When I stayed at Singita Lebombo, four years ago, I was lucky to have had Lee to take me on game drives during my brief time there. When our small plane landed on the soggy airstrip close to Singita Grumeti, I looked out the window and recognised Lee immediately. (At six feet four inches, he is hard to miss).
I’d had no idea he’d left two years earlier to become Grumeti’s head guide (before Singita became involved) and would be with us for the next five days. That was good news indeed because Lee is both experienced and exuberant. He expresses the same delight at seeing a rare bird or a butterfly as when he spots a herd of elephants. Often he would stop the Land Rover, get out, pick up a flower or an insect and hold it for us to examine.
Then, with a look of childlike wonder on his face, he would explain what makes it so special. He even gave Maura and Jon a demonstration of how a tsetse fly bores itself into human flesh – which just so happened to be his own forearm. That’s dedication.
Lee’s attitude about game viewing is to be flexible. “I never make a plan on a drive,” he says, “because it always ends up changing.”