The third instalment of our African safari Guiding Q & A series features Willie Shuma, safari manager at Norman Carr Safaris.
How and why did you become a guide?
I grew up living with animals in close proximity in the South Luangwa. I learnt all about them and the habitats when I was still very young. One is taught to be bush wise from a very tender age. It grows within you and, in my case, became a part of me.
Do you have a specialism?
I’m a general practitioner but I am very keen on birds.
What is your favourite country/national park/reserve to guide in?
Zambia and the South Luangwa National Park.
What has been your favourite sighting to date?
A civet hunting and killing a five foot spitting cobra! (Civets are fairly small, cat-like creatures with an extended muzzle, like an otter or mongoose.)
What’s your favourite activity?
I like to combine both walking and driving.
If you could go to any country to see its wildlife, where would you choose?
East Africa to see the Great Migration and any country where I can see the penguins and a bear.
What advice would you give to anyone who wanted to become a guide?
Guiding is an exciting career because you get the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life. It is becoming very competitive and one has to keep abreast with everything around them and bear in mind that you learn every day.
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