No doubt this has been an incredibly tough year for all of us with the COVID-19 pandemic, but despite I am choosing to look at the positives that have come out of this year and as an individual the personal growth I have under gone.
“Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choice you make, makes you. Choose wisely.”
The guides at Wild Eye have been fortunate enough to get out during this tough time and gather content as well as visit different destinations that few of us have experienced before. It has also allowed us as a team to share experiences together - for the first time ever the guides were able to get into the field as a team and share knowledge and just bond as a unit. Despite all that has been going on all over the world this was an incredible opportunity to build team moral and to share our passion with each other and get to learn more about one another.
I am aware that not everyone has been as fortunate as us, but I can guarantee that when traveling with us in the future, this bonding time we have all shared together will put us all in a good space to give you the ultimate experience that you are after.
With all the above said, I was fortunate to visit Umlani in the Timbavati twice, Selati Sabi Sabi and Tswalu, which all taught me valuable lessons and I loved each experience for a number of reasons.
I want to share my top 3 moments from these trips in terms of the experience, my memory behind the image and what I means to me...
This image to me isn't just a picture of a beautiful leopard in a tree, it reminds me of many memories of the week that Michael Laubscher and I spent at Umlani. It was the first trip we did during lockdown and what an incredible trip it was!
This image reminds me of the many hours Greg, my brother and Guide at Umlani, Mike and I put in tracking leopards for days on end. Although we spent many hours unsuccessful, the feeling of being out in the middle of the African bush after all the chaos in the world is one that is simply very difficult to explain. It reminds me of the small moments, all the laughs and a reminder that hard work always pays off. We spent a very special morning with this leopard which made up for all our efforts and kilometers/miles of walking trying to find her.
This image isn't the greatest wildlife image, but sometimes it isn't always about how good an image is, sometimes its about the memory it holds. I mentioned earlier that we as the Wild Eye guides have been fortunate to spend big chunks of time in the field together, this image reminds me of exactly that. All being together, sitting around the fire in the evening telling stories, heading out on safari as a team and just sharing beautiful wilderness areas together and Tswalu for all of us, bar Johan, was a first time visit which made it that much more special.
What an experience! I remember this day so clearly from Sabi Sabi. From following 3 male lions hunting buffalo to searching for Andrew Beck's Phone that fell out the vehicle during all the chaos of lion and buffalo interaction.
As I look back at this image, it reminds me of how privileged and lucky I am to do what I do. To be able to head out into these incredible wilderness areas and experience these special moments. I love images like this because it also reminds me of the small moments, the peaceful moments and appreciate the incredible moments we get to experience and I cannot wait to get back out into the field again and share all these experiences with all of you!
Until next time,