1. June 2017 17:14
footprints in Madikwe – Steph Hornsey
Being a new Ranger at Tau Game Lodge has been
an extraordinary and challenging experience, which has built a sense of
accomplishment within myself, and given me a new confidence in my abilities. My
short time at Tau has only proven to me that I can achieve greatness. First
days are always a bit nerve racking, but when you are being taught and driven
to achieve things you never thought were possible I think it awakens your mind
I’ve been guiding here for over a month and
so I have left my first footprints behind in untamed Madikwe as a Tau Ranger!
As most would know, Madikwe covers a vast
space of land and we have approximately 1000 kilometers of road we can explore,
therefore learning roads is a must!
As most will know being a ranger is a
rewarding yet challenging job as we are focused on giving our guests the best
experience. My first day driving a vehicle full to the brim with eager guests
waiting to be blown away by the variety of animals we have situated in our
reserve made me fill up with excitement and nerves – “ so many roads to choose from, so many things to see, the question is.
. . what first”. As I have learnt from the other rangers it is important to
have an idea of which direction you’ll be going to, but as we all know this
place is untamed and anything can pop up at any time.
My head ranger Mike Rae and fellow colleague
Stuart Buy joined me one afternoon so that they could teach me roads and we
could do some wildlife and bird photography. We relocated a small pride of
lions earlier in the drive and spent most of our time snapping away to see who
could get the best shot. Daylight was running out so we decided to leave the
lions to carry on working on the roads and our bird photography. It was quiet a
successful birding afternoon so we decided to head back to camp as it was
almost dark. We were coming down Adelaide and noticed a massive flock of
Helmeted Guinea fowl. We carried on driving cause we were determined to get
back to camp as the temperatures were dropping at a fast pace. Out of nowhere
the Guinea fowl burst into the air like a firework and we noticed this red blur
jumping almost 3 meters into the air. We all sat there not realizing that we
had just witnessed a Caracal trying to take down one of the Guinea fowls. After
the shell shock wore off we realized that all our cameras were still on our
laps and not one photograph had been taken. We all had a good chuckle and hurried to the
camp to spread the news of our sighting.
I have obviously experienced many amazing
sighting whilst being here at Tau and if I had to type it all out I think e
would be sitting here for a while. But now my first cycle has come to an end,
and my last drive this morning was a absolute treat. We were lucky enough to
see a leopard in a tree and sat with him for a little while until he disappeared
into the long grass, just after we noticed a male lion approaching the same
area, he passed our vehicle and started contact calling which sent shivers down
our spines. Such an amazing way to end off a cycle I would say.
So then Dear Reader, visit us here at
Tau Game Lodge so you too can leave your footprints here in Untamed Madikwe.