Felix Munkuli, (Munkuli is Ngwenya in Ndebele meaning a crocodile) was born in Zimbabwe Matebeleland in the northern province, in a place called Hwange. Felix’s homeland was surrounded by the Hwange National Park which is the second biggest national park in Southern Africa.
As a result, Felix grew up surrounded by nature and the African bush. Nicknamed ‘bush baby’ as a young boy, his responsibility was to look after his father’s cattle during school holidays. By spending so much time in the bush tending to the cattle with his friends, Felix was used to coming across wild animals as he lived in an environment where wild animals were free roaming. Bumping into impala, duiker, the odd squirrel, hare, buffalo, spotted hyena and even elephants was the norm.
“I still remember one day when we drove off a pride of 5 lions while on foot, who were feeding on a cow carcass! It was dangerous, we were young boys, but we managed! We took part of the remains home as this was our livelihood – our food’.
After finishing school Felix visited his uncle in Victoria falls who was working with elephants at an elephant orphanage.
“I was lucky to be invited to join him to look after baby orphaned elephants, who were cared for with the aim of releasing them back into the wild.”
Felix’s passion for elephants was born here during his time in Vic falls.
“Looking after the orphaned elephants gave me insight into these animals and sparked my interest. However, at that stage, I was not aware that working with animals could become a profession for me.”
In general, Felix sees himself as a people person and he loves sharing all that he knows about nature. Guiding is his way of expressing himself. Nature is a work of art, left open for Felix to interpret to his guests.
“I am deeply passionate about nature. I get emotional about it. I am passionate about protecting it. Rhino poaching for example – it must stop! This lack of understanding and respect for nature where people cause the extinction of a species through sheer ignorance and pure focus on self-gain. Through my work, I have come to know these incredible creatures, Rhino have become one of my favorite species.”