This poem, by an unknown author,
set the tone for my sleep out with the EcoQuest students at Karongwe Camp.
Instructor, Richard Davis explaining to the students
what needs to be accomplished before the sunsets.
Here he was describing what sort of wood
was needed for the fire.
(It had to be maintained for warmth and
security throughout the night.)
Richard, together with Instructor Andrea Campbell look on
as the rest collect wood.
Some interesting statistics.
of the 16 people on the course, 4 were teachers and 3 were students.
One of the female students worked in airport security,
while one of the male participants was in defence!
It just shows how diverse the EcoQuest groups are.
The majority came from Germany with England,
Holland, Denmark and the USA also represented.
My 'bedroom' for the night.
And what a night it turned out to be.
Between some of the loudest and most continuous snoring
I have ever encountered, to not one but
TWO leopards vocalizing very close by!
In hindsight, I think the snoring kept the leopards away from our campsite!
The upside of being kept awake for most of the night was the fact
that I got to do a couple of hours of Astrophotography.
So, being awake was actually a blessing in disguise.
Finally, enough wood had been collected.
No matches were used in the making of this fire.
Using a flint to set the kindling alight
is NOT as easy as it seems.
Finally...after several attempts, we had a fire going.
The most important item on site.
First onto and last off the fire before we left in the morning.
As mentioned earlier, there were leopards VERY close by.
So it seems as though this blanket was rather prophetic
Posing for a Woman's Day picture...
The students took turns throughout the night to keep watch
and to keep the fire going and the kettle boiling.
They certainly had their work cut out with leopards vocalizing close by.
Early morning, students scattered across Tashinga's Rock.
Dawn across the horizon.
My second sleep out with EcoTraining,
and an experience that I highly recommend.
While in Karongwe, I got to chat to American actress
and former Miss National Teenager, Lavelda Conrad.
Finally, she has found her happy place,
listen to her story:
ALWAYS choose to be Batman.
My constant travelling companion.
To find out more about the collectable Funko range of figurines,
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
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:
To see who else were winners in 2018, visit: