In this episode, I’m talking with my good friend, Orlat Ndlovu. Orlat is the Head of Ranger Services at the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, which borders the Kruger National Park in South Africa. He’s been a dedicated ranger for over 14 years, and he was a close friend and colleague of the late Anton Mzimba.
In this conversation, we talk about Orlat’s early love of birds and how that passion for nature led to a career as a field ranger. We dive into the challenges he faced during ranger selection and training, the day-to-day work of a ranger in the Timbavati, and the many dangers of the job. We spend time unpacking the rhino poaching crisis, and how it changed the nature of his work. We go deep into what makes a good ranger, the nature of corruption within the ranger corps and how his team works to eliminate it, and the importance of educating and inspiring the youth. We even have a heartfelt discussion about the loss of Anton Mzimba, and the difficult task Orlat had in stepping up and taking leadership of his team during such a devastating time. Orlat is full of sage advice and love for the work he does.