelo.
Thank you to all the bush guides and rangers that continue to carry out their important and often life-threatening work in the name of wildlife protection, conservation and awareness!
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