About the Author

James Tyrrell

Photographic Guide/Media Team

James had hardly touched a camera when he came to Londolozi, but his writing skills that complemented his Honours degree in Zoology meant that he was quickly snapped up by the Londolozi blog team. An environment rich in photographers helped him develop the ...

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17 Comments

on Who Gets the Bigger Fright?

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Marinda Drake
Master Tracker

Lovely blog James. I think it is probably more scary to encounter an animal once the sun has set. I am always more aware in the dark around camp. I have experienced lions running away from humans in the day, always believe they are wary of us on foot. Out on game drive on our last visit to Londolozi a hyena came close while we were having a drink stop. I was quite scared. Imagine if it was a lion. It was still a great experience.

James Tyrrell
Photographic Guide/Media Team

Hi Marinda- Excellent point; the temperament of many animals changes after dark. Once the sun has gone down it’s definitely better to NOT be out on foot. Rather be around the boma fire where there’s a nice glass of wine waiting!

Very interesting blog! I wonder about the same exact things. Thank you for sharing your thoughts! Approximately 122 days left until so many of my questions are answered. I will try not to be “that person” who asks 1,000 questions:) I am so very excited about going to Londolozi and meeting all the staff that I feel I almost know through these GREAT blogs!

James Tyrrell
Photographic Guide/Media Team

Hi Nickolette.
Great news that you’re coming! What date are you arriving and what camp are you staying in? Pop into the Creative Hub to say hi!

Jeff Rodgers
Senior Digital Ranger

Great blog. My first visit to Londolozi was in 1999, my next visit is next month. I have never before been on a bush walk, and your observations motivates me to give it a try.

James Tyrrell
Photographic Guide/Media Team

Hi Jeff,
Looking forward to having you here. You must definitely get out there on foot!

Ginger Brucker
Explorer

Fun post-love looking at these chance (hopefully) encounters from both sides. A world in which us humans are the “alien creatures”-indeed frightful!

James Tyrrell
Photographic Guide/Media Team

Absolutely Ginger – we are the outsiders here!

Denise Vouri
Master Tracker

I like your thought process on this subject. I’ve often thought about who is more scared in the bush – the animal or the human when face to face. My conclusion based upon personal experience, is that the animals seem to react in a self-protective mode, running away from what could be danger. The big green machines that meander throughout their territory are mostly seen as benign, as you stated. Youngsters have seen and experienced the rovers without fear – then insert a person or persons on foot and the dynamics change. It’s a thing out of context in their world. Running away when scared seems universal, no matter the species. I believe you as Rangers and trackers have a respect for your place of work and all its inhabitants and consequently know your limits. Thanks for your thoughts.

James Tyrrell
Photographic Guide/Media Team

Hi Denise,
Thanks for your comments.
Absolutely; the distance we maintain is as respectful as possible. If an animal is reacting to your presence, be it in a land rover or on foot, you have come too close.
Best regards.

Brendon Walton
Explorer

Hi James

I really enjoy your blogs and living in London after having to leave SA for work it gives me my fix of the bush without physically being there.

Anyways i just wanted to add that the reason animals are scared of us is because after the great flood of Noah God put a fear of man into all animals which is why they will 9 times out of 10 run away from us.

Cheers

Geri Potter
Explorer

Great article, still I would never trust an animal’s previous, perchance, meeting and assume all would be well. I would always hope Londolozi, and other camps, would maintain the necessary boundaries and ‘close encounters’ to ensure animals would NEVER recognize us as entities outside a vehicle. In that way ensuring their natural wariness of humans and danger from US.

James Tyrrell
Photographic Guide/Media Team

Indeed Geri, one always has to observe an animal’s behaviour. The same individual that has been relaxed 364 days of the year could just be having that one bad day…

Scott Perkins
Explorer

Hi. Epigenetics certainly also play a role in how the animals view people and vehicles at places like Londolozi:-)

James Tyrrell
Photographic Guide/Media Team

Hi Scott.
I certainly imagine they do!

Michael & Terri Klauber
Digital Tracker

James, When we are riding with you we are fearless!

James Tyrrell
Photographic Guide/Media Team

Haha it’s all a facade I put on!

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