Farewell to a Friend and a Brother

Posted on October 11, 2011

It is with such a heavy heart and sadness we bid Farewell to our Friend and Tracker Simon Manzini.

We all have such special memories of our time with Simon, he was a gentleman and one of the best Trackers I have ever had the privileged to work with over the years.

I have such fond recollections of tracking with him along the banks of the Sand River, and even in those moments of intense stress when the tracks we were following were extremely fresh, he never lost his composure or sense of humor.

I remember well an occasion out on drive when Simon raised his hand from the front of the vehicle indicating for me to stop. He sat on his trackers seat out front looking down at the road for a while before turning to me and saying, “very fresh Lion tracks, a whole Pride of Lions have been walking here not long ago”. I turned in my seat and explained to my Guests that Simon and I were going to leave the vehicle for a while and to track in an attempt to find the Pride.

As I jumped down from the vehicle and Simon jumped off his seat, the whole bush next to us exploded in dust, teeth, claws and growls……… I stood there with my head in my hands, not even having had time to remove the rifle form the rack. Lions ran everywhere, fortunately away from us, and I remember looking up through the dust and seeing a huge grin on Simon’s face…………..he winked at me and said “I told you the tracks were fresh”!!!!

There are hundreds of memories we all have of Simon, but none more so than Heinrich who has Tracked with Simon for the last 18 months, they had a very strong bond, like brothers in arms, and although I know we will all miss him greatly, none more so than you.

Go well our friend until we meet again in the Great Reserve in the Sky.

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28 thoughts on “Farewell to a Friend and a Brother

  1. Duncan, I was so sad to hear about Simon’s passing. It is hard to believe and must be a great shock for all of you. He was a great tracker and, with Heinrich, gave us some fabulous viewing in May. He made a mean Amarula hot chocolate too! As you say, a real gentleman with a lovely sense of humour.
    Best wishes from both of us.

  2. Leopard Hills Team, we are so sorry to hear about the passing of Simon. He was a wonderful tracker who led us fearlessly into the bush for some amazing game viewing. He will be surely missed. RIP Simon

  3. Simon,

    we shall miss your guidance, we shall miss your keen eyesight, we shall miss your understanding and knowledge, but most of all we will remember the pleasure of your company and your quick humour.

    Duncan, thank you for a great tribute.

    Rest Peacefully, our friend.

  4. Dear Dunx, Lou and all the rest of the Leopard Hills Family,

    We were very sorry to receive the sad news about Simon. It is very difficult to have one so alive – depart so quickly.

    He was certainly one of the very best and hardest working trackers we ever had – Keen of eye, quick of wit, lots of great bush savvy and a rare taste for orange lollipops – and just a really nice person.

  5. To one and all at Leopard Hills-
    With heavy heart you share your loss….with great sadness it is received.

  6. To the Leopard Hills Family,

    We wish to send our heartfelt condolences for Simon. Simon was our tracker last year on our first trip to the bush and Africa. Our experiences with him will last a lifetime and I too will mourn him as a friend. RIP Simon!

  7. I will never forget Simon tracking on my last visit to Leopard Hills in May. So very sorry for his passing, sleep well friend of all.

    Jeanie Wellington President OCAPTA

  8. I am so sorry to hear of Simons passing. I will never forget him on my last visit to Leopard Hills in May,2011. Sleep well Simon you have earned the rest.

  9. I feel your loss in Simon’s passing as he was our tracker when we visited in June. Such a tremendous gentleman and all-knowing person, knew just how to get you excited about Africa.
    Good night and God Bless Simon.

  10. It was a privilege to experience safari with Simon. He was such a modest and nice person! Too young to leave! Bush treasures which Simon helped me to collect and our pictures from game drives are priceless now. One day over the rainbow we will drink a hot chocolate with Amarula and share baking recipes again. Heinrich and Leopard Hills Team I am so sorry for your loss! RIP Simon.

  11. Our privilege was to have Simon as our tracker last October. He was so much fun. And such a good tracker. We are shocked and saddened by the news of his passing, and your loss and that of his family.
    We will miss him in the Weblog, but will always remember him with a smile, and be grateful for his presence on our game drives.

    See you in the Bush, Simon. Everywhere we look.

  12. Mr Manzini. it was such a Privilege to work with you and for the special memories i have of you out in the beautiful bush.

    R.I.P Simon manzini.

    God Bless

  13. hey guys!!!

    im really sorry to hear about your loss. hope everything still keeps going as great as i know you guys can do it.

    best wishes

  14. Many thoughts come to mind as I write the piece; but nothing I write will live up to Simon ? he was truly a gentleman, great father, bush enthusiast, loving person and an incredible tracker.

    For the years to come – the great memories we all share with this remarkable person and the time spent by his side ? will be the remembrance of Simon that we hold so close to our hearts.

    This is a very sad time for everyone, especially Leopard Hills as he was a true ambassador in everything he did, especially out on game drive.

    Reading everyone?s wonderful comments shows the loving person he was and that he has a special place in everyone?s hearts ? it really is a privilege to have spent so much time in the bush with him.

    Duncan, thank you for a great tribute to Simon ? his presence here has made an impact that would last a lifetime!

  15. Around a year ago I was on my first visit to Leopard Hills and Simon was our tracker for the eight wonderful days we spent with you. Such a really nice gentleMAN, so good at his job, so pleasant helpful and kind becoming someone we regarded as a true friend. As Heinrich says he earned a special place in our hearts and yes, it was a privilige to be with him in the bush. We will think of him often

  16. I never had the privilege of meeting Simon, but I do indeed express my condolences to his family, as well as all of you at Leopard Hills. You are all a fine crowd and I have no doubt he was just the same.

    Heinrich, as a professional golf caddy for while, I know the type of bond that forms when you work closely with only one other person. For you I am sure this is a deeply emotional loss. The memories together must be vast and I’m sure certain sightings in future will remind you of your fine right hand man.

    RIP Simon.

  17. I too did not have the privilege of meeting Simon but even the brief time we spent at Leopard Hills gave us a window into the close knit community it is. My condolences to Simon’s family and to those who were his friends and workmates.

    RIP Simon

  18. John, Suzanne, Cindy, Barbara, Ruth & I from Ontario Canada spent an incredible four days at Leopard Hills in May 2010. It is with great sadness that we learned of Simon’s passing. He was our tracker along with Gary, our ranger. They made a tremendous team. We enjoyed our daily morning coffee breaks and evening sundowners. I know he will be greatly missed by the team @ Leopard Hills as well as his dear family. We will always remember his engaging smile as well as his tracking capabilities. Our condolences to his family.

  19. Simon,

    you touched so many hearts including our own. Thank you for sharing your world in the bush with us and for tracking down so may great sightings which are burnt into our memories of the bush and you.
    You showed such care over all of us but you looked after my father who writes above with such genuine concern and respect for which I am forever indebted.

    Our sincerest condolances to your families and friends everywhere

    Go well our friend

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