ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

Well, now to a story with lions that still have their teeth. In South Africa, at the 700-square-mile Addo Elephant National Park, the game guard has to be part tracker, part driver, part educator. And he has to take care of the visitors who show up for night tours, even in the middle of a thunderstorm.

(Soundbite of rain and thunder)

Mr. NCEDISO HEADMAN NOGAYA (Game Guard, Addo Elephant National Park, South Africa): OK, you guys all happy with your seats?

Unidentified Group: Yes. yes.

Mr. NOGAYA: OK. All have ponchos, everyone?

Mr. NOGAYA: I do like my job, yes. Actually, I love it. I mean, this is the best thing I have.

OK, good evening to everyone. My name is Headman, and I'll be with you for the next two hours.

(Soundbite of thunder)

Mr. NOGAYA: Weather like this one, it makes it more difficult to find the animals. What we'll be doing here will be searching for the eyes. My name is Headman. Did I told you my name?

Unidentified Group: Yes, you did.

Mr. NOGAYA: Oh, good. Then let's go. Thank you.

(Soundbite of car starting)

Mr. NOGAYA: My full name is Ncediso Headman Nogaya. Headman was just a name that I was given by my parents to make it easier for people who don't speak my language.

(Soundbite of conversation in foreign language)

Mr. NOGAYA: I do have one boy and two daughters. And there was a time now, they see the elephants on TV, they say that's where my father work.

(Soundbite of elephant trumpeting)

Mr. NOGAYA: What you just heard, over there on your left, from the elephant, that means there are more elephants around here, right in the bushes. You don't have to question if it's an elephant bull or a cow. And you notice the shape of their big ears. It looks similar to the map of Africa. In full speed, elephant can do a speed of 40 kilometers an hour. I don't think I can even do 25 kilometers an hour. Maybe if the elephant is chasing me, I can do better than that. That's a lion.

(Soundbite of lion roaring)

Mr. NOGAYA: Wow, a lion.

(Soundbite of lion roaring)

Mr. NOGAYA: Know what that means? It means that the dominant male lions here. The other male lions, which are not dominant, they won't roar because they have a fear that if they start to roar, these other two will know where they are. They will start to search for them, try to chase them away. To me, that sounds powerful. You can feel it from here.

You just never know how good is the thing that you're doing until people around you appreciate or say something. That makes you feel good, to know that people are appreciating what you're doing, and they see something special and interesting in what you're doing.

(Soundbite of car turning off)

Mr. NOGAYA: OK, that's half past nine on the dot. Ladies and gentlemen, hoping that you enjoyed it. Thank you very much.

Unidentified Woman: Thank you, too.

Mr. NOGAYA: Everything that I have is because of the jobs that I'm having. Because I manage to support myself and my family, so I do love it. It made a difference in my life.

SIEGEL: Headman Nogaya leads night drives through South Africa's Addo Elephant National Park. NPR's Chris Nelson and Gemma Hooley went along for that ride and brought back the sound. You can see their slideshow at our Web site, npr.org.

MELISSA BLOCK, host:

You're listening to All Things Considered from NPR News.

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