I’m currently almost at the end of my guiding internship, eagerly awaiting the start of my first ‘proper’ guiding job in just a few weeks time. Over the last few months I’ve learnt about all aspects of lodge life, from housekeeping and service to maintenance and, of course, the ins and outs of a guide’s daily chores. Overall, my experience has been amazing but I’d be lying if I said there weren’t any bumps along the way. Some days I would get frustrated with being stuck working at the lodge rather than out in the bush, or with getting ‘lumped’ with the jobs nobody else would do like an inventory of all the guide equipment or cleaning the mud out of the car wash bay. The internship is far from a holiday experience. That being said, I had my mind firmly set on a job and not a holiday so I (rarely) complained! I’ve been allowed to guide on a few occasions – such as when Callan twisted his ankle at the last minute and they needed a fill in – but I make sure to join the drives as ‘co-guide’ as often as possible and learn as much as I can. The very best thing about my internship, however, is that I get to walk as back-up guide. Of all the things I love about guiding, walking in the pristine wilderness of the Makuleke concession is definitely my favourite. As much as I am impatient to begin my new job next month, I can’t help but think I will miss this place terribly. Sitting in the shade of a huge Nyala tree at one of the tented trails camps, I know that life doesn’t get much more blissful than this!
Hi I'm Emily! Originally from the UK, I'm now a safari guide in South Africa and loving every minute.