King of the jungle

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"In a child's eyes, with all that wonder and imagination, the first time you see 'The King of the jungle' is a completely magical and mystical experience..." Ernest, our guide at Chichele Presidential Lodge, shares his stories about two of our junior guests...

"Recently I had two small guests, 3 year old Francis and Oliver her brother of 7 who already had a passion for the bush just like a seasoned veteran.

After guiding the family for two days, we set out on our last evening game drive. It was a quiet night in the bush and I explained to Francis and Oliver that obviously the animals were hiding from predators. When arriving back into camp I could see on their tired little faces that there was a slight tinge of disappointment, as they would go another night without seeing the elusive lion that they had been talking about since I picked them up at the airport.

Whilst getting tucked in to bed, Shakka the Lion started to roar. I could tell that he was close, so I quickly went to the family's room and asked them if they wanted to try one last time to see Shakka. Like lighting, two pajama-clad children and parents bounced into the game vehicle and we zoomed down the hill to see the lion they had been eagerly waiting to see.

We all watched him roar in the darkness of night. The power of his voice shook the little ones, making them move closer to their Mum and Dad. The once tired little eyes of Francis were now wide open and bright with excitement and Oliver, with an imagination the size of Zambia, watched him in amazement and awe.

For anyone, the first time you see a Lion is a special moment, but in a child's eyes with all the wonder and imagination they have, the first time they see "The King of the Jungle" is something completely magical and mystical, something unforgettable and will be forever ingrained into their childhood memories.

Being a guide is truly a humbling experience as every day I'm able to bring people closer to nature, make their dreams come true and put smiles on their faces. Along with this I have the opportunity to educate people and give them an understanding of how important it is to preserve these sanctuaries and these amazing creatures like Shakka call home."

Chichele Presidential Lodge