An anti-poaching task force swooped in after a safari guide took the wrong road and was mistakenly identified as a poacher… the future of Rhino conservation is in good hands!
Grant Reed, an incredible South African, has been an active & qualified nature guide from the age of 16 but began his guiding career at the tender age of 8 where he took walking trails guided by his father Mike.
Reed was born in South Africa’s Magaliesberg Mountains in 1974. Growing up exploring the local countryside, surrounded by nature and wildlife, he developed a particular interest in birds and snakes from an early age.
Heavily influenced and mentored by his father and grandfather, even a bite from a Puff adder on his 18th birthday (resulting in him spending six months in-and-out of hospital) couldn’t diminish Grant’s interest in the natural world.
After finishing High school Grant went on to gain an honors degree and two subsequent post-graduate degrees in Nature Conservation at Pretoria Technikon. He started guiding safaris in a variety of South African National Parks (including the Pilanesberg and Kruger National Parks) before finally moving to Botswana in 1996.
After gaining extensive experience of the mobile safari industry working for a well-known and particularly old school operator based in Maun, Grant founded Letaka Safaris with his brother in 2001.
The environment enthusiast wrote the text for “Okavango, Spirit of Life” & has was also one of the presenters for the wildlife documentary “From Dust to Dust, the Story of Lake Ngami.”
Reed has been leading special interest natural history safaris for the past 15 years in southern Africa. His areas of expertise are birding, walking safaris, photography (he has won several awards) botany and dragonflies.
He also lectures annually in Britain as well as north-America on Birdwatching & Conservation in southern Africa.
“I am a passionate naturalist who wants to continue to learn & teach about wildlife and the wilderness until my last breath.”
But he never thought an incident far from civilisation, deep in the bush, would have such a massive impact on his social media… or him.
“I have always had a tendency to attract trouble so yesterday’s bizarre event should not have shocked me, but it did & how!”
Reed had taken a detour down a long forgotten road, in Botswana, between Kasane & Maun… he hadn’t seen anyone else in over 5 hours. He had been driving for some time in the quite of nature when suddenly he heard the roaring sounds of helicopter rotors right above him.
“The military chopper shot low over me at speed, did an amazing 180 & dropped to eye level facing me… daring me to make a false move.”
“I put my hands where they could be seen & stepped out.”
Immediately 3 armed soldiers armed dropped out, taking quick but cautious strides, they surrounded his vehicle & then approached him directly.
“The only thing faster than my heart beat was the quivering of my sphincter!”
Unknown to Reed, he had been flagged as an unidentified vehicle & the anti-poaching unit had hunted him down.
“The soldiers were perfectly polite, requested permission to search my vehicle & questioned me on my odd choice of roads returning home.”
Satisfied that he was not a rhino poacher and nothing more than a quirky safari guide, the main soldier signalled his comrades & choppered out.
Reed may have been shocked but he was in awe of the anti-poaching team’s passion, professionalism & dedication. The future of Rhino conservation is in good hands.
“Rhino poachers be warned, we are ready for you!”