Acacia Wonderland – Why we love our job
Driving through a thicket of Acacia trees along winding and never ending roads it didn’t take me long to realise that we were completely lost. Lost with a group of nine French speaking guests I couldn’t figure out how I would explain to them that I didn’t know where East was due to the dark and cloudy skies and surrounded by so many trees I had no way of finding a landmark or any indication of where we were.
In the last week I have been stared down by a 220kg male lion approaching me while tentatively licking his lips from 2m away, witnessed a juvenile Bateleur Eagle feeding on an adult male Waterbuck carcass, had the joy of marvelling as a 2 ton White Rhino sorting out an itch on her belly while her year old calf pranced up and down around her, and being mock charged by a 3.5 ton Elephant bull. It’s all in a weeks’ work here in the bush and the best part of it all is that you get to share it with the most fantastic people from all walks of life.
I radio in to my manager to tell him I am completely and “very lost”. I tell him what I can see, a wooden sign reading “Lodge”; the only thing I have seen in the last hour of driving around in a black hole pretending to know where I am going and continuing to tell guests all about how Nyala use lateral presentation as a way to intimidate their rivals. Luckily for me, and the guests, Ivor knows exactly where I am and is able to give me directions. As the 4×4 Landie pulls out of the dark, ash laden bush and onto the gravel District road I spot the koppie which is Leopard Mountain, the mountain which is to me what the green light is to Mr Gatsby; a beacon of hope, purpose and direction. I realise then and there just how much I love my job and how important it is to feel like your job is part of your life; a daily adventure which you can look forward to each time your alarm shocks you to your feet at 4am. It is possible to live your dream and share it with people you can live with, laugh with, argue with but at the end of the day love them like your family.