Monday, April 15, 2019

Karongwe Camp with EcoTraining.


I recently visited the EcoTraining camp
 in Karongwe Game Reserve.
I joined a diverse group of international guests
 who were on the 14 day EcoQuest course.
I was to discover that being in the bush is NOT only about
 the constant search for the Big 5. 
We need to be appreciative of how various ecosystems work
and interact with each other to make the bush a living organism.

The camp at Karongwe, like all the other EcoTraining camps is unfenced.
Making it a truly immersive experience for the students and guests
that come to participate in the variety of courses on offer here.
This was my first sight of the camp buildings
L-R: Lecture room(or indoor dining room if the weather is inclement)
In the centre is the library and study area (upstairs) 
while the "tuck shop"is underneath. 
On the right is the office(slightly obscured) 
as well as the all important kitchen.

A recently constructed gym is set in a Tamboti forest 
on the edge of the camp.
Aside from members of staff and students, 
guests are welcome to train here.

 I decided to forego a gym training session
and headed off towards my accommodation.
The serene chirping of the feathered inhabitants concealed in the foliage
surrounding the camp welcomed me as I made my way
to the tent that I would be calling home for the next few days.

Rather than feeling oppressive, my tent felt almost cocoon like.
I could not wait for the sun to vanish behind the distant horizon
in order for me to fully appreciate being reconnected with darkness of primal Africa

It never ceases to amaze me how the supposedly "quiet" bush
is actually a constant source of sound and vibration.
The rustling reeds on the banks of the Karongwe River
 added to the litany of sound from both birds and insects.
Much like the instruments in an orchestra,
each of the natural components had a specific role to play.
The sound washed over me like a breaking wave,
And,in doing so, it gave me a sense of tranquility 
while washing away the stress I had brought with from the city.
And then the wind subsided...
All noise ceased and the air became perfectly still.
And in that moment of total calm,
the resultant silence was almost deafening...

Grey clouds filled the sky from horizon to horizon.
Adding soft shadow-less lighting to the verdant bush
and grasses that I was looking at in front of my tent.
Then this baby Nyala stepped into the path!
Feeding together with its mother, they stopped for a short while
directly in front of me...
A moment of connection on an inter-species level?
I was not certain, but it made me grateful
to be allowed to spend moments like this.

These boulders, on the bank of the Karongwe River near the camp site,
was where I spent quality contemplative time.
Away from my electronic devices, it was a pleasure to relax 
and focus on the sights and sounds of my surroundings.

A nest of Harvester ants in the path in front of the tents
were doing a clean up after the recent rains.

The repetitive and rhythmic sound of wood being chopped
for the evening fire was lulling me to sleep.
It was a struggle that I was destined to lose and my bed beckoned
for a nap before the afternoon game drive.


Assistant Instructor Michael Anderson blowing up a storm.
The sound of the Kudu horn
is the signal that alerts students and guests that meals
or activities are about to begin.
Not as raucous as a Vuvuzela, 
the penetrating sound carries to the furthest reaches of the campsite.

A Skink trying to get some sun while keeping an eye on me as I worked in the camp library.

Returning from an evening game drive
we were greeted by the aroma of meat being prepared over an open fire.
Enjoying a meal while watching Bush TV
(these dancing flames) is always special.
For me it evokes a mental image of the early South African pioneers
who also spent time in the bush watching their fire at the end of a hard day.

I was grateful to be able to enjoy my experience 
in the company of like minded individuals
from a variety of international destinations.
The participants in the EcoQuest group were from Germany, Belgium,
Singapore and Italy.

And so to bed...
But not before capturing a final image.
This male moth,caught in the light of my torch,
made the perfect model.


The EcoTraining mission statement is as follows:  
1] Vision: To be the Global leader in environmental education
 by reconnecting people with nature...
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.
If you ready to make a commitment to yourself and your future
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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