Every guest is different, just as no two game drives are ever the same, which is what makes life so interesting for our rangers. From first-time safari newcomers and veteran safari addicts, to birders, photographers, cat lovers, tree-huggers and entomologists, every guest’s wildlife wishlist is different and our rangers accept each challenge with gusto.
The ranger welcomes guests to their enviable open-air “office”, asking them exactly what they would like to see. More often than not, these wishes are fulfilled thanks to the hard work, determination and eagle eyes of the ranger and tracker duo. Sometimes, however, rangers are faced with unique requests and they can be rather creative in their pursuit.
Steve Walker is one of those rangers. When guests Nikhil, Sheetal and their daughter Mallika recently visited &Beyond Ngala Private Game Reserve, they expressed a desire to photograph the brown-headed parrot. Having not located these birds on game drive, Steve made use of his time between drives to construct a bird hide for his birding enthusiasts.
He recycled old mopane trees to create a frame with four poles, which he then covered with mopane branches and used the bark as rope to secure the structure. 100% natural and 100% camouflaged.
The family was so impressed when Steve revealed the handmade hide to them, which just so happened to overlook a brown-headed parrot’s nest. The foursome waited quietly in the hide and their patience was rewarded a mere 30 minutes later. They heard the screech-like call of the parrots returning to their nest and Nikhil was able to get the money shot he so desired. How’s that for guest delight? Never a dull moment on an &Beyond safari!