Friday, June 21, 2013

The Ranger's Life

The rangers (white drivers) and trackers (black guys who sit on the postillion seat) work hard. We leave at 6 am on morning game drive and they are up at 5.  Then they do a bush walk in the morning and another game drive in afternoon 3:30 to 6:30.  Then 'on duty' socializing in bar until 10 PM.  7 days a week for 6 weeks, followed by 2 weeks off.  The general staff has a similar 6 on/2 off schedule.  Our dinner waiter, named Remember, had a family including two children 50 minutes away and didn't see them for 6 weeks at a time.

Our first guide was taciturn and begrudged us our questions (last two days of his shift), whereas our second guide, fresh off his 2 week break was brimming with enthusiasm and a great communicator.  Here's a pic of our guide and tracker after they walked down the riverbed in seach of leopard tracks.  Note who has the gun! Not us!  Apparently the animals are very habituated to the shape of vehicles with people, and we are strictly instructed not to stand.  And of course not to jump out.  (Although i would acknowledge one of answered a call of nature at sundowner time one day).  Guess who!

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