Updated: Apr 27
Hello Safari Enthusiast’s, Adventurers, Wilderness and Wildlife Lovers,
Warmest safari greetings and welcome to our latest newsletter. This edition sees the start of a new format and we have also created an archive called safari news. This years updates have all been uploaded.
We are well into the winter safari season. For those of you living in the northern hemisphere you will find it hard to believe that it has been pretty cold at night and that we are wearing big jackets as we sit in front of our campfires. Although we truly believe that every month is a good month to visit the bush, for many people this is a preferred time as it offers good viewing and it is much cooler.
The savanna is visibly drier and we are noticing how the areas which still have water are starting to see more wildlife traffic. We are encountering both bigger herds of buffalo and elephant - It at this time of the year that we start to see these congregations forming. Contrastingly, as the herbivores find this time more challenging, the predators know exactly where to focus their energies. You have to love these constant ecological shifts.
A recent highlight was our bumping a sleeping leopard whilst we were, wait for this, following the tracks of a pride of lion! The leopard’s response, both vocally and visually, was spectacular, and although not everyone saw him our entire group was very excited. Seeing these incredible animals from a vehicle is one thing, seeing them this close on foot is completely another. Through decades of walking in wild places, we have had hundreds of encounters with the 4 other members of the Big 5, BUT although often hear them at night and see their tracks, we hardly ever see leopard on foot. A true blessing!
We received a stunning review on Trip Advisor from Corina Andrew. Corina and her family joined us on our slightly “wilder” safari option of staying in a mobile camp. On foot we saw 4 of the Big 5. Every night the camp was visited by hyenas and the group would drift to sleep listening to their iconic calls. African safari’s, especially those that allow us to closely interact with nature, cannot fail to touch our hearts. Read the review here.
We have access in two concessions where we can operate from “mobile camps”. These camps are set up prior your arrival and taken down on departure. Set in stunning locations, they truly enhance the wilderness experience. They bring our clients incredibly close to nature whilst maintaining some of the comforts, like hot bucket showers, we find in a traditional safari camp. Almost everyone is amazed how much they enjoy this experience.
In terms of real adventure, if you have not been on one of our backpacking trails you are missing out. Our trailists leave raving about the experience. We are running a great special that if you book a full trail with 8 participants, you will get the one place FREE. For more information, please respond to this email or click here.
Although I have written about our wilder “safari” options, don’t forget that we offer incredible walking and game viewer combination safaris from permanent camps [rustic to luxury]. All the camps are unfenced, small and not commercial. We recently catered for our first full banting safari. Our chef was literally on fire – Everyone loved his amazing creations and without a doubt we had taken the banting lifestyle to the next level. For more information, please contact us.
On a different note, your pictures on Facebook of our branded clothing continues to inspire us! Our social media following keeps growing. We are now also on Instagram [rather late than never 😊] and we love how our hashtag #spiritedadventures on Facebook brings up so many stunning pictures of you entrusting us with your adventures. We hugely appreciate your online engagement – A big thank you for all your likes, shares and comments!
Recently I was asked by a European agent to put together a short video [1 min max] with the primary objective of giving potential clients a sense of who this trails guide called Lutz is. It is easier to stand down a charging lion – Been filmed is interesting! “Shot” on an iPhone and then put it together using iMovie and PowerPoint. Although tons can be done with the production and content, I was chuffed with my first hack at this.
Two important updates with regards our business administration:
Based on the recent changes in South African legislation, we have updated our indemnity forms and terms-and-conditions. All safari companies should have done the same. Also remember to check that your guides are qualified, legal, and so forth.
In June I attained the FGASA SKS DG [Specialist Knowledge & Skills: Dangerous Game] qualification. Nik Vounnou and I completed the final assessment together. Years ago, I remember thinking that if I ever achieved this I would be a real “guru”. Very contrastingly, as I was coming to the end of the assessment, I found myself thinking (1) “the more I know, the more I realize how much there is to know” and how (2) we never reach any point of significance without standing on the shoulders of many giants. Read the story here.
The development of skillsets forms an important second tier to our business. We are very honored to be assisting the Lowveld Trails Co. with their new industry leading workshop to help Back-Up Trails Guides complete their journey in attaining the full lead qualification.
The process is run in 4 stunning areas in the Greater Kruger National Park. Although filling fast, there are still spaces left for participants or as a guide building mentored hours to hop-on-and-off. Join me on the backpack trail from 21 to 25 September 2018. For the introductory PDF, please contact us.
Following a workshop I completed for a client, I observed the opportunity to add some additional points into our viewing potential dangerous animals presentation. Sometimes what I believe to be obvious, is not so. This is building into a great resource that is built on a platform of real walking experience in wild places. It contains a balanced combination of theory, pictures and video that is presented in manner that has practical application.
Our developmental work always receives really good review. If you are keen to find out more, please contact us or visit our dedicated website page.
With my conservation and outdoor education cap on, last month I observed how a group of Saint Stithian’s grade nines worked through their 3 weeks of bush school. The young men worked through a number of processes, challenges and tasks. They were only allowed to communicate with family, or who they chose, with weekly letters - No digital devices. Many nights were slept bivvying under the stars. I could not help but be moved by thinking what an incredible opportunity these young men have. This time is a special gift that far too few people experience in their lives. Not only is it an opportunity for self-reflection but one to reconnect with nature, build resilience, independence and character. This type of exposure helps shape who we are and who we continue to become. The future of conservation, wilderness and on a simpler level, outdoor pursuits, lies in the hands of today’s youngsters. I believe that both young and old need more of this. I cannot applaud the school enough.
We look forward to booking your safari soon. Find references, guide profiles and business information @ www.spiritedadventures.co.za
Until next time, all the very best!
Professional Trails, Field & Wilderness Guide ● Founding Director
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