For most, being in the bush has the association of a holiday, a ‘now-and-then’, an escape. For Ntsako, it’s synonymous with family, familiarity and belonging.
Ntsako has had a profound affinity for the wild since he was very young. Growing up, both of his parents worked at a bush camp, which meant that the wilderness was not only in his surroundings but also in his roots and upbringing. This is what shaped his deep admiration for nature, which he now gets to live and share as a tracker for Head Guide Sipps Maswanganyi.
His fundamental understanding is matched with a simultaneous curiosity for the intricate interaction and complex dynamism of the natural world. The way that various elements of the wild co-exist, collaborate and thrive through many means and habits. For instance, by just fulfilling their own needs, hunters and scavengers work together to ensure the greater survival and harmony of the ecosystem.
Especially intrigued by leopards, Ntsako says that tracking these elusive creatures is really where he enjoys putting his skills to the test, on those misty morning drives when the tracks are still fresh and the sun’s gaze is in his favour. These are the moments he savours.
Ntsako also enjoys nonchalantly surprising guests with chameleons towards the end of an afternoon drive. He insists that they’re easy to find and that it’s their colour pigments that give them away, but those of us who aren’t quite as seasoned are still convinced that it’s some sort of magic trick. It’s exactly this that sets Ntsako apart— his seemingly effortless skill and authentic love for the wild, in which he finds genuine pride and honour to share with others.