Up Close & Personal
By Bob & Gina Poole
One of the unique experiences guests can enjoy while staying at Asilia’s Naboisho Camp in the Mara Naboisho Conservancy is a walking safari with Field Operation Manager and Head Guide, Roelof Schutte.
Last year while filming Little Giant for National Geographic we had the pleasure of looking for elephants with Roelof. He thought the elephants might have gone into an area that wasn’t accessible for our vehicle. We wanted to see if any elephants were there and if so, where they were heading. The only way to do that was on foot. We drove to the edge of a valley and proceeded to walk along a beautiful, verdant landscape dotted with acacia trees. We saw elephants that day from a great vantage point, but our viewing was interrupted when Roelof whispered, “we need to move now,” as he suspected a lion was nearby. We quietly walked away. Although we didn’t see the lion, the experience was such a visceral one; an exciting moment I’ll never forget.
Recently we were able to do another bush walk with Roelof, but this time without any particular mission in mind. We gathered in the main lodge just before sunrise and set out for a 3-hour hike that took us across the open plains right in front of the camp.
Walking in the bush is a wonderful option that gets you out of your vehicle, and allows you to see everything up close and personal. It gives you a chance to observe the bush, to feel the wind on your face and listen intently to the various birds singing; to pause and imagine yourself as a part of the landscape. You have an especially enriching time when combined with Roelof’s descriptions of nature and the interconnectivity of the plants, the wildlife and the smaller majority: insects.
I highly recommend a walking safari when you visit Naboisho Camp. If you’re interested in photography, you have the opportunity to get new and interesting perspectives on the wildlife you see. And it’s an active way to get to know the landscape and ecology of Naboisho, when guided by an expert naturalist like Roelof Schutte.
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