In the Lion’s Den

A short story about just one of my adventures while doing Rhino Anti Poaching.


We had not seen hide nor hair of the lion for weeks, so when Joseph spotted one of the males in the thick bush we were happy. It was barely visible in the beam, that is how thick the bush was at this end of the reserve. We watched for a while trying to spot his brother, they were never far from each other, but we could not find him, so we then proceeded to resume our perimeter patrol. Or tried too. Not 100m and we had another flat. Shit. Our spare was also flat, as usual, the ongoing fight to get new tyres for our vehicle was one of the many we were losing with Mabula.

Now I may have mentioned this before, but Joseph was the bravest of all my chaps, so I was glad it was he riding shotgun with me this night. Although, another sore point, we had not even a pop gun between the lot of us, never mind a shotgun. I have had to threaten to bliksem the other guys in order to get them to help with flats in the Big Five reserve, not Joseph, he was already out the bakkie and unloading the portable pump, with one eye on the area we had just seen the lion. I attached the pump and we waited, it was not the top of the range pump that one would have liked and pretty slow. Standing where we were now, it was fucking slow!
Joseph heard that the air was escaping and then we both saw the dust in the road been blown off by the air from a hole in the side wall of the tyre. I did another check, with the torch, none of the lions were sneaking up on us as far as I could see, so I ventured a little way into the bush. I needed a thick acacia thorn. I found what I needed and plugged the hole with that. We then pumped the tyre and proceeded to the reserves gate at a speed, well, as fast as the road would allow that is.

Once out the gate we were in the part of the reserve that had no lion and we checked our repair job, it was holding ok, we could go collect the guys on OP, just we would have to stop and pump the tyre every 20km or so. That was alright, we only had to worry about hippo now when we stopped. I had to get Dean to do something about our tyre situation, one night was the night that we would pick up shit, especially with those two new, young Kalahari males……


Nosce te ipsum

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Short Story



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