sabi sabi ranger stories

be careful what you wish for

As we finished our sundowners, my guests told me that they were hoping to see some big cats. My intention, however, was to show them the pinnate winged night-jar, which we occasionally see on our airstrip. We set off towards the airstrip, leaving behind the Sabi river and the sounds of hippos calling.

It was a rather dark night, with no moon. All one could see was the lights of the vehicle shining up ahead and the light from the spotlight that my tracker held. As we got to the southern part of the airstrip, we spotted eyes on the horizon - wildebeest. As we continued, my tracker suddenly told me to turn my lights off. We sat in silence for a minute or two and I quietly asked him what he had seen. He said that there was a pride of lions to the west of the wildebeest and they were hunting. I told my guests what was going on and the excitement was electric. We then slowly moved forward towards the wildebeest and sat waiting and listening in the dark for about five minutes. We then heard the wildebeest running on the airstrip. My tracker then yelled at me to go - I started up the vehicle and drove towards the action. We found two wildebeest down - a lioness on each one. Guests took photos and watched in amazement as a few cubs ran in to try their luck at getting some food. A large male lion got hold of and dragged a wildebeest into the bushes where he began to feed.

Back at the lodge there was much excitement around the dinner table as the guests reflected on what they had just seen. All I could say was that you must be careful what you wish for, it just might come true!

Ranger: Greg Grant

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