June 11, 2013


If you think about Africa, you think of wide open spaces, teaming with an array of wildlife and sunsets par none. This magical continent just has its way with people, something that can’t be explained unless experienced, the ‘TIA’-feeling (This Is Africa) it has been described as.

It’s the lure of these wild and wonderful places that draw people time and again to EcoTraining’s 28 Day Kenya Safari Guide Course in the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy. The next one is around the corner…

And EcoTraining instructor Mark Gunn explains just why you have to make THAT booking.

“It is with great admiration that I read the stories of the exploration of Africa by the likes of Livingstone, Baynes, Burton and Speke. What was it like to walk across the plains with these men of men? They chose to leave a sheltered Victorian, gentleman’s life and head off into the “dark continent”. They struggled with adversity, disease and danger from the local population. Some of them died and never came home. 

However, what did they see? Great open spaces and herds of the most incredible animals on earth. Amazing vistas and a fantastic kaleidoscope of cultures were the order of the day, every day. We can do the same today without the same threats and dangers that they faced.

The modern urban world does not have the denizens of the plains to contend with, urban people have transferred their admiration onto sports stars, music divas and the odd dictator. Escape from this artificial world of artificial heroes is surprisingly easy.

A walk with the wildlife on Lewa is so easy to do and after the initiates first two or three encounters with the big and hairies, easy to enjoy.

Appreciate is not the word to do justice to the feelings you get when you are walking so close to elephants that you can hear their feet rustle through the grass and hear them chewing the food that they tirelessly stuff into their great maws, enjoyment, absolute pleasure, is an emotion that surges to the fore whenever I am in the presence of these great, peaceful colossi. Sharing a few minutes in the life of these behemoths of the African savannah is a pleasure that needs to be experienced.

No amount of eloquence, no matter how well the author can extract adjectives from our beloved dictionaries, will ever do justice to the act of being there.

Following a lion across the grassland while avoiding getting too close to rhino and buffalo, skirting around a group of reticulated giraffe and intercepting the lion just before he move between two herds of elephant, this being there.

Returning from an encounter with such majesty is not a simple task, there are herds to be passed and circumvented so as not to disturb them and ensure our safe return to the culinary delights that have been prepared by our camp staff.

Experiences that defy description are not relived around the campfire. We were all there; we all felt the wonder and admiration for our fellow earthlings. We felt our insignificance; our perspectives were rearranged, put in order.

A great sense of peace pervades me every time I encounter any animal, especially when I am on foot. It might seem as if we are intruding in their world, this plain of Africa but no, we belong here.

This is the place where we started out, this is our Garden of Eden.”

To book your place on the next course, 10 August-6 September, visit www.ecotraining.co.za and send an email to enquiries@ecotraining.co.za.
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