Meet the team: Casper Masuku
With only a few more weeks to go before we are open to visitors, we’d like you to continue meeting the people who help us keep the wheels turning. That is why we’re dedicating this edition of meet the team to Casper Masuku. Casper is one of our longest serving guides and a prized member of the Victoria Falls River Lodge family.
We spent some time getting to know him better and found out he’s an avid bird-watcher, who is as passionate about nature conservation, as he is about the Zambezi.
These are the things he had to say about life, wellbeing, and what he’s been up to over the last few months:
Tell us, what do you do?
I am a Safari Guide by profession.
How long have you been doing it?
I have been guiding both land and river safaris since 1997. I started canoeing on the Upper Zambezi in 1997. Professionally, I started as a canoeing safari hand (this involved general work in the canoe camp).
Would you consider yourself an early bird or a night owl?
I would consider myself a very light sleeper, so the early bird title suits me best. Waking up very early has always been something I practised because I enjoy getting an early start.
Tell us, how do you prefer to start your day?
I like starting the day with some exercise in the morning, followed by a lovely coffee.
How do you prefer to end your day?
My days are long, and by the end, I’m usually a bit tired, but a good night’s sleep is always the best end.
What led you to this career path?
Having been born in Matopos, which is a national park was the beginning. I was also inspired by following in my fathers’ footsteps. My dad worked for Parks and Wildlife Management in Zimbabwe for over 30 years. Learning from him was such a great experience, and I learnt so much from him. So I have always been a field person right from the start.
What is a big misconception people have about your position?
At times people would take your passion for something as a weakness. People believe and understand differently, I guess.
If you could write a book about your life, what would the title be?
It would be My Life and Nature. I am not a good writer as you may have noticed, but I think that would be close to what I would like to title a book if I were to write one.
What keeps you motivated outside of work?
I love people. I enjoy being around people with positive thinking. I believe being positive is what should drive a human being.
Tell us about a trip that changed you, and why?
There have been many life-changing trips in my life. But one of them is when I worked for Africa, & Beyond. We took a trip to Tanzania, and it was an experience I will always remember(the Tanzanian people are great people).
What’s one of your favourite memories from the past year, and why?
It was a great sighting of seven painted dogs that had just killed a Kudu bull. They sporadically passed through the concession of Victoria Falls River Lodge, so to see them was a memory I’ll hold on to forever.
What is one thing you’re currently trying to make a habit?
To say thank you more often. I always think that thank you is a great compliment.
What is the best advice you have ever received, and who said it?
“Never to judge other people”
What is your favourite way to unwind after a busy day?
I usually chill with friends or other guides.
I also enjoy having a beer at home or a nice place. I like fishing, and having a braai with friends.
What are three words your friends would use to describe you?
My friends don’t have many friendly words for me, hahaha. That said, I have heard them say that I am a great person, team player, and a happy man.
What is one thing you think guests should try when they visit?
Victoria Falls has a lot to offer, but I wish there were a hot air balloon, you know everyone has done helicopter rides. A quiet balloon experience over the Falls in view would be great.
What is one meal or drink you think guests should try when they visit?
Something African, like mopane worms, anything we as Africans eat.
What is something you learned or enjoyed over this lockdown period?
I have enjoyed staying at home. The lockdown has taught me how to relax and sit in front of a TV screen, and I have become a champion TV master. I now find myself wrestling my grandson for the remote control and which channel to watch.
When was the last time you tried something new and what was it?
That’s new, I’ve never spent so much time at home before.
But I appreciated it though.
We hope you’ve enjoyed meeting Casper and getting to know him more, and we can’t wait for you to get to know our team better in person!