31 May Get to know our Guides | Sorta Mulhovo
Sorta Mulhovo bustles into the office to be interviewed for this story with a broad smile on her face and a good story to tell about the start of her day. Well, two good stories.
The first story is that early one morning in November, Sorta, a guide at Rhino Post, was going from room to room along the river bank, waking guests for their game drives, when she came across a freshly killed impala lamb lying on the wooden walkway between the rooms.
“I thought about moving it but I heard a warning growling,” Sorta said with an excited laugh. “There was a leopard looking me in the eyes from the bush. I think it wanted to drag the baby impala away and I heard a voice in my head that said “don’t run” so I slowly walked back about fivemetres.”
“Eventually the leopard went off into the bush but the guests didn’t even know this was happening right outside the room,’’ Sorta laughed. “I had to make sure everything was ok for them, that’s part of my job.”
The second good story is that although she took the morning’s excitement in her stride as part of a normal day’s work, Sorta has not always been a guide and when she started working at Rhino Post she began as a cleaner, later becoming a waitress, and then head waiter in 2018.
Sorta, grew up close to the Kruger National Park, a region of high unemployment, and her journey to her new position is one of hard work, determination, inspiration from her father and guidance and assistance from her bosses.
Even though Sorta had done well in her first 13 years at Rhino Post she wanted to go further and quietly enrolled with the Nature College, which offers online courses, with the intention of qualifying as a guide.
Guiding or taking care of nature is a family thing, I received great inspiration to do this from my father who worked for the KNP and later Rhino Post for many years,” Sorta said. My father is a legend.
“My older brother has followed in our father’s footsteps because he is a sergeant for the anti-poaching unit in KNP. My other brother just qualified with a B Tech degree in nature conservation and works as a hiking trails guide at Metsi Metsi or Mathikithi (both trails camps in the KNP).”
Despite Sorta’s efforts at keeping her studies secret she didn’t escape the notice of Nikki Myer, regional director of Seolo Africa, the company that manages Rhino Post “Nikki saw what I was doing and when I explained she said to me I did not have do everything on my own and that the company would help,” Sorta remembers. “She said I would not have to pay for the course and when I said I had done so already she agreed to refund me.”
In addition to qualifying as a guide , which entailed gaining a public driving licence, she has also completed first-aid and snake handling courses.
“During my studies and even today everyone at the lodge has their hand open for me and if I have a question regarding my work, my management and the other guides offer me their full support”, Sorta said. “I am looking forward to become one of the top nature conservationists.”
As many people say, life begins at 40 year! I am starting a new life now.