Kruger2canyon News

Spotlight – Megan Smith from The Great Outdoors

  Megan was fortunate enough to be born into a family that was ‘bush mad’. Parents Mike and Glen Heramb ensured that the experience for their children was not the run-of-the-mill Kruger Park holiday every year. Instead, they would pack up their trusted Landrover and head out into the deepest parts of Botswana and Zimbabwe, days from all civilization, and expose their children to the ‘real’ African experience. Her parents were determined to get her and brother Dale, to see and experience the untouched Africa – for which both are eternally grateful.

  Megan fell in love with these wonderful bush experiences, and from an early age it was evident that she wanted to be a nature guide. In 2006 she launched forth, and through The Bush Academy she achieved her first qualification. She did her work placement in the Manyaleti and then moved on to Tinga in the Kruger National Park.

  It was there that she met her husband, Tony, and after a few years they were offered a management position in the Thuli block in Botswana. There they spent a few years whilst also exploring opportunities in the Okavango Delta. Although management was a new adventure for Megan, her heart lay in guiding. And then the couples’ lives were made whole, with the discovery that Megan was expecting a daughter, Morgan.

  For the first year of Morgan’s life, the couple lived in a tent, miles away from anyone, but the need for some civilization bore heavily on them. It was a unique mix though, wanting some civilization as well as the bush – and that’s where Hoedspruit came to mind. So, the couple packed their bags and together with Morgan moved to Hoedspruit.

  No sooner had they arrived, and the guiding bug had again inextricably bitten Megan. This time was a game changer and she began self-studying through FGASA achieving her professional field guide qualification. But as amazing as the qualification was, there was still an arrow in her quiver that was missing – trails!

  Her good friend Wayne Tebrake from Lowveld Trails then introduced her to trails and she was hooked! That ‘untouched’ bush experience that she had had as a child, came flooding back to her and from that point she was determined to spend the rest of her guiding career on foot. She was fortunate enough to be trained by ‘titans’ of the industry, Lowveld Trails, and Bruce Lawson. Together they pushed her onto the ‘lead’ qualification and now she has the ‘special knowledge skills – dangerous game’ (SKSDG) qualification firmly in her sights. Her determination to push on to that qualification is palpable.

  As a freelance guide, Megan now has the privilege to walk on many different properties, offering day walks as well as multiday trails to various lodges. This young woman has progressed with determination and passion and is undoubtedly engrossed in what she loves and does. She is a humble, knowledgeable, focused asset to the guiding industry and has been nominated to be a member of WISE – Women In Safari Excellence.

  Megan has the world at her feet and she is clearly walking every passionate step on the way.

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