First black, female field guide at the Kapama Private Game Reserve.

GUEST REPORT – Queen Manyike

My name is Queen Manyike, I am 26 years old and  I’m a proud mother of a beautiful baby girl, Erica, who is five months old. I come from a rural area in Acornhoek, Mpumalanga Province in South Africa.

I grew up visiting my father at Klaserie Private Nature Reserve during school holidays and I attended holiday workshops there from 2004, which were hosted by a non-profit organisation called Ecochildren*. Here we learned a lot about nature in the most fun ways. We were taught how to look after our beautiful environment, and that’s where my interest and passion in nature started.

Through Ecochildren I got the right support to embark on the great journey to becoming a field guide, in an industry well known for being male-dominated.

I studied at Bushwise College in 2018, but before that, for six months in 2016, I also had a great opportunity to go and study nature conservation and environmental education, as well as having training for being an unarmed field ranger, at the African Wildlife College. I received the award for the best student overall.

Right from the beginning of my journey in conservation my family have shown me a great support I could never ask for, and they so proud to have one of their daughters in a field of nature. I wouldn’t be where I am today without their support and the fact that I’m inspiring kids in the rural area from where I come.

Through Ecochildren I also got an opportunity to meet one of my favourite people, Mike Kendrick, the man who taught me how to use a camera and the importance of spreading conservation awareness through images or photography. I’m blessed to own one of Canon cameras because of him.

Currently I am working as the first black female field guide in Kapama Private Game Reserve, one the best and well known reserves, based in Limpopo Hoedspruit.

In all journey’s we embark on, we come across challenges, but we never give up, no matter how many times we fall, we stand up and dust of ourselves, walk tall and move forward.

“Ambition is the path to success, persistence is the vehicle you arrive in” this is one of the positive quotes that keeps me going.

Kind Regards

Queen Manyike

Eco Children is a non-profit organisation, initiated by the Klaserie Private Nature Reserve, which focuses on hands-on environmental education and whole school development and work with primary schools in the area. They help schools better their infrastructure and the overall teaching conditions, in order to improve education and empower learners to break the cycle of poverty they have been born into

“Our vision is to make a positive impact on education in our adopted primary schools through whole school development with a focus on conservation.

We believe that all children should be given the best possible start in life and that a decent education is a fundamental human right.

We believe that by reducing the burdens of poverty, creating an environment conducive to learning and stimulating a child’s curiosity through awareness of the natural world, all children will have the capacity to flourish and become catalysts of positive change in their families and their communities, resulting in both environmental and economic benefits.”

The Crash