Thursday, July 25, 2019

On track...EcoTracker course at EcoTraining Mashatu Camp, Botswana.

The reverberating sound of the cow-hide drum calls the students to meals and lectures.
The EcoTracker students on this course were from a variety
 of countries and continents.
From as far afield as Ireland, America and Europe they came together 
at the EcoTraining camp in Mashatu, Botswana.
Some, in their own words, were 'repeat attenders',
having done more than one course with EcoTraining.

This is what they had come to learn about.
The ancient art of tracking and trailing.
One of the most basic, yet complicated bush skills to learn.
In this image, there are elephant tracks, 
human footprints and vehicle tire imprints.
As a whole, it tells a complete story.
And one that would be explained to us by the instructors.

The Tuli (Place of Dust) area in Botswana where the camp is situated,
is well known for its vast herds of elephants.
This EcoTraining Camp, like all their camps
is unfenced, which made for some interesting interactions after dark.
At least I could see THIS one...
and it was on the South African side of the 
dry Motloutse River (River of Elephants) bed.

Just to prove that I was looking at an elephant track.
"A Field Guide to the Tracks & Signs of Southern and East African Wildlife"
by Chris & Tilde Stuart, published by Struik Nature,
 helped me confirm the sighting.
This book was the veritable 'bible' for all the students.
The book is recommended reading for the course 
and is a veritable fountain of knowledge for those who wish
 to turn this experience into a fully immersive one.

Insect tracks running across the road that leads into the camp.
My skills were constantly put to the test, 
even in and around the buildings.
(It was as a result of being constantly vigilant, 
that we found Hyena tracks outside the kitchen) 

"Oi, where has everyone gone"?
There were several troops of baboons that wandered through
the camp on an almost constant basis.

Now I could see how well an Impala can camouflage itself.
Walking in the dry and dusty river bed, it was almost invisible.

The EcoTracker students were constantly swotting.
If they were not wandering around peering at the ground
searching for new and exciting tracks,
they were spending time with their textbooks.

The gentle giant, Adrian Ntombo Kholi.
His manner of teaching is awesome to behold.
Constantly questioning the students in order to make them
think about what he is showing them and what story the tracks are telling.
Standing quietly at the back of the student group, 
I learnt a lot from this passionate instructor.
"Ke a Leboga", Adrian.  

Intense concentration is required in order to make certain
that what the tracks are telling you is being understood.
Notes and photographs were constantly being taken.

Simon, one of the 'repeat attenders', had even brought a ruler with him.

This isolated Baobab stands atop the hill where the Mmamagwa Ruins can be found.
The ruins here are the older sister ruins to those that can be found at Mapungubwe
on the Southern side of the Limpopo River.

Looking at the shadow, you will see a cat on a horse.
Look to the left and you will see that it is cast by a Dwarf Mongoose.

The longer we sat, the bolder these little creatures became.
Eventually, they were within meters of our vehicle.
As inquisitive about us as we were about them.

Toby, one of the EcoTraining back up guides, 
scanning the distance for elephant herds.

The best part of any day in the African bush...sunset!

And it was full moon as well.

The sky was awash with stars and planets.
Another event-filled day with the EcoTraining team.
My thanks to both the staff and the students for making me feel welcome.



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

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 kilometres/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.

Breaking in my new pair of Green Veldskoen Shoes.
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...


ALWAYS choose to be Batman.
My constant travelling companion.
To find out more about the collectable 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:


To see who else were winners in 2018, visit:


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

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