We sat down with Super Sande, recently voted Best Safari Guide in Africa in the Tatler Travel Awards (alongside Ralph Bousfield), to learn all about aardvarks, his tracking skills and his love of nature.
NS: What’s your earliest memory of being at one with nature?
SS: “I have always liked being with happy people and people that love nature. I enjoy natural sounds, being away from manmade sounds. I enjoy the natural sounds of all animals, and of the wind blowing through the trees.”
NS: What spurred your interest in wildlife?
SS: “This might have come with me from birth, I just love animals. I was born like that and will never not like or not support wildlife, it is my world.”
NS: Where’s your favourite place to guide?
SS: “Throughout Botswana on any given day. I love to guide in all our wildlife management areas but my No 1 is Jack’s Camp.”
NS: You’ve been involved with Jack’s Camp from the very beginning. What makes it such a special place?
SS: “Jack’s Camp operates around one of the world’s most beautiful undisturbed places. It is vast, quiet and rich in life form if you know what to look for. I just like the space, stars and mostly the birdlife.”
NS: Your tracking skills are widely revered, have you got any tips for those who’d like to have a go themselves?
SS: “To be a tracker for those who would like to, I would say you need time and you need to use all your senses.”
NS: What’s the best piece of guiding advice you’ve ever been given?
SS: “To stay attentive, connected to all sounds and smells, with your eyes open. You must read the weather, the ground, follow the seasons, and understand animal behaviour and movement. It’s also important to learn calls, flying patterns and tracks.”
NS: Which is your favourite species to spend time with and why?
SS: “Aardvark, because they are so unique and different. It is not easy, but I have learnt how to track and find them. I know which days of the month they are most active and I really enjoy walking with them.
They have a good sense of hearing, great sense of smell, and poor eyesight and one can learn a lot from walking with them. They are very under studied so I do my own research on them which has given me an excellent understanding of their behaviour, and I like sharing that with other people.”
NS: Please tell us your favourite campfire story.
SS: “I have a lot of stories and all my stories are either of my life growing up, animals or safaris but I don’t like to scare people. Usually, my stories are straight from the current safari. Every safari has a story, otherwise it does not exist.”
NS: How does it feel to have been named Best Safari Guide In Africa in the Tatler Travel Awards, and what does it mean to you?
SS: “It motivates me, it gives me strength. Nothing much changed I still must do my job as always. No change as a person I am still Super that I am by name, I just hope guests do not come expecting more than what I do normally.”
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