The Garonga Diaries: Training, Acting and fresh lion kills with Kaizer!

Dear Diary,

My name is Kaizer and I am one of the guides here at Garonga. I live in a village called Share (you say it Sheerah) which is about 3 hours away from the lodge. I started working here at Garonga Safari Camp in October 2014. When I started I was a tracker. On my first day I was so very scared, but because I was so hungry to find myself working, I did manage the situation and after a couple of days I found myself really enjoying my job. As I was doing my job so well I got a promotion to become a guide in 2019. I have 4 children, 3 boys and 1 girl. My daughter is called Sphesihle which means very special gift and she was born on 26 April this year. With the lockdown for Covid-19 I have missed having guests to guide but I have very much enjoyed spending time with my young daughter.

Kaizer and his tracker Glandstone strike a pose!

I know that as with everyone else we are aware about covid-19 which has changed a lot from normal this year. Like many lodges since March we had to close down, but now we are back to starting working again. We have already started a covid-19 training programme for all the staff at the lodge. As we were closing down we had only some of the safari team at the camp and the rest of the team for that time were at home. Now I am glad because, for the practical training this week, the whole safari team are back together again – for the first time since March!

This week was a busy week filled with doing lots of training. We had Hychem training about the different chemicals and sanitisers we need to use and also our own practice about how we are going to be doing our jobs when the guests start to arrive. Also this week we were preparing some videos to put on our website of the different types of walks that we offer guests (once they get here). Whilst we made the videos I had to pretend to be a guest. I really enjoyed this because I liked getting to ask the other guides questions!

On Wednesday morning we were going out for one of the walks and between the lodge and the farmhouse we bumped into a pride of lions with a baby giraffe carcass! I was so very happy to see them because it has been a while for me not to see them because I have been at home. Because the kill was so close to the camp the lions came to drink at the waterhole and they were so fat from eating that they spent the night and the whole of Thursday sleeping in the riverbed in front of Tent 6 so everyone at the Lodge got to see them. Just because of the kill I was so excited because I know is not easy to find a kill and lots of guests want to see one. I am excited to have guests back so hopefully we can share the next one with them. To read more about the Garonga Pride make sure to click here!

Have a great weekend everyone.