As I write, I’m sitting in the departure lounge waiting to board the plane at Heathrow airport. My destination: OR Tambo airport, South Africa. The last time this occurred had been eleven months ago and what followed was the most extraordinary six months imaginable. Frivolities with like-minded people, gaining knowledge about the wildlife and fauna of South Africa and learning how to survive in the African Bushveld made for an unimaginable journey. Witnessing spectacular sunsets, sleeping under the stars and encountering dangerous animals daily, which ranged from scorpions in the sink, to hyenas investigating sleeping bags was all part of the fun. And as always, I left with a longing to return.
Anyone who has ever visited Africa will understand that although you may leave Africa, Africa never leaves you. It becomes a part of you. It gets under your skin. It becomes ingrained in your body, mind and soul. More often than not, when you find yourself daydreaming it will be of the brilliantly coloured birds, the rolling plains and the sounds of the wild. Memories, however are not good enough. The sights, smells and sounds of the Bush are like a drug, they draw you in back time and time again, enticing you for more. Always with the same childlike anticipation of what could possibly happen next.
After completing FGASA Level 1 last June, I returned home to England and whilst walking my beloved schnauzer in the local park, it was hard for me not to wish for the various bird calls of tchagras and rollers that had dotted the plains of my life in previous months. It was also with a reluctant acceptance that whilst in England I would not have giraffes walking along the horizon, elephants nonchalantly stepping out from behind a bush, or hear the roar of lions at night. Things that were quickly taken for granted, were no more.
Now this is about to change. Armed with a spanking new camera and a bundle of books I arrive in South Africa with a new job ahead of me. I have been taken on as a guide at a lodge located in the Greater Kruger Area. Kruger is the vast and never ending sacred national park of South Africa. It holds an abundance of wildlife and a variety of plant life which is hard to rival anywhere on Earth. For those who love wildlife, nature and the magic of the African wilderness, I will be providing you with humorous, uplifting and shocking stories of life from the heart of the Bushveld.
I hope you enjoy reading my updates and I look forward to sharing the many adventures to come.