We have a new guide on board! Find out a little more about Cameron Inggs with our interview below.
The basics – what’s your name and where do you come from?
My name is Cameron Inggs and I am a South African field guide in the greater Kruger Park, based in the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve.
Where did you study and what guiding qualifications do you have?
I have my FGASA L1 and Back-Up Trails. I am also a Junior Tracker L3 and have certificates in Birding & Tracking. I studied through EcoTraining and did the one year course. I had an absolute blast and was placed perfectly for my lodge placement (where I am now employed).
What made you want to be a guide?
A lot of guests will ask your background while on safari – personal questions for me are always welcomed as it creates familiarity and breaks down boundaries often making the safari experience personal for every guest, something I strive to achieve. So my background – I studied Advertising after High school soon after which I entered into the corporate world and worked for a number of years. I enjoyed aspects of my life but something was always missing. Then I finally made the decision to break free and go and pursue my actual dream of living and guiding in the Greater Kruger Park. I made that decision at 27 years old and have not looked back. It has been an exhilarating experience thus far, not one day will ever be the same again and I always have something to look forward to as soon as I wake up, you just never know what’s around the next Marula tree.
What do you love the most about guiding?
Working in the Greater Kruger means you are in an “open system” where animals are truly free to wander. That being said, our traversing rights consist of about 6000ha within this greater area. Animals (not all animals) have territories and thus you will see some animals within your immediate area more often if you fall into their territory. So what I am getting at here is that I am most enjoying getting to know the animals in my area.
The Avoca Pride (Lions) and their daily routines and territorial boundaries are great to watch and learn about. I work with some other guides that have been with them for years and they have put me up to speed with all 15 of the cats and where they come from in terms of fathers and mothers and rest of the family tree. At the moment the Ross Males are the reigning coalition of males that serve and protect the Avocas.
Leopards (my favourite animal) are a little more challenging getting to familiarise myself with each individual. The amount of them around and frequency of sightings is hard to keep track of. They are not nearly as habituated as in other areas and give us brief glimpses into their lives. There are a few males that we see that don’t mind us viewing them on safari but females are a little more elusive. This is something I am personally trying to tackle, both to keep track of and habituate them. So far I think it’s going well and I am excited for the future of our gorgeous cats. With a number of cubs in the area and great genes of the massive males, only time will tell what secrets are yet to be discovered.
All photo credits Cameron Inggs.