Dispatch, Rare

Tracking the Kalahari lion with Brian Jackman

Brian Jackman will be wondering whether anyone at Journeys by Design has read his piece for Travel Africa Tracking Lions in Tswalu, such is the unforgiveable lateness of this post. We have, and so should you. It’s very good – as good now as when it was first published in March of this year.

What makes it especially good is Jackman’s unrelenting focus on his main point of interest: the black maned Kalahari lion. Tswalu is an exceptional reserve, extremely conservation-minded, and a fine example of a wilderness reclaimed. Part of its offer is its outstanding accommodation, Tarkuni and the Motse wowing all, and understandably filling column inches, such is the level of design, the standard of service, and the quality of the food and drink.

Not so, Jackman, however. At the risk of spoiling your read, apart from a quick, respectful nod in the direction of back story and lodge(s), Tracking Lions in Tswalu is exactly what it says on the tin. It’s what the soft adventure safari is all about. It’s being guided by the best. It’s appreciating the art of tracking. ‘The greatest luxury,’ he says, ‘is having your own private vehicle, guide and tracker to seek out the Tswalu’s wild residents.’

And it is through his guide and his tracker Rudi Venter and Ari Leoow that Jackman not only spends time with a lioness and her cubs and eventually tracks down the reserve’s dominant males, but is reminded of the virtues of time and effort, of the ‘arcane skills’ of the tracker, and learns that there is more to that litter than its unusual size. There, I almost haven’t ruined it for you.

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