Julie has been apart of the Ulovane Family since she completed her Guide Traning with us, way back in 2006. We have become great friends over the years and Julie has always been an inspiration to many of our other Ulovane Alumni. We are so proud of you Julie!
Julie Brand, Quatermain’s 1920’s Safari Camp – Co-owner (Amakhala Game Reserve)
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Be brave! Initially, I came to South Africa for a year to train to be a field guide with Ulovane Environmental Training. I had absolutely no idea where this would lead, although first off my dream was to work in wildlife rehabilitation. When I met my now-husband my path changed slightly as we developed and set up a tented safari camp together. I would like to advise my younger self just to go for it, as eventually, it will all turn out fabulously!
What has been your biggest influence to get you to where you are today?
I think what has inspired me most has always been my general love of wildlife and the outdoors. Although previously I was in a career I loved, I hated being indoors all day. The most influential person in terms of where I now am definitely has to be my husband Riaan. When we were first starting our tented camp I was incredibly nervous and full of doubts, he, however, has always shown me that nothing worth having comes easy!
Based on your own experiences, what advice would you give to women considering a chosen career/path such as yours?
Really think about what you want out of your career and what avenues any qualifications you take could lead you down. Also, consider the future, your dreams may change if, for instance, you decide to have children one day. Think about how you could possibly diversify to still pursue your goal of working in nature no matter what the future holds.
What in your career has brought or given you the greatest satisfaction or fulfilment?
I absolutely love when we have real ‘city slicker’ guests who stay with us for their first ever safari. The joy and wonder on their faces, when they return from a game drive, is so heart-warming, especially if previously they have never been particularly interested in nature. My secret hope is that their experience with us may foster future forays into nature in their home countries.
Click here to find out more about Julie and Riaan’s Unique Camp.
Dream, struggle, create, prevail. Be daring. Be brave. Be loving. Be compassionate. Be strong. Be brilliant. Be beautiful. – Caterina Fake