Meet Shepherd, who has been a guide at Elephant’s Eye, Hwange from the very beginning! Shepherd’s knowledge of Zimbabwe’s fauna and flora is practically encyclopedic but it is his passion for ensuring that guests have the best possible experience that really sets him apart. He has seen many guests come and go and nothing makes him happier than guests who have enjoyed their stay so much that they return again. We asked Shepherd a bit more about his life story and how he ended up being a guide at our lodge.
Where are you from?
I was born in Harare but bred in the small town of Kariba.
How long have you been a guide?
I could say I have been a guide for the most part of my life, because the first job I did after school was working for the Kariba Publicity Association as a tourist officer stationed at the information bureau overlooking the Kariba dam wall, then I became a houseboat captain on the Kariba lake, taking tourists on week-long voyages doing game drives and bird viewings.
How long have you been working at Elephant’s Eye, Hwange?
I have been at Elephant’s Eye, Hwange since the onset and it has been a great opportunity for me.
Why did you decide to be a guide?
I decided to become a guide because I wanted to share my knowledge of flora and fauna with those that come to visit and give them a once in a lifetime experience and some excitement.
What’s your favourite part about the job?
The greatest part of my job is when someone is very happy about their visit, to the extent that they come back again and again. My most special time in guiding is witnessing the numerous births during December and March.
What’s your favourite animal?
My favourite animal is the Steenbok because of its impressive ability and survival instincts, especially due to its small size as well as being a solitary animal.
That being said, every animal is wonderful in its own right and beautiful in its own way, each and every one is unique in order to have a functional ecosystem. So to cut it short, every animal, plant, grass, tree, flower, and all their diverse types and groups and families hold a special part in my heart.