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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15 Comments

on Tracking Tales: The REAL Reason There are Handles Next to the Tracker’s Seat

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Marinda Drake
Master Tracker

I could not help laughing. It is quite a funny story. Probably not funny at all if you are Exon. Great experience though and something Exon can tell to his grandchildren. Just a sugestion, can’t someone write all these wonderful stories down and publish it in a book.

Victoria Auchincloss
Digital Ranger

From this distance it is easy to laugh, however at the time it must have been terrifying for everyone, including the lioness! I have often wonder about sitting in the bait seat and am glad that everyone was safe. !!! Victoria

Denise Vouri
Guest contributor

It’s a good story! While at Phinda several years ago, I enjoyed the experience of riding in the tracker’s seat for a couple of kilometers on Xmas morning- and I was so happy to have the handles as the road was more than bumpy. I have such appreciation for their eyes and ears, sighting things that us mere mortals would never see, all the while, hands free!! Hooray for Exon👏😊🦁

Mary Beth Wheeler
Guest contributor

This is a hilarious blog, James! Bob and I read it out loud and howled with laughter at the picture of Exon flying up and onto the lioness! I’m not sure how funny it was at the time, but it makes for a wonderful camp fire story!!

Joanne Wadsworth Kelley
Digital Tracker

I just can’t imagine the fright waking up mid-air, only to land on a lion! Thankfully she was frightened….were it me, I’d be in the middle of a cardiac arrest!

Hello James,
Fantastic stories! I’am glad that it all went well! Exon Sibuyi seems to be a very good tracker! With a very natural cool attitude, knowledge and a strong mental strength he could face these very dangerus situations in such an elegant way! A very brave man! It is alwayes a great pleasure to read the blog! Thank you for sharing!

Michael & Terri Klauber
Digital Tracker

James, Great story!!! Maybe you need to also add seatbelts!

Wendy Macnicol
Senior Digital Ranger

This is quite an amazing story, James! And Exon isn’t a nervous wreck in a mental hospital but looks an extremely well adjusted, cheerful person! Not sure whether the lioness recovered so well …… Has she ever been seen again on that game reserve? And if so, has she got a nervous twitch? Just wondering ….. Wendy M

Karin Maclarty
Explorer

What a great story. I had a good laugh at Exon’s expense and now I also know what those handles are there for.

Bob & Lucie Fjeldstad
Senior Digital Ranger

Great story. From the safety of the seats inside the landrover we have often thought there must be countless stories of trackers being launched unexpectedly! But landing on top of a lioness was not among our imagined outcomes!!

Vicki Bradford
Explorer

Great story! A regular highlight of the drive stops is talking to the guides and the trackers and listening to it only all the amazing knowledge they impart about the animals and the habitat where you stopped, but the amazing stories just like this that they tell you!

Suecol777
Explorer

Sorry Exon! I just HAD to laugh! In fact I laughed my head off. It’s one of the reasons I so LOVE my Londolozi Blog. My phone trills about mid-afternoon and I think ‘That may be Londolozi – what NOW I wonder?’ And quite often I don’t open it until I’m curled up on my bed in my caravan with a mug of tea and no distractions. Falling on the back of a lioness ineed – I don’t think even Leon Schuster would dare to put that in one of his movies! I hope one day I get to meet all you lovely people!

Chris Cordon
Explorer

Hi James. What a funny story.
Have you heard anything lately about the Tsalala Males? I heard that 2 of the 3 males have been killed. They were struck by lightning or electrocuted by a downed power line. I hope this is just a rumor.

James Tyrrell
Photographic Guide/Media Team

Hi Chris,
I heard this rumour as well but it was about 7th hand, and I have yet to substantiate it…

Cindy Hauert
Explorer

I tried sitting on that tracker seat once at Samara, and lasted about 30 minutes before crying uncle. Bruised and battered, I reliquished my seat of torture to the professionals. (smile)

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