The famous Hwange National Park in north-east Zimbabwe is ‘home’ for Bekezela ("Beks") Ndlovu, one of the most informed wildlife guides you will find in Africa. Born near Hwange and educated at an elite private school, Ndlovu went straight into guiding as soon as he graduated. He guided and ran camps for Wilderness Safaris for years both in Botswana and Zimbabwe and has won many guiding awards, including the full Professional Guides License in 1998. After his success as a guide, he then took the plunge and started African Bush Camps, a successful portfolio of 8 luxury tented camps in Zimbabwe and Botswana and a foundation that supports rural communities around conservation areas. He has won a Safari Award for ‘Best Personal contribution to Safari Tourism in Africa' and ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ at the Zimbabwe Council for Tourism Awards for his personal contribution to Tourism in Zimbabwe. Today he is not only actively involved in selecting and training the guides who work at his properties but still acts as a private guide himself. We got him to answer a few questions for us on his experiences as a guide.
Questions and Answers
When and why did you become a guide?
I became a guide in 1995 after being inspired by time spent visiting older friends in the business.
What is your most memorable experience as a guide?
The first time I saw lions hunting a buffalo.
What safari moment were you most thrilled to have helped a client experience?
Tracking black rhino on foot in the rugged hills of Matusadona and coming upon a mother and her calf that was only a few weeks old.
Top 3 favorite properties:
- Somalisa Camp (Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe)
- Kanga Camp (Mana Pools National Park in Zimbabwe)
- Khwai Tented Camp (Khwai Concession/Moremi Game Reserve in Botswana)
Top 3 favorite national parks:
Your favorite trip:
A 3 day walking safari in the Zambezi valley.
What is somewhere you have always wanted to take guests but never have?
Gorongosa (Ngorongoza) National Park in Mozambique
What's on your bucket list?
Ngorongoza, Bengwelu Swamps and Diving in Pemba in Mozambique
Two things you always tells your guests to bring when traveling:
A good pair of binoculars and an SLR camera
Two things you think travelers should know about Africa:
That the choice of a good specialist tour operator to book your safari is vital and equally key is who you have as a guide on safari.
Camera or binocular recommendations?
Leica 8x32BA and Nikon D5000 or similar with a 80-200 2.8ED lens
Do you have a specialty?
Walking and Tracking