Nick Dall

Samuel Shambare: Crashing with the rhinos

Inspiring Real Adventures

Samuel Shambare grew up riding bareback donkeys in rural Zimbabwe where he was in charge of guarding his family’s corn fields from wild animals. This is where he first learned to track. That kid in Zim had no idea where riding donkeys can take a person.

When he got older managed to get a gig as a jockey at the Barrowdale Park Racecourse in Harare. He loved riding the race horses and became exceptionally good at it. So good, that  he was offered the opportunity to come and teach Rhino Revolution’s anti-poaching unit how to ride horses in South Africa. They were bringing the retired horses from Zim to Hoedspruit and Sam came with them for a three month contract.

He didn’t think that he’d love Limpopo that much.  Fast-forward 15 years and he is still living in Hoedspruit.

Working at the anti-poaching unit became a permanent job, until the unimaginable happened and he lost a friend on the job. That’s when he decided to follow his real dream: to share the magic of safari with people. He just loves guiding guests around in the reserve and sharing his knowledge of the bush.

He thought he was done with the anti-poaching unit until they asked him to come and help with five baby rhinos that were orphaned when their mothers were killed on neighbouring reserves. Rhino Revolution had adopted the babies and Sam was to be their daddy.

He gave them milk every day. He visited often, and they became like his kids. When they were eventually released into the bush, the orphans had bonded and formed their own little family. Sam still tracked them for the first couple of weeks to check if they were okay, but then they started shying away from him. He says it’s not so easy to get on their track these days as they are properly wild again, although he does it quite effortlessly. It makes him sad, but it’s a good thing that they are ignoring humans.

We are the enemy, after all. 

Watch full video here.

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