Welcome to Guide Instructor Ob

The MORE Field Guide College is pleased to welcome our new College Instructor Obakeng Medupe (known fondly as Ob). Ob was born in a village called Mabeskraal 80km outside Rustenburg but as a youngster spent time growing up in various places across South Africa. Moving around the country is what sparked his interest in travel and wildlife. After finishing school, Ob went on to study Tourism Operations and on his last year an opportunity arose for him to study as a field guide. This was the turning point where his interest became his passion.

Ob has worked at some of the top lodges and reserves in the country over the past 15years. He is a passionate conservationist, a qualified professional trails guide, a photographer and an aspiring FGASA assessor just to name a few. Ob is pleased to have the opportunity to give back to the industry in which he thrives and lives by the motto; “Be the mentor you wish you had.” We are quite sure he will inspire many. We asked Ob a few questions to get to know him better.

What is your favourite animal and why?
Fortunately, I don’t have a favourite animal… I have favourite moments and interactions. Now these are those occurrences where you find exceptions or things the book doesn’t say let alone explain. As an example: Not so long I witnessed a young male leopard stalking a white rhino bull. For the leopard this was clearly a way to measure its stealth skills. As for the rhino…it had no clue this was happening.

Your best subject to teach?
Animal behaviour and track interpretation

What are your thoughts about the impacts of excellent field guides for conservation?
If guiding is conducted at the pinnacle of its excellence, this would mean that we archive a better and even more detailed understanding of what conservation means and its worth. A guide not only interprets their surroundings but also educates in a stimulating and entertaining manner. E.g. finding sustainable methods of meeting our objectives in a manner that engages some sense of purpose or fulfilment to the ones doing it.

What do you hope the future holds for the wildlife travel industry
I hope that one day we get to a point where more than enough awareness is raised and a complete resolution is attained about issues such as:
Poaching VS Poverty
Luxury and exclusivity VS Carbon footprint production
Human interference leading to species extinction
And the list goes on.

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