13 September 2012 by Denise Slabbert

The Ranger Diaries: All in a day’s work

Q&A with James Kydd, adventurer, safari guide and originator of the Ranger Diaries, an award-winning South African blog.

Elephant dust bath, Ranger Diaries

Ranger Diaries is a wildlife and adventure blog that documents amazing moments in the bush. We talk to the originator of the blog, James Kydd.

Tell us about the Ranger Diaries
Ranger Diaries is a blog inspired by wildlife. We aim to share stories of the wild through the eyes of safari guides in the form of videos, photos and written diaries, and make them available to the world online.

Lion portrait by Keith Connelly, Ranger Diaries

How did this idea come about?
Having been a safari guide for just under 10 years, I was blown away by the incredible things that guides and their guests see and experience on a daily basis, and how little of this the rest of the worlds find out about. I started it as my own blog, and very quickly it had a large following. I wanted to expand it, potentially to the rest of the world.

Have you ever watched that clip, 'The Battle of Kruger'. It's had just under 70-million hits on YouTube. Trust me when I say there are sightings just as awesome as this being seen all the time by guides and their guests everyday, somewhere on the planet; they just aren't being captured and shared.

Who writes for/contributes to the blog?
Currently anyone who is or has been involved as a nature/wildlife/safari guide, photographer or videographer.

What areas do you cover?
Most of our content so far has been from southern Africa, but we have also had content from Argentinian Patagonia, the Brazilian Pantanal, Antarctica and elsewhere. Our aim is to cover the planet.

Lion attacking a zebra by Greg Smith, Ranger Diaries

What has the response to the blog been?
Overwhelming. Within 6 months of going live we had been voted best blog in South Africa at the South African Blog Awards. People seem to love our authenticity and adventure. The support we've had from our followers has been incredible.

More and more in this digital age I have seen a hunger in people to reconnect with the concept of wilderness.

How do you hope to impact the travel Industry?
People trying to choose a safari destination these days can easily get lost in the maze of the internet: thousands of lodge websites with photos of beautiful beds, bush dinners and leopards draped over trees. Through our content we aim to showcase which guides, lodges and wilderness areas guests will receive a top quality wildlife experience from.

Why should people visit the blog?
There are too many reasons. The simple answer would be to immerse yourself in wildlife, escape your office momentarily and step into a virtual safari. For safari-goers it's a great way to find out where to go and who to go on safari with; and for those who have been, to stay in touch with their favourite lodges, guides, and even animals.

More and more in this digital age I have seen a hunger in people to reconnect with the concept of wilderness, and hopefully we can provide that. But be warned, you may get lost here for hours ...

Cheetah in a tree by Amy Attenborough, Ranger Diaries

Category: Wildlife

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