About the Author
Born in South Africa in 1941, Mike attended junior school and grew up in Bulawayo. He completed his education and matriculated at Michaelhouse, in KwaZulu Natal – a part of the world still dear to his heart. As a keen sportsman, he was awarded colours for rugby and athletics and went on to play rugby for Southern Rhodesia and the Combined Federal Forces of Rhodesia and Nyasaland.
In his early years, with bush and commonages on his doorstep, Mike grew up with a passion for sport, the outdoors, wildlife and, like others of his era, a love for hunting and fishing. After some years in banking, several transfers around the country and retirement from his rugby career due to injuries, he applied to join National Parks - where his heart lay. He was accepted in 1966 and completed the University of Rhodesia’s Certificate in Field Ecology in 1972, passing with an overall distinction, and was promoted to senior ranger the same year.
In 1976 Mike was appointed as warden and posted to Robins Camp. With the rapidly deteriorating security situation, he was moved to Chizarira and then on to Mabalauta – little short of a war zone and a far cry from the languid tranquillity of his ranger days in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s.
Following Independence, he was transferred to Matetsi and then to Main Camp, Hwange (Wankie), where - after 17 years’ service - he ‘retired’ from the Department of Parks that had been a way of life and his home, to immigrate to South Africa in 1983.
After many years in the hospitality industry in South Africa, he returned to Zimbabwe in 2000 – and relinquished formal employment in 2008. Since then he has devoted six years of his life to meticulously research, analyse and document the history of the Department of National Parks and Wild Life Management, believing it imperative to honour the many dedicated men and women he’s had the privilege to know and work with on the ground.
Mike lives in Bulawayo and despite failing eyesight consults on various wildlife matters.