Monday the 19th of August was my first day as a guide on Kololo Game Reserve and what did the day bring?
The morning was spent in a first-aid training course with a number of other lodge staff – I guess a lot of people don’t realise but for registered guides it is compulsory to have an up-to-date first aid qualification. Also, being far out in the bush with our guest, it is also the duty of game lodges to provide guests with emergency care should the need arise.
Welgevonden Big 5 Game Drive
Then, unexpectedly as it was my first day, Kololo received last-minute bookings and I got to step in for a 3-hour Big 5 Game Drive with guests into Welgevonden – the private big five reserve Kololo is part of and to which it has a private gate connecting the lodge area to the Big 5 area.
The first couple of hours were spent with the sightings of antelope (Wildebeest by the score, Kudu, Impala and lots of Eland and Waterbuck) together with several families of warthog and a clear sight of a mother and almost full-grown white Rhino calf across a water hole.
Breeding herd of Elephant
Then the highlight of the trip (after being a bit uncertain about the road I was following, guiding on the 38.000 hectare reserve for the first time without a colleague – ‘turn right at the second bush’ scenario’s) a really magical sighting of a breeding herd of approximately 30 elephant: Along the sterkstroom valley road, casually meandering off the south ridge in small groups, passing within a few meters of the vehicles present, then enjoying drinking, splashing around in the water and a thoroughly pleasant mud-bath before climbing out on the opposite bank continuing North.
Sadly my photo’s don’t really do the sighting justice as the light had started to go. We position the vehicle for the guests to get the best view first, and I’d only brought a small camera with me. Still, a great viewing opportunity for everyone on board!
The guest enjoyed their sundowners and then we drove back to Kololo, arriving back a little after 7. Oops, a bit late on my first day. Blame the elephants!
Now I’m in my room reflecting on a great first day and looking forward to more excitement tomorrow
My thanks goes out to Prince –my colleague guide at Kololo – for his help with sightings in Welgevonden. Also for ensuring that at the end of the day that I turned after the right bush to ensure I’d take the most efficient route back at Kololo, right in time for the guests dinner!