Meet Jack Hutchinson - Thornybush's Trendiest Field Guide

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Recognised by his full beard and for his passion for all things wildlife, Jack Hutchinson has been with the Thornybush Collection since 2014. Jack has many years of wildlife experience having worked in the Kruger National Park, Sabi Sand and Timbavati, Thornybush's closes neighbour.

As we speak, Thornybush and the Timbavati, which is already open to Kruger, are in the process of dropping their boundary fences to accommodate free movement of game between the two reserves. You can read all about this exciting news here.


Born in Plettenberg Bay, Jack was educated at CBC, Boksburg and enjoyed many a safari holiday with his parents while growing up. The bush bug bit, and Jack always knew that he wanted to pursue a career in wildlife after school. 

Becoming Bushwise

He completed his first guiding course in 2009 but his thirst for knowledge proves unstoppable and he continued to study and learn until achieving the sought-after FGASA level 3 Full Trails qualification. This course includes a wide range of topics including:

  • Geology
  • Astronomy
  • Weather & climate
  • Ecology
  • Taxonomy
  • Botany – trees & grasses
  • Arthropods, amphibians, reptiles and fish
  • Birds and mammals
  • Animal behaviour
  • Conservation management & historical habitation

Principles of anti-poaching

That's just the animal part of the course. Jack also mastered vehicle skills, 4 x 4 training and basic mechanics, hospitality and hosting basics, survival and navigation, viewing potentially dangerous animals, rifle handling, first aid skills and tracking during his course.

You know you are in capable hands with any of our guides but Jack takes it to a new level. He is currently studying towards his FGASA SKS Birds which involves everything you could possibly want to know about avians from their evolution, distribution, ecology, conservation, anatomy and how to track them. Birders are in for a treat when out in the bush with this accomplished ranger.

Part of his FGASA qualification, included learning about wildlife photography and Jack is an avid photographer with some unique shots in his portfolio. In one instance, he captured a picture of an impala, trapped in the grip of an African python, watching helplessly as a hyena approached.

"It was an unbelievably dramatic incident, but one that again shows the harsh reality of nature," says Jack. While this is not the kind of thing you see every day in nature, Jack continues to be inspired by the wonders he encounters in the bush and sharing his love of nature with our guests every day.

We look forward to sharing a long association with Jack, to the benefit of all our guests, and wish him all the best in his ongoing studies.

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Sunday, 25 June 2017