This week’s guide is Bbakasa Matapa from Zambia’s Royal Zambezi Lodge. Read on to find out what happened when he saw a leopard and lioness come face to face in the wild!
How and why did you become a guide?
I have always wanted to work in the bush and interact with untamed nature. Conserving nature is what I loved most and that is what made me want to become a guide.
Do you have a specialism? What are you most interested in?
Not really as I am an all round guide – I always find it interesting identifying new birds, discovering new plants and insects.
What is your favourite country/national park/reserve to guide in?
Zambia has always been my favourite country to guide in and more especially in the Lower Zambezi National Park. There are a lot of different activities you can do which includes canoeing, boat cruise, fishing, game walks, game drives and even mountain hiking. I like this variety.
What has been your favourite sighting to date?
I have so many great memorable moments. The first one was when I was following a lion hunting for a baby impala and on the other side was a leopard hunting for the same impala. Neither of these predators knew that there was a leopard and lioness respectively. Unfortunately the impala ran and what followed was the leopard facing the lioness. It was a ‘run for your life’ situation and the leopard quickly turned around and the lioness chased her. The second best sighting was when I saw four leopards fighting for territory.
What’s your favourite activity? Walking, night drives etc
Canoeing is my favourite activity. Canoeing is so relaxing; it’s nice for bird watching because you can go quietly and close to the birds and other big game.
If you could go to any other country to see its wildlife, where would you choose?
I would choose to go to Tanzania, to the Serengeti national park. I like the open grasslands of the Serengeti National Park and I always want to see the cheetahs hunting and making a kill.
What advice would you give to anyone who wanted to become a guide?
Guiding is a practical job and you enjoy every moment you are out in the bush because you get to meet a lot of different people and, of course, interact with untamed nature.