Bennet Mthonsi, more affectionately known as Stikenyawo, or Bennet on the bonnet! After growing up in the Timbavati area in the Kruger National Park, Bennet trained as a ranger at Phinda Game reserve in 2001 and was a valuble member of the guiding team for many years. However, his love and true talent for tracking soon had him perched on the front of the Landrovers of Londolozi for the last 16 years. Bennet is a bastion of the ancient traditional ways of tracking where finding and following animals runs deeply in his blood. His connection to the natural world and his ability to read the subtle signs of the bushveld is a gift that is characteristic of the truly great trackers of Africa.
For the last 8 years Bennet has teamed up with Alfred Mathebula, and together they have shared the wonders of Londolozi with countless guests and friends, and their partnership is seen as an example to many of the younger tracker and ranger teams. These new members of the ranging team often sit wide-eyed and transfixed as Bennet regales them with stories that have become legend. His favourite animal to track was the famous 3:4 female, a leopard that captured the imagination of so many. His skill and passion for finding her contributed greatly to Londolozi’s special relationship with this beautiful leopard.
Bennet’s skills and interests extends past the art of tracking, and he is also a valuable addition to the photographic team for our blog. If this is not enough, in his spare time he is a talented carpenter and his eye for beauty is reflected in many of the artworks and furniture at Londolozi.
In a world that is rapidly changing, the tacit knowledge of Bennet’s generation is rare. He is one of the last great members of the old school way and is valued hugely by the Londolozi family!
Written by Helen Young