Friday, April 19, 2019

After dark...night drives from EcoTraining Karongwe camp


Almost time to head off on a game drive.
Each guide seems to have a favourite hat.
(I know that I do)...
This one belongs to our guide for the EcoQuest course,
Michael Anderson and it suited his personality perfectly.
He was outgoing, gregarious and enthusiastic.

We stopped here for a while...
All that was missing was the theme song from the movie Deliverance.
I kept expecting to see Burt Reynolds walk out of the bushes.
But, no such luck.
However, there was a rather large crocodile sunning itself 
on the bank closest to our vehicle

Somethings that you do NOT want to drive into in the darkness.
Neither guests, nor guides want to do that "web dance".
This is a female Golden Orb spider in a very big web

Not certain how deep a crossing is?
Send in one of the students...
Well, actually Izaan volunteered, after making certain
 that there were no crocs in the area.
The water was not that deep and the vehicle
 made it through without an issue.

It took us a while to find this herd,
but the anticipation of being close to them was well worth the wait.
This female started to show an interest in us, 
but quickly got bored and continued eating.
She even turned her back on us almost in disdain of our presence. 

Gentle evening sunlight on her trunk.
The proboscis is rather amazing.
It can pick up a single blade of grass,
or be responsible for tearing down entire branches.
Fun Fact #45: There are in excess of 40000 muscles in the trunk.
More than we humans(650) have in our entire bodies. 

One of the most photogenic animals in the bush.
This female came walking up the road towards us.
Not giving a cm nor did she seem too concerned that we were in the road.
The stallion only arrived a short while later
 and gently nudged his group away from the road. 
Fun fact #89: Are Zebra white with black stripes or vice versa?
For a long time it was presumed to be that way 
because of their white underbellies.
Evidence has now come to the fore to show that they are
black and the white stripes and bellies are an addition.

Finally...we had heard his calls earlier and
we were under the impression that he might
 disrupt our evening drink stop (that did not happen)
We eventually found him in a dry river bed,
vocalizing loudly.
Fun fact #31: The roar of an adult lion cam be heard up to 8km away.
The human voice can travel 180m...
Supposedly, lionesses like a male with a LARGE mane.
The local females must love him.

As the sun vanished to the other side of the world,
it was time to turn the spotlight on and head off towards camp.
We had figured that it would not be too long to get back
but nature conspired to change that in a heart beat...

This is what caused our delay.
Not that any of us were complaining.
According to Michael, this young female leopard
 is still skittish around vehicles.
Hence the light shining on her rump rather than in her face.

In order to get usable images to help with identification,
we had to use a red filter on the spotlight.
It does not make for great colour images,
but it does allow for usable mono pictures like this.
Bathed in the red light, she was relaxed enough
 for us to get to a quality sighting.

But there were more surprises in store for us.
Like this lesser Bushbaby...
Usually very difficult to spot, Izaan in the tracker seat,
became the "Bushbaby Whisperer" 
and was able to conjure up more than a half dozen
 on our way back to camp

White-tailed Mongoose.
Like a Pangolin, this was an animal I did not believe existed!
It is the largest of the mongoose species,
being almost as big as a civet.

The light from this half moon was so bright,
that with all the lights on the vehicle off,
we were still able to make out our surroundings.
But dinner awaited and it was burger night...with chips!
And no-one wanted to be too late for THAT.

This is the EcoTraining mission statement... 
1] Vision: To be the Global leader in environmental education
 by reconnecting people with nature...
For me, the most important part of that statement
 is the word *reconnecting
2] Mission: To provide inspirational & immersive learning experiences
 for professional safari guides and guardians of nature
and finally...
3] Values: Inspire. Professionalism. Caring and Accountability.
Are you ready to make a commitment to yourself and your future?
If so, then visit their website for more information:

A big thank you to each of these brands
 for coming on board.

This has been my constant travel companion 
for the past several years.
It might look worn,
but that represents the kilometers/miles
we have shared together.
From Kilimanjaro to the beaches of India.
To coach trips across Europe and Vietnam
and to a variety of game lodges and road trip destinations
 in South and Southern Africa.
BEST SUITCASE EVER!
Check out their Facebook page:

This torch has been turning heads!
The Olight SRS2UT Intimidator.
Marketed locally by:

My camera brand of choice for more than 4 decades!
Photo:

Photo:
When it is time to print out my special images,
this is the company that I rely on to do that.

Bush gear to make me blend in...
in comfort and style.


I have worn the orange Veldskoen in the jungles of India
and on the beaches of Croatia.
Not to mention, many game reserves in Africa.
They are probably the most comfortable pair of shoes
that I have ever owned.
Now to try out the rest of the colours in the range.

Photo:
When I get home. I rely on this ISP
to provide me with high speed fibre connectivity 
to enable me to get my postings published in record time.

Photo:
This Powerbank is my constant companion
 while I am travelling.
It can do up to 4 full re-charges of my phone before
needing to be charged.
Supplied by...

When offered an option...
ALWAYS be Batman.
My constant travelling companion.
To find out more about the collectible Funko range of figurines,
visit:

I could not do without this awesome laptop bag from Solo.
Padded for protection and with enough pockets to keep
almost everything INCLUDING the kitchen sink in,
this is definitely an stylish addition to any business presentation.
Be it in the boardroom or the bush.
This bag can also be worn as a backpack. 
There are straps in a hidden compartment that can be deployed
when you need both hands for other purposes.
To find out more about the stylish Solo range,
visit:


This locally made product was indispensable when using a long lens.
The ball and socket might look simple...and it is, 
which is why it should be in the gear bag of every serious photographer.
This locally made, deceptively simple device is ideal 
for tracking birds in flight or animals in motion.
The base can be used on a beanbag or a tripod,
with the ball being fitted to the camera.
The simplicity of the device allows to to move from supported
to hand held in a fluid motion.
There is also a version that can be used on a car window.
To see more about the product, 
visit their Facebook page:
Or order directly from:


To see who else were winners in 2018, visit:


All images are the copyright property of
  
and may not be used without permission

Follow me on Twitter: @davidbatzofin
Instagram: Davidbatzofin

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