Travels with Susan

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How to deal with an elephant

Posted on December 18, 2008 at 1:41 PM Comments comments (0)

Most guests want to see the Big 5. Usually what I like to do is find out which of the 5 they would most like to see, so I know which part of the reserve I should head towards. They asked for elephants, which I was happy about because I knew exactly where to find them –so we made our way south towards where I had found them earlier that day. It was a long section of road with a ridge on either side. I had briefed my guests before driving into the middle of the herd, so I felt quite comfo...

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Cat Fishing

Posted on September 17, 2007 at 3:09 PM Comments comments (0)

Now if you’re a guide you probably know that catfish don’t need a lot of water to survive, but that didn’t stop us from rescuing some that were stranded. It was particularly dry and the main reserves lake had gone down quite a bit. One section of the lake had broken off and almost dried out completely. We had made a decision to collect as many barbel as we could and release them into the section of the lake that still had water in it. We found an empty plastic water drum and...

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Mrs. P. and the lion kill

Posted on June 4, 2007 at 11:43 AM Comments comments (0)

Wildlife programs pack 6 months worth of full day driving into half an hour show, so no wonder tourists are disillusioned when they don’t have a predator filled game drive. Another thing to remember when watching those wildlife shows that involves predators making a kill. Most guests usually say they would like to see one. The thing is that those programs edit out most of the gory bits. The lions are chasing the impala, and in the next clip the pride is suddenly all gathered and eating ...

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The Magnificent Seven

Posted on March 10, 2007 at 11:42 AM Comments comments (0)

Seeing all of the magnificent seven in one day is something that doesn’t happen often. For those who don’t know what they are, it is the cheetah, wild dog and the ‘big five’ (Elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion and leopards). I have been “out there” basically every day for the last four years – once in the morning and again in the afternoon on game drives, so I have been lucky enough to seen the ‘big five’ or a combination of the seven a few ti...

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Viewing Comet McNaught

Posted on January 13, 2007 at 2:59 AM Comments comments (1)

This was truly a once in a life-time occurrence. I was lucky that the person I worked for was a very involved boss that wanted us to experience absolutely everything. It was fairly late in the evening, but we all piled into a Landover (his preferred vehicle of choice for his adventures, even though most of the Game Viewers were Cruisers), loaded on as many spares as we could, and headed out to see Comet McNaught.

Even though we were in the bush, there was still enough light around to m...

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Rain, rain, go away

Posted on November 15, 2006 at 1:41 PM Comments comments (0)

Some days, you just won’t see anything out there – and the pressure is on. As a guide you know it’s more than likely that this is the only chance your guests have to come to Africa. They’ve probably been saving for years for this short visit – but there you are, in the middle of the bush, and there’s not a single animal in sight. I spoke about other things, but I knew they weren’t there to see the termites, but their amazing attitude only made me feel...

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Watching us, watching them

Posted on August 6, 2006 at 11:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Once all the evaluations had been done, training was not something that was on the forefront of the minds of management. Now at this stage I was an extreme novice, and in desperate need of some guidance. Guiding was something that got into my mind after working as a lodge receptionist a few months earlier. I completely fell in love with the bush, and often had guests coming in to ask wildlife questions - which made me start reading nature books, which fed my interest….and the rest is hi...

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Green Hunting and Game Spotting

Posted on July 23, 2006 at 8:14 AM Comments comments (0)

I have finally finished my training period, and immediately ran back to Natal. I did enjoy the training, but after a few months of sleeping an average of four hours a night – I needed a break. So I left Limpopo, at least for the time being, and started working in different lodges throughout KwaZulu Natal. I was planning of finding permanent work when the opportunity to help with a ‘game count’ came up. This was something I couldn’t turn down, although I promised myself...

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Early days 7 of 7

Posted on June 16, 2006 at 5:02 AM Comments comments (0)

It was the last day of our Initiation training. We spent the first half of the day on a drive. At midday, Mark announced that we had all passed and were allowed to stay on for training and then he gave us the rest of the day off to relax. That night was the Initiation Party, and the whole reserve was invited. I was told to cook, but no one was interested in eating. The night started off with the new inductees having to stand up on the table and make the rest of the reserve laugh at a joke. ...

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Early days 6 of 7

Posted on June 15, 2006 at 5:01 AM Comments comments (0)

Finally the day arrived to do shooting! This became one of my favourite things to do. I am not a hunter, but I do enjoy handling and shooting a rifle. I was using a .458 and it left a big bruise on my shoulder by the end of the day. It was a fun day. We arrived at a small dry riverbed next to the side of a cliff-face. At first we got the hang of it by shooting at the cliff-face, and then we used a 5 litre plastic bottle for target practice. Eventually we started playing a game that Mark thoug...

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