From volunteer to Mashatu Lodge Supervisor, meet Lopang “Lops” Rampeba
My love for nature goes far again to a really younger age. Similar to many younger boys in Botswana, it began at our farm the place, as a younger boy, I herded goats and later graduated to cattle. Taking good care of livestock teaches a younger boy many expertise. Whereas the cattle are feeding, you could have loads of time to study your surroundings, finding out tracks and indicators corresponding to scat and dung of the wild animals that share the identical area. These are important expertise for any boy herding close by wildlife areas, as they can detect imminent hazard corresponding to predators within the space.
Along with the hours spent herding cattle, my father labored for the federal government as a veterinary fence foreman and used to take us kids alongside to their camps within the countryside throughout faculty holidays. There was usually sport to be seen in these areas corresponding to kudus, warthogs, impalas and scrub hares, to say a number of.
Whereas nonetheless at college I noticed I’ve a ardour for nature, so after finishing my highschool, I opted to check a Diploma in Journey and Tourism. Discovering a job within the safari business on the time was fairly difficult, as most safari corporations employed straight from the native villages on the outskirts of their reserves, in an effort to empower the native folks.
I used to be lucky to return throughout an article with an advert from Mashatu Recreation Reserve in one of many native newspapers. They have been searching for native younger volunteers to help with the stay streaming from the previous Pete’s Pond. I didn’t hesitate and though it was a volunteer place, I utilized and was accepted.
My important responsibility was to man the stay net cameras in addition to talk with the viewers everywhere in the world. In return for my volunteering, each weekend I used to be allowed to remain at Mashatu Lodge or Tent Camp as a visitor, taking part with and becoming a member of visitors on drives and for meals.
It was over these weekends that I met the guides and trackers working there. They impressed me and have been very useful in advising me on how one can develop into a tracker and information. After six months my volunteering program got here to an finish, as we needed to give different native volunteers an opportunity. I instantly moved to Maun the place I enrolled for knowledgeable guiding course and inside six months, I obtained my guiding license.
2009, Lops when he was a tracker with information Bashi and and Abel who was a barman on the time. All three are nonetheless employed at Mashatu. Bashi is a legendary information, Abel is now a tracker and Lops manages the Mashatu Lodge.
I referred to as the then Mashatu Lodge Supervisor to inform him of my achievement and confirmed an curiosity in returning again to the Land of the Giants. Fortunately for me they have been searching for trackers and I used to be employed as a tracker, a place I held for near a yr earlier than I used to be supplied a lodge administration coaching course by one of many safari corporations up North of Botswana. After I shared the information with Mashatu managing administrators, they gave me the inexperienced gentle and blessed my transfer to the Delta, as they anticipated that I used to be going to be again once more sometime.
It was in 2009 after I began my Stage 1, 2 and three lodge administration course and guiding course. Each programs have been for a length of a yr whereafter I began working in numerous camps for a similar firm as a trainee lodge supervisor and trainee information. I used to be promoted to lodge assistant supervisor, managing numerous departments, a system used to make sure trainees get all-round publicity. By the top of 2010 I used to be managing smaller camps earlier than being promoted to their basic camps and ultimately a premier camp within the Okavango Delta, the place I labored because the lodge supervisor for 9 years.
In 2017 I made a decision it was time to maneuver nearer to house and on the identical time Peter Bale, the then Mashatu Lodge supervisor, contacted me searching for referrals for an assistant Supervisor. I noticed then that I used to be prepared and out there for the place and the time had come to return. I utilized and it was not lengthy earlier than I used to be again at Mashatu Recreation Reserve the place my journey started.
Quickly after returning, the supervisor was promoted and that paved the best way for my appointment as the brand new Lodge supervisor of Mashatu Lodge – a dream come true.
2021, Photograph of Lops in his new function as Mashatu Lodge supervisor.