A woman named elephant

9 August 2018

Cathrine Ndlovu
Cathrine Ndlovu
Cathrine Ndlovu is much tougher than she looks. As the only female field ranger in the eastern section of The Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area, she does everything the men do – and with no qualms.
“My husband is a field ranger and he showed me nature and I loved it. He is a ranger here too.” Cathrine particularly likes camping out and always volunteers to do so. “A sleeping bag is good for me,” she says, “and staying out for a week at a time is great. I want to protect wildlife and you need to be in the bush to do that.”

Challenges are Cathrine’s favourite part of the job. Not only does her surname mean elephant, but she has been charged by an elephant too. “The elephants here can be very aggressive. When you are charged your head works fast. I like that. I shot nine warning shots before the elephant stopped. But I would any day be killed by an elephant than a human. At least then you were doing something worthwhile at the time.”

Cathrine works with six men in her team and says: “It’s not difficult at all because they show me great respect. I can do all that the men do, and I appreciate being given the chance by my supervisor. My husband also makes it easy to do my job and looks after our two children if I am camping out. I have no fear in the bush. If you respect animals, they will respect you in return. I believe this.”

Original text by Keri Harvey

The Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area lies in a magnificent landscape with the Limpopo River flowing through it. Here cultural antiquity meets current-day conservation, and three countries collaborate to protect the ecosystem they share. It’s a place with a little of everything and a lot of uniqueness.

Hot off the press: Mapungubwe - Rising to Greatness

30 January 2018Mapungubwe Tri-Nations Camp: Joining youth across borders

Children in the Wilderness (CITW) hosted its third successful Tri-Nations Camp at Little Muck Camp in Mapungubwe National Park from 12 to 15 December 2017, in partnership with the South African Depart

 read more

1 August 2017Traversing three countries on the run

Earlier this year, Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area (TFCA) hosted the second Mapungubwe Transfrontier Wildrun®. The 76 participants were mostly from South Africa, but also from 10 o

 read more

13 January 2017CITW Hosts Second Annual Tri-Nations Camp at Mapungubwe

Children in the Wilderness (CITW) is proud to have hosted yet another successful Tri-Nations Camp at Mapungubwe National Park, in partnership with Peace Parks Foundation and the Greater Mapungubwe Tra

 read more

2 September 2016Tour de Wilderness Celebrates 12th Nedbank Tour de Tuli

Tour de Wilderness, the organiser of the annual Nedbank Tour de Tuli multi-stage mountain bike event, is proud to celebrate the success of its 12th Tour which saw 330 participants cycle across 275 km

 read more

6 June 2016First trail runners join the Big 5 for inaugural Mapungubwe Transfrontier Wildrun®

Strict instructions, “Run as a herd, stick together, keep your eyes open, the rangers will be at the front and the back – listen to them,” marked the start of the first ever Mapungubwe Transfron

 read more

28 March 2016Working together for Greater Mapungubwe TFCA

On 5 March, Mapungubwe National Park staff hosted environmental teachers from Botswana for a successful cleaning campaign. The 13 teachers were welcomed by Reckson Mashaba and Johannes Masalesa at Pon

 read more

12 October 2015 Cyclists meet the communities

Nedbank Tour de Tuli 2015 participants had the opportunity to meet some of the communities they are helping to uplift first hand, with each cyclist donating a Wilderness Safaris-sponsored schoolbag an

 read more

11 August 2015Three countries jointly celebrate World Ranger Day

In an event arranged by the Greater Mapungubwe TFCA's park management committee, Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe this year jointly celebrated World Ranger Day on 31 July. Participants included rep

 read more

30 June 2015Tour de Wilderness Launches Cycle Route for 2015 Nedbank Tour de Tuli

Tour de Wilderness, the organiser of the acclaimed annual Nedbank Tour de Tuli mountain bike event, has launched the route for 2015, which will see 350 riders cycle across almost 300km of challenging

 read more