Updated: Sep 9, 2019
Hello Safari Enthusiast’s, Adventurers, Wilderness and Wildlife Lovers,
The very best safari greetings to you. I hope that the last few months have been good to you and that you have had some quality time in the bush.
On a recent safari a client and I were discussing the principles of hibernation, energy conservation as well as which species practice this in North America versus South Africa. The last few months have seen Spirited Adventures practice anything but hibernation 😊 - We are very grateful to have been blessed to with a busy period.
We are officially into spring. We had a couple of millimetres of rain in October but not yet enough to really boost serious grass growth. The grazing species, and in particular the bulk grazers like buffalo, are still having to travel big distances to meet their nutritional requirements. Contrastingly the predators are doing well. On a Timbavati safari two weeks back, we encountered lions 3 days in a row. On the final day we found the tracks of two big males whilst out early in the morning. My super enthusiastic group decided that they were up for trailing them - Just over an hour later we found them – Typical of lions on foot they gave us a grunt and sauntered off! What an incredible way to finish a safari. August through to October saw us cover many kilometres walking.
A BIG change has been the launch, with our 5,4,3,2,1 campaign, of our stunning new website. Our old site really had done its time - A new look and feel though required the injection of artistic flair, something which is not my strength. To my rescue came the very talented, and ideas rich, Byron Liatos. Byron helped me re-align our visual communication and set the creative direction. Once he had set this, the content migration became easier. The imagery reflects some of what we are passionate about and the circles in the artwork represent the interconnectedness of ecosystems. Spirited Adventures has evolved substantially since its inception and this reflects in the new website. We hope that you like what you see and look forward to your feedback!
With the website change we also created an important differentiation in the safari focused part of business - We now show a clear split in the offer to our discerning adventurer and rugged adventurers. Through this differentiation we have been able to give each of the offers the individual attention which they should receive. Common to both remains our walking specialism with an emphasize on adventure based experiences and with an absolute commitment to creating an incredible safari for you.
Moving back to the bush, we have just gained access to a stunning new slack packing trail in the Greater Kruger National Park. This trail, perfect for our rugged adventurers, allows us to explore new ground each day in an area known to have a healthy population of elephant and lion. This is a beautiful, rugged and undulating concession characterized the Olifants river flowing through it and prominent rocky outcrops. Each morning your campsite is taken down and reset up at a new scenic wilderness location. You only need to carry a small daypack, whilst your other kit is transported for you. The experience is fully catered with breakfast, brunch enjoyed in the bush and a beautifully set up 3-course dinner. This well priced trail truly feels like an old school classic Selous type safari 😊. Keen to find out more?
A couple of weeks ago, Greg Jarvis, the well-known Pilansberg trails guide, and I co-guided a fantastic group of gentlemen on what was just simply a stunning trail. It was a trip filled with many elephants and much laughter. Have a look at some of their journey here and here 😊. Our trails are now listed on The Safari Index - Very cool!
If you are up for the challenge of pure unadulterated adventure then our unsupported backpacking trail in the Greater Kruger National is a simple must do! Every client who has walked the trail has loved the experience. Keen to find out more?
In mid-September I had the great privilege to be interviewed by Reggy Morobe for an insert on 50|50 the truly iconic South African television show. For +30 years their aim has been to bring wildlife, conservation and the environment to top of mind. It felt somewhat surreal sitting in the studio of such an incredibly well-established show. I absolutely loved the opportunity and am truly humbled to have been invited.
October afforded the opportunity to spend time on the ground engaged in other pillar of our business, the development of people. This work, either for guides or leaders, always receives really good review.
Loved assisting the Lowveld Trails Co., with their workshops focused on helping candidate lead trails guides in their development journey. On an unsupported backpacking trail the group had the opportunity to focus on developing their skill sets whilst also practicing potentially dangerous game approaches. The transition from an apprentice trails guide is BIG on many levels. Decision making, and the associated responsibility, particularly come to the forefront. It cannot be reiterated enough that there should not be a short cut to attaining the qualification. Read more about the trails guide journey in this article. The workshop was so well received that 2019 dates have already been set - Keen to find out more?
It was again a great honour to be selected to help with the developmental work of members of the African Ivory Route [AIR]. Our relationship started in early 2000 at the then Buffelshok trails camp in the beautiful Manyeleti. It is very rewarding to see how the team is growing from a very humble start. The AIR forms part of a project, that has been sponsored by amongst others the TFPD, EU and local government, to uplift local communities through eco-tourism. It is fantastic to see how through the project, some of the guides, then rough diamonds, are now starting to shine.
The more time I spend with people on foot, the more I see the value in our viewing potential dangerous animals workshop. Aside of issues of style, sometimes what should be ingrained, is not so. This workshop is a great resource, built on a platform of real walking experience, for guides, game rangers or anyone working in potentially dangerous game areas. It contains a balanced combination of theory, pictures and video that is presented in manner that has practical application. Keen to find out more?
Our branded gear continues to travel around the world. Since our last update I have had pictures sent to me from both France and Mauritius! Just such an awesome honor to know that we have such incredible fans of our brand! Thank you so much!
Our social media following keeps growing. We have been working hard on trying to increase our following on Instagram – I regret been a late starter with this wonderful social media platform. We hugely appreciate your online engagement and a BIG thank you for all your likes, shares and comments!
On a different, but equally positive note, our August 2018 executive committee meeting of the Field Guides Association Of Southern Africa was by far one of the most progressive meetings I have attended. It was really good to see the level of commitment to the professionalization of the career, a refocus on trails guiding and also a strong understanding as to the importance of correctly scoping the qualifications.
Two important updates with regards Spirited Adventures business administration:
Based on the recent changes in South African legislation, we have updated our indemnity forms and “T&C’s”. All reputable operators will have done the same. Also remember to check that your guides are qualified, legal, and so forth.
This last year we were sadly unable to help a number of people based on it simply been too late. As a closing note, if you are excited about going on safari next year, remember that bookings in peak periods are already filling.
Wishing you the very best in the weeks leading to year end. Until next time!
Professional Trails, Field & Wilderness Guide ● Founding Director
We look forward to spending time with you, sharing what we know and creating unique experiences that will result in your already planning your next adventure on your journey home.
Please feel free to forward this newsletter or let me know if you would like to be added to the email list.