We are very pleased to introduce the most recent addition to our field guide team, Sima. Sima is an Eastern Cape local from nearby town of Addo and a graduate of the Wilderness Foundation’s Siyanzenzela training course and Umzi Whethu training academy.
“The program was about finding out who you are and teaching people resilience and bouncing back from hard times,” says Sima.
Kuzuko was established primarily as a social enterprise, designed to create employment and improve livelihoods for communities in the local area. Because of this goal, we are always especially happy to take on graduates from the Wilderness Foundation who share our goals and ethos. Over the years we have taken on several graduates who have all been trained to an exceptional standard, and Sima is no exception.
During his program, Sima was one of just a few to be selected from an initial 30 candidates to go on to complete his guide training at Ulovane Environmental Training at Amakhala Game reserve.
“What I like about guiding is that it exposes us to a bigger picture and makes us realise what we should be grateful for,” says Sima. “For us Africans, we’re very lucky to have these vast lands and animals around us, and whereas other people pay a lot of money to come and see these animals, I’m getting paid to be here!”
Sima first came to Kuzuko for a brief stay in 2020 before heading off for a full year of anti-poaching training. Now with yet another string to his bow, Sima has come back to guide full time at Kuzuko. One of the things which attracted Sima to Kuzuko was the varied terrain and biomes – something a bit different from the other places he had worked.
“The other thing that makes me very grateful to be here is Sylvester the lion,” says Sima. “Sylvester is a very famous lion and here I am able to experience what Sylvester does on a daily basis, so it’s quite an honour and privilege to be here at Kuzuko!”
Sima’s Animal Facts:
Favourite Animal: As a lover of all things nature, Sima doesn’t really have a ‘favourite’ animal but if pushed for an answer it would be a giraffe
Favourite Animal Fact: Being the world’s tallest animal means that giraffe babies are in for a rude awakening upon entering the world with a 2 metre drop to the ground. As it turns out though, this dramatic entrance has some advantages. The drop ensures that the amniotic sack is torn, and the umbilical cord is broken. The hard landing also helps shock the baby giraffe’s systems into action – something Sima calls a ‘kick start birth’