Monday, 16 February 2009

The Adventure Company: Tour Guide Entry: South Africa

This month our blog comes from Francois Senekal, a tour guide with The Adventure Company.

He gives us an insight of what he sees on a day to day basis, and even shows us some juicy video content which shows birth, death, and mother nature at its very best....

"Hello there!,

I am a tour leader for The Adventure Company in Southern Africa, and wanted to let you know a little more about what I do, and what you can expect from tour guides when you are here.

I am not able to get online very often, but I am in-between tours this week and thought that I would show you some videos that I have taken on some of the tours that I have led in Southern Africa

The above video was taken in Etosha National Park in northern Namibia. We visited Etosha on the The Cape To Victoria tour. Etosha is the prime game viewing area on Namibia.


Etosha means "Great White Place" and it is dominated by a massive mineral pan which takes up about a quarter of the National Park. The pan was originally a lake fed by the Kunene River, however the course of the river changed thousands of years ago and the lake dried up.


But the perennial springs along the edges of the Etosha Pan draw large concentrations of wildlife. There are numerous species of antelope present in the park, large concentrations of elephant and the ever present, predators.


This video of Springbok giving birth was taken on an early morning game drive. Springbok time their birth to coincide with the start of the rainy season to ensure that there is sufficient grazing to raise their young.

Springbok also have the ability to delay the birth of their lambs so that the conditions are perfect to give the young the best chance of survival. The herd also time the births so that all of the pregnant females calf within a few days of each other.


This is vital because “safety in numbers” is the strategy for survival. By “flooding the market” with young, the idea is that the predation of the young will not have an adverse effect on the population.

The group who witnessed this birth said it was one of the highlights of the tour. It is not often that one gets to see a wild animal giving birth. The females usually head off to a secluded spot.

This video was taken in Savuti in Botswana. The parks of Botswana are a wildlife paradise, and the game viewing in the parks is, in my opinion, the best in Africa.

On a morning game drive we came across 2 lionesses. They were moving with purpose through the bush (most sighting of lions are of them sleeping) so we knew that something interesting was going to happen. All of the lionesses, stopped, crouched and started stalking. We could not see what had taken their interest.


Being on a “hunt” with lions is an amazing experience. The tension and excitement that you can see in the lions is instantly mirrored in your own emotions. The adrenalin starts pumping, vision and hearing become sharper – it feels that you are actually taking part in the hunt!


Out of nowhere this warthog emerged. It saw the lions and started running. It did not have much chance. The lions were on it in a few seconds and it was over. It is amazing how quickly these life and death struggles unfold in the bush.


Soon after the adults had the warthog down, and under control, the cubs appeared. During the excitement of the hunt we had not even noticed the cubs hiding behind a bush. I only managed to get my camera out of my bag after the chase. It’s a pity that I did not catch the whole sequence on film but I was not interested in my camera while the drama was unfolding.


Watching a kill is an emotional experience. Some in the group felt for the warthog, while others were supporting the lions. Either way, this is nature at it’s most raw, and definitely puts things in perspective for us humans in our very safe living environment.


I hope that you enjoy these videos. Working as a guide means that I am exposed to these daily dramas in the bush many times, but it always excites me, and I love showing people the many wonders that are in Southern Africa.

I hope to see you on tour sometime soon, and when I am close to a computer with internet access, I hope to send some more interesting videos.

Francois Senekal
Tour Leader
Southern Africa."


You can come across Springbok on two of The Adventure Company tours to South Africa. The Cape To Victoria tour and the Cape Desert Delta tour include visits to the Victoria Falls, the Namib Desert and lots of exciting wildlife during their 24 day itineraries.


Check out Lions and travel through waterways by riding in mokoros (dugout canoes) on the Delta to Victoria Falls tour.

Follow a similar route and even swing by to see elephants in their natural environment on the Okavango to Victoria Falls tour

Thanks for reading
The Adventure Company
"Adventure is our middle name"

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