WildEarth TV is the closest you’ll ever get to a full-blown African safari without leaving your lounge. It’s 100 per cent live and riveting. The concept is life-changing and more addictive for nature lovers, who can enjoy real-time safaris twice a day – beamed to them from wild places across South Africa.
It’s a splendid sunshine day in Pridelands, where wildlife wanders freely through and around the camp with no fences between the conservancy and the iconic game reserve. It’s a magical space to learn bush lore and reconnect with the essence of the natural world. It’s also a busy camp, with plenty going on all day.
Back up at Makuleke Camp, Rufus Cottrell is medium build with a prominent personality. From Kent in the UK, he has a wicked sense of humour and an unshakeable spirit of adventure. Rufus recently completed the one-year Professional Field Guide course, but he has plans beyond that. “I want to guide in Kenya, but if not, somewhere wild like Rwanda or Zambia.” And there’s little doubt he will do just that.
Prof of Wildlife Biology and Ecology at Texas State University, Sarah Fritts, was a student of Prof John Carroll in 2003 while at the University of Georgia. That year, with the help of Prof Carroll, she figured out how to get to Africa on a research project, studying traditional healers in the Makuleke culture. Nineteen years later, back in Makuleke Camp with Prof Carroll, investigating how to bring her students to learn in Africa.
Prof John Carroll has been coming to Africa and bringing university students to do EcoTraining courses for over 20 years. He’s the Director of the School of Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska Lincoln, and his ‘ out-of-the-box thinking during Covid enabled some of his students to incorporate EcoTraining’s Online Field Guiding course into their university degree.
Being off the grid, Makuleke Camp runs on solar power and gas, with backup generator power for days like today. It’s heavily overcast and drizzling today, so the generator is buzzing reassuringly in the background. The camp is in a beautifully remote northern Kruger National Park, unfenced and off the cellphone reception grid. It’s a world of its own.
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