What do you do all day?

Recently one of my US friends asked me what am I doing all day?

So I thought I describe one of my days on Thanda Private Game Reserve; with a bit of text and some images! This is quite a busy one, but not unusually so!


6:45 Wake-up
Allowed to sleep in today as I am not driving guests this morning. Slept 2.5 hours more than on driving days 🙂 The weather is hot and dry at Thanda House!

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7:23 The Call
Before I even get a chance to take a morning shower I get a text message that there is a spitting cobra near the entrance to Thanda’s base camp office. Lets move!


7:45 Catch and Release
Catch the snake and release it again at one of Thanda’s waterholes. It spits venom at my GoPro camera 😦
(Watch out for another blog about this snake release!)

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8:45 Exercising with Elephants
Back at my office walking on the treadmill for an hour; while watching Elephants having a morning bath at the nearby waterhole.

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9:45 Delayed Morning Routine
Watching Giraffes during a short breakfast of yogurt and fruit, mango&mandarin juice. A bit later than usual = snake delay!

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10:00 Social Media
Preparing a Thanda blog message, as well as Facebook, Twitter and Google+ posts. Schedule them to be released tomorrow between 14:00 and 16:30 (2:00pm – 4:30pm for my friends across the sea :-))


10:20 Backup
Looking at my email inbox. Nothing urgent! Starting weekly backup procedures on all my PCs before heading out again.

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10:30 Drive
Have to take a short drive across the reserve to the Thanda Tented Camp to give a Rhino lecture. Dealing with local traffic (Warthogs and Zebras).

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11:00 All about Rhinos
Talking to a group of guests about the threat to the world’s Rhino population. They are quite interested and ask a lot of good questions.

Rhino Poaching Stats

12:00 Photography Lesson
Teaching “Motion Photography” in the Tented Camp dining area (too hot outside). Great response from the 90 minute session!

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14:00 Lunch
Back at Thanda house having lunch. A rocket and watercress salad with olive oil, balsamico (a nice old one!) and some parmesan cheese, cherry tomatoes and a freshly baked ciabatta roll. A bit of fresh fruit for desert. Grape juice and mineral water to drink. Listening to a “Lord Peter Wimsey” audio book by Dorothy L. Sayers –  Enjoy that very much!

gaudy night

15:00 A Contradiction in Terms!
Email and rest time, they do not really go together. Lots of emails to answer and no rest!


15:45 Prepare the Game Viewer
Meeting Bheki (my tracker) at base camp to drive to the Thanda Safari Lodge to pick up a family for a Bush Safari Session (this is a photography lesson in the bush, hands-on!)

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16:30 Into the Bush, again!
Great sightings on this photography drive. Relaxed Black Rhinos and Cheetahs at sunset.

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18:20 Drinks at Sundown
Having fun during our sundown drinks stop. Explain to the young guests some more photo stuff.

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18:45 Good bye
Say good-bye to the guests at the Thanda Safari Lodge just after sunset and then head back home. Having a quick dinner  of soup (Butternut) and salad (garden greens with tomatoes and carrots) with another ciabatta roll. A Coke Zero on ice with lots of lemon juice 🙂 – my reward for a busy day.

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20:00 Back to the office
For a bit of image editing work on the PC while listing to some music (today it is Gilbert & Sullivan). That editing job is never done = current backlog ~2,000 images!


20:02 Power out
Have to switch to my small generator. Due to “load shedding” there is no electrical power for 2-3 hours. That happens on most days. South Africa has huge power problems!


22:23 Power back and good night!
Power is back, air conditioners are working again and I am off to bed to regain energy for another …

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Good day in Africa!

Selfie in my office at the end of the day 🙂

Christian Sperka | Resident Wildlife Photographer and Specialist Photography Guide | Thanda Private Game Reserve