On Track with Ishmael Hlongwane

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Ishmael Hlongwane is one of the interesting folk at Thornybush Game Lodge who will lead you on trails of discovery during your game drives.

He is one of our most experienced trackers, having worked in this field since the turn of the century.

Born to be Wild!

Ishmael started out life in 1970 in the small village of Welverdiend outside Acornhoek and close to Manyeleti Game Reserve. Born with a passion for wildlife, he started honing his tracking skills by observing the animals in his environment.

He was encouraged and mentored by his two older brothers during these formative years. After school in 1988, Ishmael joined Thornybush Nature Reserve as a gardener, with his eyes set firmly on loftier goals.

He qualified in 2000 after attaining his tracking certificate and learning how to identify, analyse and follow wild animal spoor in the wild.

Ishmael likes nothing better than pleasing and impressing his guests with sightings of our wild creatures. His personal favourite is the lion which always brings so much excitement to the game drives.

Ishmael has honed his skills over the years by learning from the more experienced trackers and by constant practice in the art of tracking. He considers himself fortunate to have learned from the master trackers, Wilson Masiya and Joe Mabunda who have since retired from Thornybush Game Lodge.

Driven by his love for the wild

One of Ishmael's favourite pastimes is visiting the Kruger National Park with his young family so that he can share his knowledge and love of the bush with them. He is also active in his local community spreading the word about conservation and teaching the young children how to track cows and goats. You have to start somewhere.

Always keen to learn more about his natural surroundings, Ishmael is currently focussing on studying towards becoming a game guide.

Get in touch with us to book your South African safari at Thornybush Game Lodge and see what Ishmael can track for you.


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Thursday, 23 May 2019