After more than six years as a ranger working full-time for the prestigious and world – renowned Singita Game Reserves I have decided to make the move to the big city. This may seem crazy to most or likely all of you reading this, but I am in pursuit of my dreams and the lengths I would through to reach it is endless. This belief was thoroughly put to test this morning.
One always hears about the traffic in Jozi but believe you me, once you experience it for yourself you realize it is far worse than all of those rumours. For a bush-boy fresh to city life this morning’s drive to work was a small culture shock.
I fondly remember all the times I thought of my friends in the city stuck in traffic whilst all I had to deal with was a herd of elephants crossing the grassy two track on game drive, or a “stubborn” male lion ambling along in front of us. I would often chuckle softly at my good fortune, at what a privileged life I had out here.
Today I found myself experiencing life on the other side of the hill.
As I arrived at the Design Quarter and made my way up to the Wild Eye offices the morning’s rather intimidating experience simply vanished. I had arrived at my new work space, an open door to reaching my dreams of becoming a photographic ambassador to this incredibly amazing continent called Africa and changing the way you see the world.
I was home.
I was greeted by two friendly faces in the form of Gerry van der Walt and Andrew Beck. These two gentleman are legends in this industry and to say I am excited to work with them and also learn from them is a complete understatement. It’s great to have a friendship formed with them. Moving from the bush to the city can be a daunting experience, but getting to work with friends rather than strangers makes this new experience so much more palatable
After a brief induction accompanied by a warm cup of well-brewed coffee I was behind my own desk and “hard” at work. It felt strange at first to settle in behind my white desk accompanied by a green chair but the nerves soon settled and was replaced with a sense of ownership. I no longer commandeer a land rover with my trusty tracker Walter on the front of it. I now occupy a position where I get to travel to the finest wildlife destinations across the world, introducing people to not only the world of photography but changing their lives as they get to see the wonderful natural world around us first hand.
Something else I am thrilled about is being within reach of civilisation again. Over the last four or five years I have met so many “cyber” people. Relationships are formed on social media but people never get to physically meet one another.
Thanks to things like Facebook the world has become smaller but sadly being out in the bush as a guide limits the opportunities you have to meet new people. I remember starting out with my good friend James Suter on Safari Brothers five years ago, we introduced to you what our lives were like as full-time guides. Today I find myself in a position to meet and connect with all of you and it excites me
The year 2014 is loaded with absolute magic and I can’t wait to be a part of it. Wild Eye is changing the way you see the world and I am privileged to play a part in it.
Marlon du Toit