Sunday, April 19, 2015

Brushing Up on our Bush Smarts

Do you know how to distinguish leopard tracks from hyena tracks?  Or how to identify the Hytigynia uhligii tree?  (Do you even know how to pronounce that??)  Well, our guides do!  Last week, our guides and trackers spent six days intensively reviewing their knowledge of nature and renewing their passion for guiding.  Campi ya Kanzi was pleased to welcome Andreas Fox, a professional guide instructor from EcoTraining, who helped our guides to refresh their memories and perfect their craft.  He gave presentations every day on different topics and then accompanied the guides on bush walks and game drives so they could practice what they had learned.  Lessons covered a wide range of material from geology to astronomy to botany.  Out in the field, the guides practiced birdwatching at the Olpusare spring, reviewed the dynamics of volcanoes inside a lava cave, and identified trees in the cloud forests of the Chyulu Hills.  They also enjoyed stargazing with Andreas to learn more about the constellations, their movements, and their interpretations by different tribes.

The guides look for elephants on the plains below Olkeri.

Samson Parashina, President of the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust and Campi ya Kanzi safari guide, particularly enjoyed the week of review.  "When I was young, it was always my dream to become a guide," he said.  "It was so nice to go back to training last week, to review all that I know, and to really connect with nature.  I feel like that's where I belong -- following the animal tracks and smelling the trees.  Nature is my home.  I wish I had been born one hundred years ago so that I could have delved even deeper."

The guides discuss the growth of the massive strangler fig tree
atop Peponi in the cloud forest. Photo by Andreas Fox.

The guides review the symbiotic relationship among wasps, ants,
and the whistling thorn acacia tree.

video
Andreas taught our guides about the stars and constellations.
He made this time-lapse video with his GoPro camera
to illustrate the movement of the stars. 

The guides pose with Andreas after a successful week of training.
Thank you, Andreas!

1 comment:

  1. My trip to Bosnia was fantastic. It was an amazing time you should try it.

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