Life as a guide does not just consist of taking guests on tours. Here at the Centre we like to keep our guides busy and fit even when we don’t have visitors. On these slightly quieter days they get the opportunity to work with our curator, Christo Schreiber.
This work is not for the fainthearted mind you, as these brave souls are sent empty-handed into the Wild dogs’ camp to pick up bones and leftovers. There are 19 of these wily animals that they need to be on the lookout for, as they wander around cleaning up the area. Fortunately they do have speed and agility in the form of Christo’s white Toyota bakkie, so if anything untoward does happen they can just hop on the back and hope like hell that he drives faster than the dogs can run.
It is necessary to pick up the bones in our predators’ camps on a regular basis in order to prevent diseases breaking out from the rotting meat, which attracts flies and rodents. Keeping the area free of sharp bones also means no punctures, which is good because changing a flat tyre with the Wild dogs looking on is not something we want to be doing.
Another job our guides have to undertake on a regular basis is washing the many aloes dotted around the Centre. This amounts to about 50 – 70 plants that require a bath. Armed with a brush, water and some washing up liquid, these hardworking guys set out to save these powerless cacti from the white fungus that often attacks and kills them.
Another activity that our guides have proven to be very good at is filling our roads. After a bout of heavy rains the roads are often washed away, and then it’s their duty to fill them up again. They do this by digging up some dry river sand, loading it into a wheelbarrow and taking it to wherever it’s needed. They also dig troughs next to the road for excess water to flush into.
Bush clearing, maintenance of camps, helping our curator, checking fences, controlling our guesthouses and Safari Park camp, helping at reception and the Curio shop are just a few more things our ¼ber helpful guides assist with. Their patience, good humour and hard work are invaluable to the running of HESC, and we’re truly blessed to have these strong gents and lady working for us.