Careers in Conservation

EPISODE THREE: Joel Hlatswayo
Field Guide
Sabi Sands – Lilydale

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Joel Hlatswayo – Field Guide

Background: Joel Hlatswayo was born and raised in Lilydale, a town far east of the Mpumalanga province of South Africa, near the Sabi Sands, which borders the Kruger National Park. Living 25km away from the fence of a protected area, he usually heard sounds of lions roaring during the day on his way to a local spaza shop to get supplies, and in the evening as well. These calls sparked interest in him to visit and experience wildlife.

During his high school years, he visited his mom’s friend who worked as a housekeeper in the Sabi Sands. He went on game drives which got him inspired by the field guide who was sharing his knowledge with his team about wildlife conservation and the environment.

Behind the Scenes: Joel on the Job



Joel Hlatswayo – Field Guide

Upon Matriculation, Joel knew he wanted to be a field guide. He pursued a course in Travel and Tourism and did practicals at Londolozi game reserve where he served as a receptionist. This experience brought him closer to the people whom he aspired to be like, and spent most of his time with them.

He then furthered his studies and obtained his FGASA level 2 qualification. It placed him closer to realising his dream. By that time, the management of Londolozi Private Game Reserve knew about his dream and requested him to temporarily step into the shoes of a guide who went on maternity leave. Joel showed dedication and passion to his work and created a good name for himself within the field guiding community and was offered a permanent position at &beyond placed in the Sabi Sands. Now Joel lives his dream sharing the importance of conserving wildlife and the environment.

“A desire for great things, with discipline, can lead to success in life.”

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