Christened Reneck Ndlovu, but better known as ‘Scotch’, this incredible man has been with Tanda Tula for over 26 years. He is a member of our team who does not really need an introduction: if you have met him you will never forget him and if you have not had the pleasure you may well have heard about this kind, soft natured gentleman.
Scotch has a unique skill, something that sets him apart, amazing and inspiring his guests and the many people he meets.
When you set out on a safari with Scotch you may point up to a bird and wonder what it is, quick as a flash he will reply. But, not just with the name of the bird, he will also give you the page number and placement in his bird book for fast and easy reference. This really is an impressive party trick and when most people experience this for the first time they are left in complete awe. After that, it becomes a game and his guest will keep testing him, but very seldom does he let them down.
Why does he do this you may wonder? Well, in his early years of tracking, when he was training to become a guide, he noticed how some of his mentors would stop and show the guests the birds in their books. He realised if he wanted to be a really good guide, he needed something that set him apart, instead of wasting time looking for the bird it seemed easier to learn the name, page and reference all at the same time.
Then he saw how much guests loved this special trick and he was really encouraged, so he continued learning more until today where he can do this with over 150 species in the Timbavati. A truly remarkable talent that sets him apart when it comes to guiding expertise.
This is not where the talent ends though. Walking with this knowledgeable and insightful man is an absolute pleasure. Not only is Scotch a wonderful guide, but he a qualified Senior Tracker, now starting to work on his next level of qualification: a Master Tracker. He can read and understand the signs of the bush like very few other individuals in the Greater Kruger Park region.
Recently Scotch has been leading the walks from Field Camp which he absolutely loves, he feels at this off-the-grid camp you are truly connect to the earth and your environment. He says that when you walk in the bush you become one with nature, you hear everything and experience things in a heightened state. He is particularly passionate when teaching his guests about the plants and herbs and their medicinal uses, all of which he learnt from his grandmother who was a well-respected sangoma.
Scotch is also incredibly proud of his son, Expect, who – thanks to a special lady has had the opportunity to attend Southern Cross Schools, a private school in Hoedspruit. He acknowledges that here his son can get a number of opportunities that he never had, he has learnt to speak English better than anyone else in his family and he is filled with pride. He points out that it never ceases to amaze him when he watches Expect typing away at a computer, that a challenge that would take him hours gets completed in a couple of minutes. This inspires Scotch and keeps him wanting to better himself. What a humble approach, to view one’s own children as your motivation.