If you’re looking for inspiration for Christmas Gifts, we have gathered more gift ideas we think will add a bit of the African bush to any holiday.
The holidays are almost here, and you still don’t know what to get the safari lover in your life? Not to worry. We have gathered gift ideas we think will add a bit of the bush to any holiday celebration.
Growing up, I would imagine going on safaris as a live-action version of The Lion King, with wild animals interacting and living their lives, paying no attention to me. The two trips I’ve taken in the bush as an adult weren’t actually that far off from that image: I saw a ridiculous number and variety of animals from the safety of a game vehicle. My most recent experience – an EcoTracker course in Mashatu – was somehow entirely different, and even more magical.
The short bushveld winter has now officially ended in the South African bush. Days are getting warmer and the nights aren’t as cold as they once were. This is the time of year when we eagerly await the first storm. Will it come on time or will it be late? Only Mother Nature has the answer.
Have you ever wondered just how many balls your safari guide must juggle on a safari? Victoria shares her experience of what it’s like to be a new guide.
Unicorns, mythical beasts that are confined to fairy tales and children’s storybooks, right? Wrong. If you come to South Africa and look deep into the African bush you might just see one. No, I’m not talking about the fabled horses/goat type animal with flowing manes and a single horn, but rather something that is more prehistoric, a critically endangered herbivore, a mammal with stunning grey skin, and two beautiful but deadly horns.
Society tells us our lives will be mapped out by our youth and our ambition: what schools we attend, who we marry, or what high-paying career we take on. But those are not the only factors that determine our paths. Sometimes tectonic forces are working deep below our feet, waiting to show us paths we had not prepared for when we least expect them—after our careers, our schooling, and our lives are pretty much sorted out. Or so we thought…
In the middle of the Mashatu bush, in the early hours of the morning, I was woken by the loud roar of a male lion. I was hesitant to get out of bed and shine my touch to see if the lion was anywhere near my tent. I decided to climb back into bed. By the sound of the roar, the lion was not that close to the camp.
As the sun slowly rises over the horizon the dawn chorus of a new day starts. Crested Francolins call in duet and the birds of prey start to warm up, desperately waiting to catch a morning commute with the rising thermals. It is here on the Southern side of Ndlovu dam where JP Le Roux and myself are doing some filming for our Youtube channel while enjoying a morning French pressed coffee.
Technology has become so ingrained into our everyday lives that most of us question how it is possible to live without it. It has helped us keep in contact with the people we love during the recent worldwide lockdowns. Whilst you are traveling it allows you to capture memories, share your experiences and reflect on your adventures when you get home.
Swimming when the river flows is the Selati equivalent of making hay while the sun shines. EcoTraining blogger, Victoria, recalls a sunset swim, shared with students and tilapia fish.
“Where they made furrows with their tusks the rivers ran” – Rudyard Kipling. Bear witness to the ancient giants of Africa. Titans are long-enduring but faced with a perilous future. Reverent creatures that we have the privilege of walking amongst a dwindling population.
I like to end the day relaxing in front of my tent doing a few yoga stretches, enjoying the silence of the camp, the evening song of the birds, and marveling in the feeling of the last of the rays of the winter sun before it disappears for the day.
On hearing the alarm calls of the Nyala that hang around the camp, I stopped for a minute, listening, holding my breath, to see if I could hear what had disturbed them. And then…
The 31st of July is World Ranger Day, let’s explore what it means to be a ‘ranger’ in celebration of this day!
I’ve always told my guest when walking out in the bush to read it like a book. Start on the horizon and scan from left to right and don’t forget to scan the trees close to you, there might be a Black Mamba looking back at you from its den. It’s definitely a question of who is looking at who out in nature.
One thing we all know is true: once you have been to the African bush, you are never quite the same again. It is an impossible experience to convey to anyone who hasn’t been, and if you are reading this, you are among those of us that never tire of going on safari.
I found myself speed walking to gate number C6 at Cape Town International airport. With way too many bags strapped over my shoulders, I shuffled towards the stairs going to the desired gate. From nowhere a friendly face stopped me and drew my attention to my shoes, this literally stopped me in my tracks.
The African bush, there truly is no place like it. Life evolves around nature, the rising and setting of the sun, where the morning bird chorus becomes your alarm clock and the sound of the nocturnal birds, frogs, and insects sing you to sleep. Living in the remote African wilderness can be idyllic, but it also presents a unique set of challenges that will at times push you out of your comfort zone.
People often confuse the terms “game ranger” and “field guide”. There is a difference, and here is why…
The shortest day in Selati, could have started like many others. We all start to stir just before the sun starts to come up, drinking our morning tea and coffee around a fire, except today was different. We were awoken by the sounds of Elephants and Lions, who were on the opposite side of the riverbank somewhere close to the camp. These two magnificent animals were not very happy with each other, one had obviously disturbed the other and they were busy telling each other off, each trying to stake a claim to that particular area.
I stood inside the enormous circular depression in the ground. Even with both of my size 11-US boots, there was plenty of room to spare. It was unbelievable: the sheer size, the amount of power it must have taken to cave in the earth like that. I will never forget it – the first time I saw an elephant track.
Professional Field Guide students, Sarina and Joya, take us on a walkabout through the newly built EcoTraining Karongwe camp.
“There are two aspects on a personal level when it comes to change. It is either embraced or it is the one thing many of us fears the most.” Change really is as good as a holiday, but even more so when this ‘holiday’ is in the bush!