Thursday, December 25, 2008

An African Christmas

Christmas and New Year normally means a nice long holiday spent with friends and family.  This is not quite the same when you work in the lodge & hospitality industry.

During this time of year most lodges in Africa are completely fully booked.  For the management, guides and staff this means a very busy time as you create special memories and wonderful experiences for guests.  Normally this goes hand in hand with working long hours without having the chance to see family and celebrate the holiday as you normally would.  I truly take my hat off to the people working over this time of year!

During the day you find yourself looking at the people on holiday as they celebrate the togetherness and spirit of the festive season.  Somewhere deep down inside you feel conflicting emotions.  These feelings pendulum between a sad longing to also have the opportunity to share special moments with friends and family and a feeling of satisfaction of having created another moment, another memory for someone else.  

Right now these memories are made up of adventures in the African bush, great meals and the warm hospitality where every little detail comes together to create a kind of magic.

During the last few days of 'silly season' the game viewing at Tuningi has been spectacular.  The last four groups of guests have all seen the Big 5 a couple of times over and the pack of Wild Dog have been very kind to give us the most spectacular sightings.

As we sat watching the sunset below on Christmas eve it was a strange kind of way it feels great to be a part of the memories that some people will hopefully carry with them for a long time to come.  

The only other feeling that is always there is that next year or the year after we will also be able to create memories with family and friends but for now we continue to do what we do and create magic for our guests - a feeling that, for now at least, is worth all the time spent.

I hope you have a Merry Christmas!

Until next time!


Grant Marcus said...

Hey Gerry, Adele, Heidi and Gavin,

Merry xmas to all of you looking forward to come back and Gerry great post...once again


Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas!


SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

I used to smile when I would hear people saying that they wanted to be a game ranger. The truth of the matter is that it sounds so glamerous and they do not realise what it entails and end up trying it for only a few months. No wonder it has the highest turnover in staff than any other job. Those 12-18 hour days, 365 days a year are not something everyone can handle. It is only dedicated people like you and I which can do it for any length of time.

I hope you and Adele had a great time Gerry and I know you both might have missed your famalies, but it was another experience you shared together in the bush and I am sure you loved every minute of it. :)

Mike - Fenphotography said...

Merry Christmas Gerry hope you have had a nice break and best wishes for the new year. I look forward to what images it will bring.