Monday, April 22, 2019

Striding out...a walk from EcoTraining Karongwe Camp.

Led by Assistant Instructor Michael Anderson and
back up Trails Guide, Aagie van der Plaetse,
our group on the EcoQuest course set off on an afternoon walk.

As we set out I spotted this young Water Monitor.
At first, I thought it was just a crack in the rock...
until it moved!

A Wild Fig root system snaking its way towards the ground.
This type of tree is found only growing in rocky outcrops.
Often in what looks like extremely hostile spots, it thrives.
The roots are so strong that they have been known
to split large boulders while heading towards nurturing ground.

Could this be a Stone Age tool of some description?
Seeing that stones looking like this do not appear naturally in nature,
there is every possibility that it might either be a tool
or the rock from which a tool was made.

Part of the Karongwe River bed, post the recent rains.
Although it looked dry and firm, the sand had retained a lot of moisture
making walking a little challenging.

Protecting the brand?
I have noticed that many of the guiding companies
 prefer the Rugged Wear brand.
The .375 rounds and the relevant rifles are carried by guides
 who are proficient with a firearm.

This stunning flower is a member of the Pea family.

Cornflower Vernonia...
This beautiful herb has several medicinal properties.
The flowers can be used as a tea infusion to treat fever, 
constipation and water retention.
As a tonic, it can be used as a liver and gallbladder stimulant.

The egg sack (Ootheca) of a praying Mantis.
Soft and foamy when formed, it becomes hard and dry
in order to protect the eggs until they hatch,
which can take between 3-10 weeks.

Flannel weed.
The word "weed" conjures up such a negative connotation.
but often they have attractive flowers in order to attract insects
that will help to pollinate and propagate the species.

Assistant Instructor, Michael Anderson explaining
 to the  EcoQuest group about the porcupine droppings.
The colour, red, and also the bits of undigested bark
 that could be seen in the droppings were the clues
to which species had left this "calling card".

Stunning...
This is a male African-veined White.
The area around the camp is alive with
 many different species of butterflies.
Beauty personified!

It is not only the large webs of the ubiquitous Golden Orb spiders
that can turn one into a dancer almost immediately.
This tiny Kite spider, which is part of the Orb web family,
 almost turned me into Fred Astaire
 when I walked into the edge of its web!
Fun fact #231: The female of this species dies after producing an egg mass.
The males die 6 days after intercourse!

As the sun starts to vanish in the west,
we made our way safely back to camp.
We had walked 2.7km and with stoppage time
it had taken us almost two hours.
Wiser than when we set out, 
we learned that it is NOT always about the Big 5.
We returned, having been entertained, educated and informed.
There will be more to experience and to learn,
but for now...dinner and bed awaits.


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 traveling.
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 traveling 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 a 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 move from supported
to handheld 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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