Morné Fouché

I was born in the small Free State town, Bothaville, close to Bloemfontein. I grew up on a farm and from a very young age I knew that I would never be happy in the hustle and bustle of a city. My interest in the African wildlife was ignited during my first visit to the Kruger National Park when I was still a small, bare-foot boy.  I immediately fell in love with the beauty and tranquility of the bushveld and all its inhabitants. After that special holiday with my family I knew that I wanted to become a guide. As soon as I completed high school, I set out to make my dream a reality. After obtaining my qualifications, I started my guiding career in the Greater Kruger area at Kapama Private Game Reserve back in 2003. I spent three wonderful years at Kapama where I grew as a guide and got great exposure to the industry.  I obtained valuable experience, but my heart was still set on working in the Sabi Sand Wildtuin. In 2006 my dream finally became a reality as I was offered a guiding position at Elephant Plains. What can I say, I have been here ever since, and now see myself as part of the furniture.  In March 2019, I joined my wife, Tersia, in the management role and nowadays only do game drives on request.  Although I don’t go out as often anymore, my heart and soul will always remain in the bush.

Darryn Gates

As a child I spent a lot of my school holidays in our beautiful reserves in South Africa and knew from a very young age that I wanted to be a guide. My passion never died and only grew stronger as I got older and I decided to pursue a career in wildlife. I started my guiding career with &Beyond and got exposed to the Sabi Sand through one of their lodges and really pushed hard to get transferred to Sabi Sand permanently. After a few long years of being very patient a position at Elephant Plains opened up and I grabbed it with both hands. Although I knew a fair bit about the Sabi Sand, I never expected to feel so at home and out of my 8-year guiding career have never been in a place that is so wild and vast as the greater Kruger area. I look forward to welcoming and guiding future guests in this beautiful piece of paradise that I am lucky enough to call my home.

Chade Gelderman

I have always loved the bush!

I grew up with my dad working out in the bush and going there weekends and holidays. I had a lot of inspiration coming from my grandparents as well as my parents. I took a different path though but it was only later on that i realized  that the bush is where I want to be, this is my passion and what calms me. 

I went to study at an institute to learn more about the bush and all the finer details about things I’ve always wondered about and that’s where the real journey started. I made great friends along the way and that is also where my love for photography progressed. 

The people that helped me along my path that I’m proud to call family now I owe a lot to. I am very proud to have worked with them and the people that I have inspired thereafter, for if it were not for them I would have never ended up at this great place where I am today and that is Elephant Plains.

This place grows every day I hope to live up to the expectations of this wonderful place. Elephant plains brings out the best in people and so in me. I am always ready to have a good laugh and a great time with people and help them with photography and better yet a greater understanding about the bush.

So come and join me on safari and hope to see you soon.

Chade Gelderman

Ruan Momberg

 

Born and raised in the City of Johannesburg, my heart has always been set on getting away from the city-life hustle and move to the bushveld. In 2014 I completed my training in the Eastern Cape under some incredible mentorship. I started my guiding career in the Pongola Game Reserve in Kwazulu-Natal, situated along the banks of Lake Jozini. Here I did both land and water-based activities. After a few years I decided to move on and complete my Trails Guide qualification in the Lowveld. I immediately fell in love with the Lowveld and started working in the Karongwe Private Game Reserve. Almost 3 years later, I know find myself in the Sabi Sands Game Reserve, which is a dream for so many guides. I am fortunate to work alongside an amazing team and continue to learn something new every day. I love sharing my knowledge with our guests, as well as learning about their countries and different cultures. I look forward to introducing you to this little piece of heaven, called Elephant Plains.

Ruan Momberg

Chris Machabe

I grew up in a nearby village called Utah, close to the Gowrie Gate of the Sabi Sand. As a young boy I had the responsibility of herding my father’s cattle, however I spent most of the day playing with my friends and then, before dark, would track the cattle before I went home. While tracking the cattle I would see many tracks of animals and this is where I learnt to track. My father was a tracker at Simbambili Game Lodge and during school holidays I would go visit my dad and he taught me how to identify and follow tracks. I have now been tracking for 5 years, spending the last 2 years at Elephant Plains.

Chris Machabe

Derrick Mthabine

I grew up in a village close to the Sabi Sand, called Utah. As a child, when I wasn’t at school, it was my job to follow the tracks of my family’s cattle and find them before dark, to return them to their “kraal” where they would be safe for the night. I knew from a young age that I wanted to become a tracker and I was lucky enough to get a job at the old Gomo-Gomo Lodge, which is where Elephant Plains is now. I have more than 30 years’ experience as a tracker and after Gomo-Gomo I tracked at Ngala in the Timbavati and then at Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge. I returned to Elephant Plains and have been guiding here for the past nine years.  

Derrick Mthabine

Deon Mnisi

I grew up in a village called Thorndale, close to the Manyeleti Reserve. I spent many hours tracking and following my family’s goats and cows. While out looking after the livestock, I passed the time by learning to identify tracks of small antelope, mongoose and other small mammals. When I first joined Elephant Plains, I was part of the maintenance team, but whenever a tracker was sick or on leave, I filled in as a tracker. About a year later I was promoted to be a tracker and have now been tracking at Elephant Plains for the past 5 years. 

Deon Mnisi

Colbert Khoza

Growing up in Utah, I would help my father track his cows after school. He would teach me the differences between male and female tracks, the freshness and how the soil type would affect the tracks. He taught me that all tracks should be treated the same and that the only thing that changes is the animal’s footprint.

I started as a General Worker at Mala Mala in 1999 and was promoted to the position of Tracker in 2000. I gained my tracker certification at the Londolozi Tracker academy, and then continued to work at Mala Mala for a further 12 years.

Following my time at Mala Mala I worked as a tracker in Thornybush with our Head Ranger, Darryn. I am now fortunate enough to work in the Sabi Sand Wildtuin,  where I can continue to pursue my passion.

I look forward to meeting new guests and teaching them some of what I know about tracking.

Colbert Khoze
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