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WWhat’s it like to work as a field guide in Greater Kruger?

It’s all about wildlife. It’s all about game viewing. We have people from all over the world coming to South Africa to share this piece of paradise with us, and my favourite thing about the job is meeting them and sharing these wildlife experiences. Working here at MalaMala in Sabi Sands private game reserve in Greater Kruger, I’ve seen amazing things. Sometimes I look back and see tears falling down guests’ faces, from joy.

What happens on a game drive?

A game drive is all about game viewing, but it’s also like playing a game because we don’t know what we’re going to find out there in the bush. The most important thing is to trust your guide. Before we take our guests out on safari, we do a vehicle orientation. We tell them they’re not allowed to stand up: if we stand up, we break the shape of the vehicle and the animals might recognise us as humans, and they could be disturbed or attack out of fear.

All the animals here grew up with Land Rovers around that’s how we’re able to do such close game viewings, even if an animal is feeding. The morning drive ends with a cooked breakfast back at camp, and during the evening drive we have sundowner drinks out in the bush. Some of the animals are becoming active at this time, so maybe we’ll hear some lions or leopards roar.


Bens Mariname,
Mala Mala, Greater Kruger

WWhat type of animals do you see in this area?

We have the The Big Five, which are lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino. And lots more; we don’t have any fence between Kruger and our reserve. Here in MalaMala it’s almost everyday we see the cats. For leopard viewings, there’s nowhere better. Down in the river, during the dry season, all of the animals come to drink, so if it’s a sunny day in the late afternoon all you have to do is drive along the riverbed and you’ll find the lions and leopards waiting for the prey species. We feel very lucky to have this river here. The river is part of what makes MalaMala so great for game viewing.

Read the Meet Your South Africa magazine here


Meet Your South Africa

Guide: The Marine Expert

South Africa is blessed with abundant wildlife including the Big 5.

Meet Your South Africa, with the people that know it best.

Seasonal Safari in South Africa

On Episode 1 of ITV’s ‘South Africa with Gregg Wallace’, the presenter experience a safari in the Eastern Cape province.

Travel Deals SAGA
Best of South Africa from £2,749 per person 2 passengers 15 nights

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"South Africa’s a very special country from coast to mountain. Cape Town itself is just an incredibly beautiful place also an incredibly diverse place, you have Table Mountain, you have indigenous forest and then you have this wealth marine life where you can see orcas and seals and penguins and whales and dolphins all on the same day and octopuses, massive invertebrate bio-diversity. I think, Cape Town is one of the most important bio-diversity hotspots on the planet and it’s also home to a huge community of endemic species and endemics are animals that you only find in that specific place and then when we talk specifically about the Great African sea forest, which is, the beautiful home of The Octopus Teacher. The thing about kelp forests is they cover 25% of the world’s coastlines, they are critical eco systems, they absorb carbon, they protect coastlines from storms and swell which is very important at this time because of rising sea levels and then they are just home to this unbelievable community of animals. They have some of the most bio-diverse habitats on Earth but, what’s happening, all over the world, because of climate change, is they are incredibly fragile. What’s incredible about the Greta African sea forest is the habitat is thriving, you know, it’s a very extensive kelp forest. It runs from De Hoop in the east all the way up the west coast to Namibia in the west and it’s healthy and the structure is there and although, you know, it’s not pristine but because the habitat is thriving the way that it is it really could be and you put your heard under the water there and you will see things that you never dreamed were possible and you’ll look up and there will be light playing through the forest and light rays shining down on you, and, it’s a dreamlike experience. It’s like being in a painting". Film Director, Pippa Ehrlich. We congratulate Netflix’s #MyOctopusTeacher​ for winning at The Oscars. The incredibly beautiful story of one of South Africa’s magical marine life and biodiversity, #MyOctopusTeacher​ was nominated for an Oscar award under the Documentary Feature category. Set in a kelp forest in #FalseBay​, #CapeTown​, South Africa, we say #MyOctopusTeacher​ definitely deserves the Oscar! #ShareSouthAfrica

We didn’t choose a location for this film because we never knew it was going to be a film, this is just what Craig does and what the C-Change project does, we live in Cape Town so we dive in Cape Town. And there are incredible dive sites all over the city, right on our doorstep and the incredible power of this film in some ways, and the joy of it from a filmmaking point of view is that, most natural history shoots you get flown off to some exotic location and then you’re under incredible pressure to get everything you need in three weeks. When you live and work in your home, you can be very picky about exactly the shot that you want. You know, you can wait for the best visibility, you can wait for the scariest storm. And the most amazing part of all of it is you go and dive, and you have these mind blowing experiences and you hold that feeling in your heart, and then you sit down straight afterwards and go back to the edit suite like this magical process of alchemy where it just pours into the film that you’re creating, so this was a once in a lifetime filmmaking process. It’s certainly changed my life." Film Director, Pippa Ehrlich. A showcase of South Africa’s beautiful biodiversity hotspot in a Western Cape kelp forest of #FalseBay​, Netflix's #MyOctopusTeacher​ has won an Oscar award under the Documentary Feature category. Good luck to the team for the brilliant story of a once-in-a-lifetime encounter in one of the most exquisitely beautiful environments on earth 🐙 #ShareSouthAfrica​ #CapeTown​ #FalseBay Learn more about the destination on

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