Grass Roots Inspiration

Text: Ranger Pieter van Wyk

Whilst on safari at MalaMala Game Reserve there’s a good chance that you’ll bump into our resident ecology student, Priscilla. She’s a passionate and driven individual, a devoted single mother and a strong woman who stands confidently in a male dominated industry. Priscilla took a break from her busy schedule to tell us a little bit about herself…

Being an ecology student at MalaMala Game Reserve is great opportunity for me. Conservation experience is all about looking closely at the elements of an ecosystem and learning about the importance of each element. MalaMala has all of that experience in a package, but you also have to be passionate and love what you are doing. I actually got a lot of inspiration from my father who also worked in conservation as a ranger. Through my father I was exposed to the natural world at a grass-roots level and I grew up close to game reserves. So coming to this place has always been a dream of mine.

Every time I step into the bush I learn so much. I must also say that the bush offers me a lot more than what I can do for it but I will strive to do all I can. Studying and working at the same time is hard but at least most of the work is practical. It helps me understand the course I am doing better than reading from the book only. I work with a very strong team here at MalaMala. I’ll admit that being in an industry that is male dominated is not that simple but I stand up firm and fit into the team.

I was an environmental monitor before I enrolled with the South African Wildlife College where I studied Nature conservation and Environmental management. This is where I got equipped with a lot of knowledge that I am actually now applying in the field here.  MalaMala is a dream come true, a huge step towards my future goal. It is such a privilege to work in such a historic and prestigious game reserve with an extra-ordinary team.

I believe that I have a strong influence in my village because many will get inspired by me and many will change their perspective concerning wildlife and conservation. I am having a life enriching experience and I’m enjoying every part of my job.