We caught up with Fabian, a guide at Mapula Lodge in Botswana to find out how he became a guide and what he loves about Mapula.
What’s your full name?
“Mpontshang France (Fabian)”
Where are you originally from?
“I come from an area called Guvamukuni(Sejwara) which is in what is currently NG12. Presently, the villages are all the way from Shakawe to Gudigwa. We relocated to Eretsha to move closer to developments such as clinics and schools.”
Where are you based now?
“I am based in NG12 at Mapula Lodge (Jack’s Island) and Uncharted Africa Safari Expeditions camp.”
What made you want to become a guide?
“During my early days at primary level, I was privileged to be selected to go on program where we were taught a lot of things from soils to grasses, trees, and animals for almost three weeks. We were later given books to read. The main reason for the program was conservation at a younger age, to impart knowledge and skills about conservation to the younger generation. That triggered my interest in becoming a conservationist at heart, and a guide.”
What makes Mapula Lodge a great camp to guide in?
“Mapula is situated in an area called NG12, an area that everyone is dying to operate from. The NG12 area has got a lot more dry land which attracts a lot of game during the wet season. The area has a beautifully diverse habitat of grassland savanna, riverine forests, permanent swamps, woodlands and seasonal flood plains. The game concentration in the area is amazing.”
What kind of wildlife are you seeing in the area?
“The area has a lot to offer in terms of game. There are herds of buffalos, sable antelopes and roan antelopes east of Mapula, red lechwes, steenboks, reed bucks, kudus, tsessebes, lots of zebras and wildebeest, lions, hyenas and at times rhinos.”
What’s your favourite thing about the camp?
“The location of the camp is amazing. It is on an Island called Xaraxai which offers a beautiful view. One would hardly want to go out for sundowners because of the beautiful sunset on the tree lines on the other side of the lagoon that is in front of camp. It is like a beautiful live pastel painting.”
What’s been your favourite guiding experience at Mapula Lodge so far?
“My first over the top experience was a rare sighting of three lioness on a kill with three cheetahs on the same island, just 30 metres apart from each other. Another sighting that’s been one of my favourites was seeing the rarest animal twice on one drive – a pangolin!”