Waking in the morning, its dark; the owls are wake, the hyena is calling, lion is can be heard in the background, the nightjar and the bush baby are calling. Experiences like these stay with you forever and being a lodge manager this is a daily routine. From the kitchen comes the faint sound of cutlery and plates being readied for breakfast. Vehicles are being checked and fueled up ready for the day’s drive. The first guests arrive for early morning coffee before heading out for their walking safari. All this before the sun is up.
Anticipation is high, they might see the resident leopard on the way out this morning, we heard him last night behind our house.
The sun rises slowly and birds begin to wake, letting each other know they made it through the night. It’s going to be a hot day, a drop of sweat trickles down my brow and it’s only 7am.
The other guests are chatting excitedly at the breakfast table; they are off on a full day game drive with picnic lunch in the bush. All is looking good.
New arrivals are coming in on the light aircraft at 10am and 4pm, so all must be made ready for their arrival. Planning the menu and checking stocks for the next week’s food and drinks order is vital, you can’t just pop down to the local shop for milk, bread or jam!
I’m told one of the staff is Ill, they think its malaria; we take him to the clinic, get him looked at, all sorted, he’s on the mend.
I hear an elephant broke a branch off a tree last night and it is blocking our road. We go off to get it moved, a team of four since it’s a heavy piece of wood! We watch your backs while we’re working; lions were in the area yesterday; the guests saw them on their return to camp last night. The guests head out on their drive with big smiles, we wave them off and wish them luck. Their guide Charles has a challenge on his hands, they are hopeful for Wild dog, which have been seen in the area recently.
To be continued……