Safari guide Lemme of Wilderness Safaris in Botswana tells us his story.
Wilderness guide Lemme’s story of connecting with the bush and extraordinary wildlife encounters, in his own words:
“I am from a village called Ncojane in the south-western part of the country, but I’ve been living in Maun all my life. While I was growing up, I had to go to a cattle post – where we had livestock – during school holidays, and this is where I first felt a connection with bush life. Slowly but surely I realised that this fulfilled my soul more than anything. Botswana is a great country that is politically and economically stable, and it’s been a great pleasure being raised in this wilderness area.”
“I studied geography, which really opened up a path to guiding. Astronomy is one of my favorite subjects and wildlife photography is my hobby. Being out here in the bush is the only way I can sit and watch the African sky without any light pollution, as well as photograph wildlife. I am a very social person, so meeting people from all over the world and learning about different cultures amazes me. Combining that with the undisturbed wildlife is mind-blowing.”
“Meeting people from all over the world and learning about different cultures amazes me. Combining that with the undisturbed wildlife is mind-blowing.”
“I’m based in King’s Pool in the Linyanti concession, but I’ve had the chance to work at other Wilderness camps too. I like it here because Linyanti is a dry area compared to the Okavango Delta camps, giving you more land to drive across in search of wildlife. This is where you get the true experience of the bush.”
“One afternoon I was driving out of the camp, when, as I was approaching a lion den, I saw some elephants coming from the river and going in the same direction. I decided to park about 50 metres from the den and wait to see what would happen. The herd of elephants walked right past with a young male elephant and his younger brother trailing behind.”
“We saw the lions come out of their den and as the elephants walked past the lions jumped on the back of the younger one, bringing him to the ground.”
“We saw the lions come out of their den and as the elephants walked past, the lions jumped on the back of the younger one, bringing him to the ground. The one that escaped the attack ran away trumpeting and the whole herd came back charging. I got stuck between the lions and the charging elephants. The first elephant went past us to chase off the lions but the second one came right at us. When she approached everyone in the Land Rover was scared, but I revved the engine and banged the door until she ran away.”
“I want guests to leave with the knowledge of how you can live with animals in peace and harmony, and how the animals interact with their environment within the ecosystem. I want them to know how much Wilderness safaris have made an impact on wildlife and conservation. Botswana is one of the few countries where you are able to go to places that are still wild and untouched. It’s a privilege to be here.”
The wildlife photographs in this article were taken by Lemme.