I sat in a pool of sweat, not because of the beating African sun, but because it was my first safari drive as a Game Ranger with guests sitting behind me. The knot in my stomach wasn’t helped by the constant radio chatter that was directed into my right ear via an earpiece linked to other rangers as they found animals. At the same time the lovely American guests were asking me all sorts of questions about the bush and my life.
I managed to field most of the questions asked but momentarily got stumped when the one delightful lady asked me if I had been nervous taking my first game drive with guests. I told her half the truth saying that I had been a nervous sweating wreck but had been guiding for 6 months since then.
We had managed to blunder into a few great sightings of Elephants and Rhinos thanks to the help of Elvis, my Tracker and the other Rangers but we hadn’t seen any cats.
It was getting on to sunset and I was thinking about stopping for that wonderful tradition of a sundowner drink when one of the senior rangers called me and told me to go and wait at a certain junction of 2 roads up ahead. Not 100% sure why I did as I was told and turned the engine off as instructed.
The next second there was a male impala flashing towards us across the clearing on our right hotly chased by 7 lions. To all of our utter disbelief they killed it right in front of our vehilce on the road.
For a first game drive I couldn’t have asked for anything better as a show stopper and returned to camp with very happy guests looking like a hero.