The intimacy of the Bateleur Safari Camps means that our staff or team members cannot just be a number – when they join our team, they become part of the family. It is with this in mind that we all warmly welcomed our new Bateleur Safari Camps managers, Brad and Sophia, in January 2017. In the short time that they have been at Bateleur we have gained some very interesting insights into what made them choose their careers.
Like all our team members, Brad and Sophia have a passion for the bush and its wildlife. This passion was cultivated from a young age when both of their families broadened their horizons by introducing them to the abundant game reserves and bush that South Africa has to offer. Brad’s parents started taking the family to The Kruger Park for holidays on a regular basis. It was thanks to these visits that he realised that he wanted to study and qualify to be a field guide and give back to nature. Sophia was privileged to have had firsthand experience with the bush when, from the age of six years old, her family spent the summer months in Cape Point and the winter months in the bush. Not many children have such an amazing experience and it was due to this naturalist upbringing that Sophia went on to complete a degree in Natural Science.
As any self-respecting bush enthusiast would know, you have to have a favourite animal! And Brad and Sophia are no different. The wild dog is Sophia’s choice as it is a vulnerable hunter that is not as strong as other predators in the area but is an efficient, fast hunter that works together as a pack to bring down prey. Their physical beauty is also characterised by one of the names given to these gorgeous big-eared animals – the Painted Wolf. Brad names the spotted hyena as his favourite given that they play an integral part in the bush, and their wicked cackles, whoops and laughs all come from jaws so powerful they are able to crush bones.
Brad and Sophia look forward to welcoming and hosting you in the very near future at the Bateleur Safari Camps in the Timbavati Reserve.