Updated: Apr 27
Happy Easter! If you are taking leave over this period, we hope that you are about to embark on an exciting adventure with the people who are important to you.
We have had a full 4 action packed months since our last newsletter. Different to many operators we walk with clients every month of the year - We truly blessed to have been busy since January.
Unlike the previous drought-stricken years, this summer the trees, shrubs and grasses have been much lusher – The bush is looking stunning. We have found flowers in abundance and the diversity of species has kept us busy with identification. Saying this, for the last two weeks we have started to feel a chill in the air. As the bush starts opening up, we enter a time of action and drama - Predators love this time, herbivores struggle.
We love that our Greater Kruger National Park backpacking safaris are so popular with you. These incredible experiences feed the body, mind and spirit. We are very excited that our “bush-babes” series booked up within a month – THANK YOU - These trails were put together on your request. We still have a few spaces left on our mixed group trails. We do not like to disappoint, so please don’t leave your planning to late – Book now.
To help you prepare for your backpacking safari we now run a highly informative presentation. We want you to enjoy your experience and have fun - With over three decades of backpacking experience we can really help. The first one for this year was very well received and we are running another on the 9th of May. We would love you to join us - Seats are limited so please RSVP here. A HUGE thank you to Cally Bishop from City ROCK for providing the room and also for offering our clients a discount on their gear. Watch a short clip from the last event here.
People who have never experienced the excitement of tracking an animal often wonder what the process looks like. This bit of footage shows a tiny snippet of Lutz tracking first white rhino and then lion. With really awesome guests we were able to fully immerse ourselves in the experience. The amount we learn about animal behavior whilst tracking is nothing short of amazing … and that is by only looking for signs and without seeing the animal 😊. Turn on your volume and watch here.
Occasionally we are asked is whether walking safaris are safe. Lutz, our founding director, answers the question whilst on foot in the Klaserie Private Nature Reserve in South Africa's Greater Kruger National Park. Through the video, he touches on some of what you should look for in choosing your operator, whilst you get a sense of a typical drainage line, looking across the savanna from a hill crest and walking the final stretch along a river bed. Basically a bit of voyeurism. Watch here.
If you have been on safari with us, you will know that we have a real passion for wildlife and habitat conservation. 15% of African wilderness has been lost in the last 20 years – Without wildlife habitat the safari industry would come to an end. In March Jo Watt and his team spent a couple of days undertaking volunteer habitat management at Letaba Ranch. In April Chris Prinsloo spent six days assisting Colin Patrick’s team with anti-poaching work in the Balule Private nature Reserve. Both reserves are in South Africa’s magnificent Greater Kruger National Park. Colin’s work is legendary - Both a friend and a mentor read about Colin here.
This month we had the opportunity to deliver our workshop focused on working safely in Africa’s big game areas to members of the super enthusiastic Elephants, Rhinos & People volunteer ranger team. This is the second yer that we are undertaking this and we are very grateful to be entrusted with this. Lots of learning and lots of fun made for an awesome day. ERP NGO was founded to protect Southern Africa’s wild elephants and rhinos through a strategy that is based on rural poverty alleviation. Our Spirited Adventures workshop is highly informative, interactive and empowering – It is combines both theory and subsequent on the ground experience.
With regards guide mentorship, this coming month, Lutz will again be facilitating one leg of the Lowveld Trails Company 28-day workshop for aspirant lead trails guides. If you are interested in learning more contact us here?
This past month saw the roll out of the new criteria to qualify as a trails guide. Lutz helped at two of these FGASA workshops. We believe that the changes are long over due and are very excited about the ongoing professionalization of the career.
We run both mobile and fly-camp walking safaris. These epic adventures will see you spending spending time in wild Africa but without carrying a big backpack and also enjoying a little more luxury. Loved receiving this feedback from UK client Nicholas Petrie “Some experiences you remember for a while, this I will remember for a life time. Hearing Elephants, Hyena, Leopard and Lion from my tent. And getting within meters of Elephant on foot”. Watch Nicholas here.
With our safari season well under way we were due for some equipment upgrades. We love good service and what an absolute pleasure to be served by Pheroza at Livingstones Supply Co. We cannot wait get our new kit into the bush and make your walking safari that much more special. Hopefully you will join us soon on safari to give us your feedback on the temperature of your cold beverage at the end of your day 😊.
A safari in Africa is something everyone simply must do – It is one of life’s most memorable experiences. Saying this we know that making the decisions with who to work and where to go can be difficult and worrying - Even for seasoned travelers. A good private guide or safari operator makes your journey that much better. If you have not yet read our safari FAQ’s find them here.
We thought we would end this update on a super positive note. We love what we do and this referral is just awesome “Our guides deep understanding and respect for the animals of the bush made a profound impression on our group. As a city person unfamiliar and unaccustomed to wildlife, Otto's passion, confidence, and patience put me at ease. He made our journey both fun and a real learning experience. Conservation and being a caretaker of nature are clearly important to him. His wisdom and humility help make a tour of an already breathtaking natural environment even more profound.” Fadil Aliriza, Washington, USA
Whether you are a discerning or rugged adventurer, common to both is our absolute commitment to creating exciting, active and immersive experiences that will result in your already planning your next trip on your journey home.
Wishing you the very best! Until we next connect!
Professional Trails, Field & Wilderness Guide ● Founding Director
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