“A true, professional ranger is not only a competent ornithologist, tracker, protector, botanist, behavioral specialist and inquisitive naturalist but also a patient, well groomed, kind, passionate, selfless and enthusiastic people’s person who dedicates 18 hours of his or her day to creating the perfect wildlife holiday experience for someone else.”
It’s been a long time coming but 2011 will see the first ever ‘Ranger of the Year’ competition take place in South Africa. Driven by Specialist Guide Mike Karantonis and AfricaDirect, the competition is a platform for all experienced guides to pit their bush-skills against the best in the business and build even more of a name for themselves in the industry.
The competition will also give significant bragging rights to the winner and their respective lodge, not to mention a wonderful set of prizes, of which Londolozi is a sponsor. Judging and assessment will be based on such facets of guiding such as shooting, tracking, photography, awareness, birdcalls, bushcraft, mammal behavior, story telling, medicinal uses of plants, conservation topics, communication, team work and hospitality.
For enthusiasts and visitors of Africa’s wild places, the Ranger of the Year competition will be incredibly interesting to follow as the different contestants are whittled down to a short list of 20 individuals of which 8 finalists will be chosen to attend the practical assessments over a period of 4 days. The panel of judges range from FGASA directors to Alex van der Heever (Senior tracker and owner of the Tracker Academy), Bruce Lawson (Owner of Lawson’s Birding Academy) and of course Specialist Guide Mike Karantonis.
To find out more about the 2011 ‘Ranger of the Year’ click here