A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A GAME RANGER by Luke Street

Smaller things in pictures – 21st February 2020

Some of you may have had the pleasure of reading Chad’s blog from last week – the one where he got stuck twice (one of the toughest weeks in his guiding career). The point I’m making however, is not that Chad needs to go on a 4×4 course, it’s that we had A LOT of rain. And when I say a lot, I mean in total, 163mm in a little over 24 hours! Even the mighty Land Rover Defender struggles to keep up in the conditions experienced.

That much water being introduced into the ecosystem is bound to have some consequences. Although we are always mindful of when and where we go off-road, when that much rain comes down, we tend to ban all off-road driving for a week or so. This is done in an effort to protect the environment as we can really damage the ecology and cause major erosion issues should we continue to drive off-road. We always need to remember that first and foremost, we are custodians of this incredible area and we need to protect it rather than abuse it.

We have been in shut down for the last few days in order to do some much-needed maintenance and sprucing up of the lodge. It’s been a very quiet week on the wildlife viewing side. Luckily, I managed to get out on drive with Britt a few times in order to capture the beautiful wildlife that was out there.

It would seem that some of the lions in the area knew about the off-roading ban and decided to grace us with their presence just a few metres off the road. None the less, the grass was so long we could barely see the almost combined weight of 600 pounds of cat sleeping soundly within it. This is where perseverance comes in as we decided to sit and enjoy the view until the felines decided to wake up. Eventually they did and there we were watching one of the Nharhu males licking, stretching and yawning while the older River Pride lioness lay soundly asleep next to him. However, as soon as she did start to stir the male became really excited, only to find out fairly aggressively that she “had a headache”. Toward the end of the sighting, the pair began to roar beautifully before we left them for the night.

What this week has allowed me to do, being quitter than usual, is to search for worthy images. One of the routes I took and something I really enjoy, was to take some images from ground level, like the dung beetle, butterfly and grass. I also got a chance to play with some backlighting, which is always a fun and interesting way to take photographs.

I  guess at the end of the day, it’s weeks like this that show we really are at the mercy of mother nature out here. There aren’t always big things with big teeth around to look at and it’s these moments that make you appreciate the intricacies and little things so much more.

I hope you enjoy this catalogue of the Timbavati from a slightly different angle.

Until next time, happy snapping ~ Luke

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By courtesy of the Tanda Tula Safari Camphttp://www.tandatula.com/blog/