Japhet was born in Zimbabwe in 1966. He is proud of the fact that he has been with Singita as a senior full professional guide since May 2008 although he’s been in the safari industry for some 25 years, having qualified for his Professional Guide License in 1996.
Japhet’s work experience was gained in the region surrounding Lake Kariba and the fenceless areas around Mana Pools. He speaks fondly of times when he can take guests on walking tours to see impala, hippo, crocodiles, waterbuck, and zebra and he really likes sharing spectacular sunsets on the water while watching magnificent elephant herds on the banks or listening to the calls of soaring Fish Eagles overhead with them.
It was the usual morning routine of not knowing what we are going to see out there, but the moment you board those beautiful open vehicles your heart is full of joy in knowing that you are going to meet Mother Nature at close quarters. After an early morning cup of Zimbabwe’s finest coffee your eyes are wide open and looking through thick bushes for any movements, especially those of the illusive spotted cats. We went through Banyini open plains and there was lots of plains game, a crash of white rhinos and plentiful birdlife.
We were on an early morning drive on the Bhanyini plains and were watching the two cheetah brothers scouring the area. There were lots of wildebeest with their young calves about and nearby was a bachelor herd of zebra. As the cheetahs took up positions to hunt a calf one of the zebra stallion kept blocking their view.
Walking in general is good for your health so you find that most people love it, but they don’t take it to the lengths I do. The most exhilarating part for me when I am walking is that all of my senses function at their extreme, and this is when I completely connect with nature.
One of the activities we offer is a full day trip to our southern neighbour – the Gonarezhou National Park. It is a massive area covering in excess of 5 000 square kilometres. ‘Gonarezhou’ means ‘place of many elephants’ and some of the largest-tusked elephants in Africa may be found here. We invariably stop at Chilojo Cliffs for lunch, where a 13 kilometre sandstone rampart, of different coloured rock strata, rises 200 metres above the floodplain of the Runde River.