Linky probably had the dream childhood that any young girl who loves nature dreams of – she grew up on a farm in the heart of Mpumalanga, SA, surrounded by wildlife. With her trusty dingo (yes Dingo!) by her side, she loved nothing more than taking off into the wilds on horseback, exploring all day and only returning home as night fell.
Her family ran an animal rehab centre on the farm and Linky learned much about animal behaviour from her father, an expert on the subject. With such an upbringing, Linky was destined for a career in the wild and she wanted nothing else. Starting off as an intern at Lapalala Wilderness in the Waterberg straight out of high school, she was fortunate to work with both animals and people; this was the start of her guiding career.
Linky quickly moved through the ranks of FGASA Level 1, 2 and 3 while gaining valuable guiding experience at various game reserves in Limpopo Province. In 2006 she qualified as a Lead Trails Guide and joined the internal trainer programme at LFGA. During this time, Linky had been developing her tracking and birding skills and continued to develop in those areas while being groomed as a trainer.
After a rigorous 2 year internship, Linky qualified as a lead trainer at LFGA in 2008. All this while she had been honing her tracking skills and in December 2007, Linky became the first ever female on the planet to qualify as a CyberTracker Track and Sign Specialist. What an honour for her and for LFGA! Things moved along briskly after that, with Linky being instrumental in the development of many a Limpopo Ranger, while at the same time attending field excursions in Mozambique and Niger, West Africa. Indeed, she assisted with evaluating trackers in Niger and became a founding member of the African Field Guides Association (AFGA) in 2010 as a result.
2010 also marked the year that Linky joined the marketing team at LFGA, this being due to family commitments more than anything else. Raising a family (of small humans this time!) demanded more time at home and less in the field and thus began a new adventure.
Linky continues to inspire students and trackers throughout the guiding industry and remains the vital link between the students and their loved ones back home while on course.
Stay tuned for more in the series “Meet our Staff”