“Adventure is a path. Real adventure – self-determined, self-motivated, often risky – forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it. Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind – and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black-and-white.” –Mark Jenkins

Saturday, 9 June 2018

Placement starts at Mukambi, in the heart of the Kafue National Park - Zambia

My current home at Mukumbi!
After 5 gruelling months of training and successfully qualifying in South Africa as a FGASA Level 1 field guide (typically driving), Back-Up Trails Guide (walking safaris), Level 2 tracker and borderline-bird-nerd, I have arrived safely at my placement lodge in Zambia where I will stay until early December learning all about lodge management and hopefully clocking hours and encounters in a guiding role. As with most African countries, there are of course some administration battles to overcome first, like VISAs, licences, insurances and public driving permits, but with any luck these things will all be sorted soon enough and I can get out into the bush putting it all into practise. The wildlife is abundant and the bush pristine which makes for some fantastic birding.
In the meantime of course I have plenty to do accompanying existing guides and learning the routes, the new plants and trees, and special antelopes that only occur here, as well as working with the management team on marketing, social media and the all important guest hosting (drinking and chatting at the bar mostly!).
First "management meeting"!
Mukambi Safaris have 3 camps within the Kafue, at varying degrees of remoteness. I have so far visited two of them and I am looking forward to visiting the third when it opens in the North next month (Busanga Plains).
They have visitors from all over the world; and in the two weeks I have been here, I have already met people from Israel, USA, The Netherlands, Germany, Ireland and of course many other Africans. My travels over the years in the course of my career have certainly been useful these last two weeks.

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