7. Tell us one story/memory that stands out for you while working at Wilderness – It’s got to be one of the rarest moments to ever happen in the bush. Our pilot had an early flight out of Linkwasha, as he had a very busy day ahead of him. One of the chefs had also asked to leave with the pilot as he was due off. Just like any other normal day, they left camp before sunrise and got to the airstrip before it was light enough to see clearly. They offloaded their luggage and took it to the aircraft and came back to the car to finish their offloading. As soon as they got back to the car they started seeing moving figures behind them where they had left some of their luggage. The driver switched on the headlamps and boom, a pride of lions was around them. They quickly jumped on to the vehicle and radioed camp. I was the manager on duty that day and received the mayday call, I called one of the guides and we headed for the airstrip to try and assist .By the time we got there, the lions had carried the luggage away from the aircraft into the tall dry grass. They tore the bags and had fun with them shredding some to pieces. Some of the lions came back and sat between us and the aircraft as if to say no one is going to the aircraft.. Since the pilot was getting late we had to chase them away from the aircraft by driving around so that the pilot could start his day of work. Finally they moved away and he took off.
I had never seen such a thing and because of this incident the young lions were named the Baggage Handlers. The leader and oldest lion also had to be named, and I had the privilege, calling him Lesang, after the chef Lesang, whose baggage was torn to shreds. After a while these young boys became huge and chased away the male lion, which originally owned this territory. They took over the territory and to this day they call the shots here. They are becoming the coalition to watch out for.
Thank you for sharing your story with us Liberty!