The life of a guide

Sabi Sand · September 2018
By Joffers McCormick
Field Guide

Being a guide is possibly the most rewarding “job” one can do, I have always said that this is not a job but rather a lifestyle. We get to experience nature at its best and see exactly what the bush has to offer, from the smaller aspects such as the insects to the larger game such as elephants. There is no day that will repeat itself, no drive ever to be the same. This is the beauty of safari. Every day there is a new experience to be had, not only by our guests but also by ourselves as the guides and trackers.

Living in the bush is an adjustment to make and once settled in, it really does become your second home. From the early morning wake-ups and watching the sunrise and hearing the symphony of the birds chirping along with the lion’s roar, this is what brings the bush to life along with the light of day breaking to the final bird calls of the last light and watching the sunset behind the beautiful Drakensberg mountain range. This is what life is all about!

As the seasons are changing we are already noticing a significant change with regards to both the vegetation and the animals’ behaviour and movement. It has always interested me as to how the animals adapt to the various times of year, such as a large numbers of animals congregating along the river systems and watering holes in the winter months to the game becoming more dispersed as the rains arrive.

As the winter season comes to end now, the trees are starting to blossom and bloom creating an incredible canopy, below which lies a secret world of animals from the leopards to the termites, and this is where the exploration begins.

This last winter was an incredible one, we have been treated to some spectacular sights from the animals as well as the incredible views and sunsets. As the water sources dry up just before the big rains arrive, the pressure is on the increase for survival of all. The prey species are having to visit the smaller bodies of water that act as a death trap as there is almost certainly a predator waiting close by for that perfect hunting opportunity.

No animals can relax at this time of year, and this will prove the theory of the survival of the fittest. During this last winter season, we were pleased to have a few new members to add to our Singita family. The new additions of the Mhangene pride lion cubs as well as the Othawa pride lion cubs. Both prides are doing well and look to be getting stronger. During winter, it is ideal for the cats to have new cubs as hunting does become slightly easier due to the lack of water and the concentration of the game around smaller water sources.

This is what the bush is all about and what a way to experience nature at its finest. We are privileged to call Singita our home and I can truly say that this is a “place of miracles “.

By Joffers McCormick
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