About the Author

Bruce Arnott

Field Guide

Bruce grew up on a plot of farmland in the midlands of KwaZulu-Natal. He always had a passion for the bush and the outdoors, having been camping and fishing since he was a young boy. He attended school in the Natal midlands after ...

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20 Comments

on What Do Six Rangers Do On Their Day Off?

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Marinda Drake
Master Tracker

A wonderful experience in nature. It is so special to walk in the tracks that an animal made. Nature truly heals and is so good for the soul.

Bruce Arnott
Field Guide

I agree! Thank you Marinda!

Denise Vouri
Digital Tracker

Amazing experience and something I would love to do – hike into the bush , for the peace and the opportunity to view animals from a different perspective. Well written and photographically documented.

Bruce Arnott
Field Guide

Thanks very much Denise! I hope you get the chance to walk in the bush soon!

Darlene Knott
Senior Digital Ranger

Very interest, Bruce! I wish we could have gone with you! How wonderful. We hike in the woods in Tennessee in the States and love to listen to the sound of the birds and the occasional movement of a deer. There is nothing like nature!

Bruce Arnott
Field Guide

Thanks for the comment Darlene! Wherever you are in nature, it lights up all of the senses!

Lucie Easley
Senior Digital Ranger

In addition to the wonderful sounds and sights of nature, I imagine it was also a time to enjoy the company of the other guys. Each of you doing what you love and with others who have the knowledge and love to really appreciate the small, as well as the large, discoveries. Thanks for sharing.

Bruce Arnott
Field Guide

That is correct, it was a great opportunity to take time out of our lives to spend with other guides. We all came to work in the the bush for the same reason: to follow our passion!

William Julien
Guest contributor

Bruce,
Thanks for sharing.
A “male lion on a kill” sounds scary if you are too close and on foot. I’ve seen our normally kind 65 lb springer spaniel, Lancelot, let out a menacing growl if approached after getting a bone. I suspect a lion is about 1000’s times worse. What “aggressive response” was used to keep you safe?

Bruce Arnott
Field Guide

Haha I’ve heard a springer spaniel makes a deeply scary growl! Yes, the growl of a lion sounds like an idling motorbike engine, but much louder. He charged us in an attempt to get us away from his kill and stopped about 15m from us. Once we backed away, the lions relaxed and we carried on with our walk! The aggressive response I was referring to was the male lion’s, not ours. The best way to deal with a charging lion is to hold your ground, making eye contact throughout. Afterwards, you should back away slowly!

Mary Beth Wheeler
Digital Tracker

An inspiring experience, well-told. But I would also like to know what you saw/felt when you came upon six lionesses and a male lion on a kill! What is that like? I can’t imagine!!

Bruce Arnott
Field Guide

Thank you Mary! The experience was nerve-wrecking, all of us stood there in awe of the scene in front of us! As I mentioned in my comment above, the sound of a growl is like an idling motorbike engine of the most powerful type! It was a good learning experience for us, as this type of thing may happen when we are with guests so we need to know how to safely handle the situation.

D. Phillips
Explorer

What a wonderful presentation. This has got to be one of my favorite articles. You have brought me into your fold and taken me on a delightful trip into the bush. I may never get to Londolozi, but I thank you for including me on this day. Bless you all.

Bruce Arnott
Field Guide

That is great feedback thank you very much! I’m very glad that you could get a sense of what it was like to walk in the bush. I am happy that we had this positive impact on your day!

Callum Evans
Guest contributor

Just incredible to read! I had the priviledge of being able to go into the iMfolozi Wilderness Area in 2015 for 5 nights. The only paths were the ones made by animals and our campsites were little more than rocky outcrops on the edge of the Black iMfolozi River. But to be able to walk through unchanged Africa surrounded by impala, giraffe, white rhino, hyenas, buffalos and lions is the most incredible experience I have ever had, and that anyone can have in my opinion!

Bruce Arnott
Field Guide

Callum, thanks! I’m glad you had that experience and I completely agree!

Callum Evans
Guest contributor

Pleasure Bruce! I was beyond thrilled that I got to go on that trail (I’m also a huge fan of Ian Player and Magqubu Ntombela!)! It’s an experience that you have to have for yourselve to fully understand the sheer wonder and peace it brings.

Wendy Hawkins
Senior Digital Ranger

Beautiful & so fortunate for you all to live in that paradise you can call home! Always good to be in companionable silence with friends of like mind! Thank you Bruce for this wonderful blog. Enjoy the rest of the week 🙂

Susan Strauss
Digital Ranger

Few things I love more than walking through the bush. I’ll be back at Londoz in a couple weeks – let’s do it!

Ilene Robinson
Explorer

Bruce – how cool!! Thinking back to our on-foot walk through the bush and the giraffes we saw! Sounds like you guys had some pretty crazy sightings, and the aggressive lion would have had Jess and me crying!! (Probably Matt and Pete too!). Thanks for sharing!

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