Involved Leopards

Piccadilly 3:3 Young Female

Piccadilly 3:3 Young Female

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Barry Bath

Contributor

Barry grew up in Johannesburg and knew from a young age that he had a true love for the African bush yet it was only after spending several years in the corporate world in Europe, followed by a two year sabbatical of traveling ...

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22 Comments

on Eluding Turns to Exceeding Expectations

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Valmai Vorster
Master Tracker

Hi Barry, I’m sure it is not easy to have guests on the vehicle and they want to see different scenes and animals. It is a challenging aspect of events then and you two as Ranger and Tracker have to keep everything balanced. The video of the Piccadilly female leopard was fabulous and at least that was a highlight for your guests and for us. Scenery at Londolozi is fabulous.

Barry Bath
Contributor

Hi Valmai, personally I think the dynamic of different guests on a vehicle is always interesting and 99% of the time works out well. Glad you enjoyed the video.

Vin Beni
Guest contributor

Took me a few safaris to understand it wasn’t about tracking the animals but experiencing their environment.

Barry Bath
Contributor

Hi Vin, simply being in the environment of the animals is a huge part of it and it’s always a bonus to track and find the animals.

Karin Webber
Explorer

Very nice blog Baz!

Barry Bath
Contributor

Thanks Karin!

Marcia Parker
Digital Tracker

Great post Barry. It got me thinking about the difference between intention and expectation… Thanks!

Barry Bath
Contributor

Thanks Marcia!

Francesca Doria
Master Tracker

May rhino, giraffe and leopards- the Piccadilly female in particular- be a good wish for the new year to come for everyone! Lovely photos and video

Barry Bath
Contributor

Thanks, Francesca! Happy New Year to you too!

Denise Vouri
Guest contributor

Well written piece Barry! It is so true that expectations on a safari can range from very high to very chill. I commend you and other guide/tracker teams that not only deliver two interesting, informative and sometimes exciting drives each day but also can act as psychologists to learn each guest’s “check-off list”. It’s so true that if birders are paired with landscape/mammal interested guests, the drives can be tricky, but manageable.
It’s terrific your guests were rewarded with beautiful landscapes as well as the rhino and leopard sightings-the bonus for sure! Happy New Year!

Barry Bath
Contributor

Hi Denise, it’s always special when different sets of guests can learn from each other’s enthusiasm for different aspects of the bush. That’s where the true magic of different personalities on a vehicle can be experienced.

Leonie De Young
Master Tracker

A nice blog Barry. Good you got to see the rhino calf, girafes and leopard cub. You are right – sometimes you are in the right place at the right time. Thanks for sharing. I am sure your guests were quite satisfied with what they got to see.

Barry Bath
Contributor

Thanks, Leonie!

Michael and Terri Klauber
Guest contributor

Barry, That experience highlights one of the greatest reasons that interactions like that happen at Londolozi. The mutual respect between humans and the wildlife – especially Leopards – is evident in almost every turn! Thanks for the great video!

Barry Bath
Contributor

Hi Michael and Terri, the special relationship we have with leopards here at Londolozi is always at the top of the list for sharing with guests as it is always an incredible experience when encountering them.

Christa Blessing
Master Tracker

Dear Barry
What an interesting blog of yours. And you were so lucky to have spent such an afternoon with your guests who had obviously had no great expectations and got a lot of reward for it.
You have written that it „can get tricky when you mix different set of guests…“
If I may be very honest, I must say that this is exactly something I find a bit troubling or „tricky“ when on safari. If one is a very experienced guest who has already been on lots of safaris and there are guests who are on one for the first time, it is so difficult, I would even say impossible, to meet everyone‘s expectations. Or you have someone On the car who doesn‘t mind seeing a kill mixed with someone who doesn‘t want to, a.s.o. In my long experience I have watched lots of those situations, some when I was in the same car, some from other cars. Some really extremely difficult.
That‘s why, in my experience it is nearly never a good idea to have different sets of guests in one car. And that‘s why I have always booked a private vehicle for many years now. Which also has lots of disadvantages. Because sometimes you guys or other guests think that a single person in a private car blocks the viewing opportunities of a car full of people.
There are some camps, however, that include private vehicles in the price of their rooms for all their sets of guests. Which I think is perfect. There are guests who want to go out only for an hour or very late, there are guests whose main aim or one of their main aims is a very long sundowner break whereas others want to watch animals as long as possible – whatever animals there are out there. There are birders who are mainly interested in birds and others who are not interested in birds at all a.s.o. All of your guests spend an incredible amount of money on these safaris and want to have their expectations met, if possible. Why not give them all the possibility to do it in the way they like best? Why not have a few smaller cars suitable for single guests or a couple and reserve the big cars for large family or other groups of guests who want to share?
This would make the safari experience perfect for everyone and all the different needs of different sets of guests.

Barry Bath
Contributor

Hi Christa, thank you for your feedback. I can agree with you that not everyone wants to have other guests on the same vehicle but there are also a lot of guests that truly cherish the relationships they make with the different travellers they meet while on safari. That’s where the ranger and tracker teams come in. We strive to help make the most of each and every single drive and do everything we can to find the right balance between guest expectations. Very often the different interests of different sets of guests can lead to piquing an unknown interest for some guests.
Personally, regardless of what the specific interests of a guest are Tshepo and I try to show as many aspects of the bush as possible so that a guest leaves having felt as if they got more than what they expected. That being said I totally understand why you, as well as some other guests, would like a private safari experience which is why we offer the choice of either.
Happy New Year to you Christa. We look forward to welcoming you back to Londolozi soon.

Cally Staniland
Master Tracker

Wow, the video and your blog says it all Barry. Certainly the case of expect the unexpected when not expecting anything at all. What a fab way to end their holiday 👌🏻🙏🏻💗

Barry Bath
Contributor

Thanks, Cally!

Barbara Wallace
Senior Digital Ranger

I am so ready to see anything and everything that Londolozi has to offer! One day soon…

Barry Bath
Contributor

Hi Barbara, we look forward to welcoming you to Londolozi one day soon!

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