Most of us work our regular jobs so we can afford life’s special pleasures, like exploring unknown destinations through travel. But what if your job was to explore those unknown destinations every day? That’s what Darryn Murray gets to do as Head Game Ranger at Entabeni Private Conservancy in South Africa. He spends his days taking travelers on safari through the bush in search of the Big Five game and other wildlife that call South Africa their home.
We wanted to get a glimpse into what Entabeni is like through the eyes of a game ranger, so we asked Darryn to answer a few questions for us, and he was happy to oblige. Read on for our Q-and-A with him!
Q: How did you become a game ranger?
A: Well, it started off with my parents. I grew up in Johannesburg, and I was very involved in taking holidays on game reserves and things like that. So it was just a natural thing that I got into when I finished schooling. I did a two-year course studying game ranging and lodge management at Damelin West Rand, and then we did our practical at Entabeni Nature Guide Training.
Q: What’s a normal day like for you?
A: No two days are alike at our job. A day could be anything from getting up at 5:30 in the morning and taking travelers on a morning game drive or bush walk. Or I could come in around noon for an afternoon game drive. We also do night game drives along with star gazing. It all depends on what the guests are looking for, and what’s the best way to spend their time that day.
Q: What’s the wildest thing you’ve ever seen in the reserve?
A: We’ve seen two or three lion hunts with guests on game drives. We’ve also seen cheetahs hunting. But I think probably the most memorable thing is the time we got up close and personal with a lion while on a bush walk with guests. It was kind of scary — a 200 kg male lion coming that close — but everyone was OK. It was a great source of adrenaline, and a fantastic memory — once it was all over! (more…)