David Havemann, the Training Manager at EcoTraining in southern Africa, offers his advice on how to get the most out of exploring the African bush on foot.
I’ve always told my guest when walking out in the bush to read it like a book. Start on the horizon and scan from left to right and don’t forget to scan the trees close to you — there might be a Black Mamba looking back at you from its den. It’s definitely a question of who’s looking at who out in nature.
As J. Bonheim says, “We need to practice moving and thinking at a speed that allows us to feel peaceful and grounded.”
As we move along the trail, don’t forget to take deep breaths. You generally smell an animal before you see it, or probably hear it first and then only see it.
What does your walking reflect?
When we walk in wilderness areas preparation is obviously important. But what sort of preparation do you have in that “chattering monkey mind” of yours? Does your walking reflect your life? Dreams, sorrows, attitudes, habits, aliveness, balance, courage. There’s so much to contemplate while walking. As the legendary American naturalist (and avid walker) Henry David Thoreau said, “You must walk like a camel, which is said to be the only beast which ruminates when walking.”
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