Blog written by Devon Myers – Professional Trails Guide
One of the greatest misconceptions of the modern safari industry is that our human relationship with the natural world began whilst bouncing around in the African wilderness in a 4 x 4 Safari Vehicles seeking out the big five.
This could not be further from the truth. Whilst 4 x 4 Vehicle Safaris are a fantastic way to get up close and personal with Africa’s Big Game, by affording tourists great sightings and photographic opportunities, these vehicle-based excursions are quite far from our natural roots.
Modern humans have been existing in Africa, not for centuries, or even millennia, but for hundreds of thousands of years. We have been here long before our use of spears, bows and arrows or even cleverly devised traps to secure our food, which propelled us to the top predator position.
Just as the lion, elephant, zebra and many other wonderful species we still see roaming this continent today, so have we roamed this same space for a very long time. We have always been a part of the natural world, however, in modern times we have forgotten how we fit in.
We are for all intense and purposes, just another animal, albeit a very intelligent one in comparison to many of our competing species. This leap in intelligence has helped us to devise ways of living alongside other creatures physically far superior to us. This has always been our place and it would be a shame to forget it.
There is however a way in which we can try to reconnect and clawback, even if only for a short period, some of our natural existence in this wilderness from which we have been torn.
A primitive wilderness trail is the closest we can get to a natural connection with the environment in which we evolved. It takes us back to our roots by forcing us to simplify and get back to basics.
EcoTraining offers the Wilderness Trails Skills Course, which is exactly what is needed to help us revisit our rightful place in nature.
The Wilderness Trails Skills Course facilitates a deep understanding of where we fit in. It is a zero-impact activity, an all-in, all-out experience where participants will be required to carry everything they need on their back for the duration of the six-night, seven-day trail.
By completely simplifying and removing all modern luxuries and distractions, participants will be able to familiarise themselves with nature in a way that other modes of safari fail to achieve.
Moving around by day, looking, listening, smelling, touching and tasting. Reawakening your senses. Learning how we have always moved safely around the other magnificent creatures of Africa such as elephant, buffalo, leopard, giraffe and zebra as well as many different antelope species. Immersed in the beautiful scenery, looking at and learning about birds and tracks and signs of animals will re-ignite certain instincts that have become dormant in most of us.
Sleeping under the stars in a different location every night, whilst performing watch duty for your fellow trails group will not only give you a sense of simple responsibility like no other but will also provide one of the most important highlights of this experience. Reflection!
There are other various lessons we learn whilst on a primitive trail. The importance of water, the comfort of simple shade and the pleasure of silence. These among other lessons will be facilitated not only by the Trails Guides but by the wilderness itself. All we need to do is let it in.
This is the only true “take only photographs, leave only footprints” experience, as it teaches us how to live naturally, in our natural environment amongst the other natural creatures that we have always shared this space with, whilst leaving no trace at all.
So, by now you must be thinking ‘how on earth do they carry water for 6 days?’
The answer is simple, they don’t! They dig for water.
Learn how to dig for water when out on trail, it’s not as hard as you might think!