As a guide we get into a lot of funny situations that we have to manage in a professional manner to let all our guests feel comfortable at all times. Whether it’s good or bad, we always smile and assure them that everything will be okay.
One thing you learn very quickly when you start doing this job is that there is times for jokes and times for seriousness. One golden rule is never cry wolf, as situations can change in a blink of an eye. Guests from all over the world come to the African bush and trust our knowledge and skill to take them out and return them safely after a day of activities.
I would like to share two experiences that I have had in the past couple of days that made me realize the importance of our role as guides. One such experience was when I was in the sighting of four female lions lying at a waterhole on a very hot afternoon. We got to the sighting and parked the vehicle at a slight downhill to view the lions. When I wanted to reposition the vehicle I realized that the car did not want to start and that I would have to role it forward into the dam to be able to jumpstart it. The expressions on the guests’ faces were priceless!!!! Never the less we got it started halfway into the dam and had another vehicle delivered to us in only a couple of minutes.
The other experience I would like to talk about was a little trickier. We were sitting in a leopard sighting chatting and taking photo’s while the wind was blowing. In the mean time my one wheel was busy deflating but because the wind was blowing we could not hear the escaping air. When we wanted to leave, we realized something was wrong and we noticed the wheel. I looked around to 10 very worried faces and asked them who want to distract the leopard while I and my tracker change the tyre. After we all burst out laughing we drove the car out on the flat wheel and changed it some distance from there while another ranger kept an eye out for us!
These are just a couple of funny things that can go wrong, and it’s always important to remember that we are working in a area that hosts potentially dangerous animals. The most important rule still stands. “Never cry wolf”