When our guests join us in the big, wild bush, often they’re expecting to see a lion or a zebra every 100m on a safari drive. This is completely understandable, of course – I mean, have you seen The Lion King’s opening scene?
Unfortunately, the reality is that there are some days where you might not see any of your typical animals for almost a whole drive. Many factors play a part in this.
Some of the best safari camp stories start in a mysterious location with a mysterious cast. On this day I was actually lost and it doesn’t get more mysterious than that! I was coming from a part of the reserve called Harmony 90 (a remnant from when most of the area was owned by a mining company called Harmony), I had spent the morning looking for an elephant herd and after finding them, in a location that remains partly a mystery to me, I was making my way back to chartered territory.
A game reserve is a place where unique moments happen on a daily basis. At any time seeing a particular creature, behaviour or interaction might be a first for either guest or guide. A game reserve is a place of wonder, a place where the definition of impossible is ‘it could happen tomorrow’. In such a place how do you decide which moments are everyday wonders and which are wonders for the history books? Usually this is a topic of hot and heavy debate, but recently here at Garonga we were all able to agree that one first was truly a first that will go down in the history of the reserve…
I suspect almost everyone reading this will be familiar with Sir David Attenborough and Dame Jane Goodall, but I don’t know how many of you will have come across Greta Thunberg. I like to think of Sir Dave, Dame Jane, and Greta as our wildlife warriors. Their work helps to inspire conservation and to raise awareness on a scale otherwise unseen. They open our minds to the wonders of nature and our eyes to the terrible impact we are having on our environment and they give us a reason to fight for the other creatures who share this incredible planet we call home. What has been particularly concerning, however, is that we are currently in the stage of the greatest threat to our environment and wildlife that we, as humanity, have ever seen yet our only renowned wildlife warriors are in their 80s and 90s. We are trying to fight a war without any soldiers or allies, a method that has not, historically, been wildly successful. Greta Thunberg looks like she might be starting to change this and to be fair Leonardo DiCaprio probably deserves a mention too.