March 25th, 2020

Guide's Eye: A Slow Morning in the Bush

Written by:

Toby Pheasant


Guides Eye


A guide’s job is to help you understand what you are seeing in the wild, effectively telling you the story of the bush. 

When training to be a guide, a great technique to help you with taking a sighting is to look at a random photo that you have never seen before, and then interpret what you see, weaving it all into a story.

Here’s our attempt. If you fancy having a go we’d love to hear any of your thoughts.

Misty Morning - Okavango Delta - Botswana

Now, more than ever, we are reminded that it is important to slow down and appreciate what we so often have no time for.

In the bush it is also true that from time-to-time we need to slow down and not be on a constant search for lions, leopards and the other A-list celebrities. 

My favourite mornings in the bush, are often those where we head out with no real plan but to slowly appreciate the beauty of our surroundings, allowing nature to wow us as we go.  

On this misty morning, in Botswana's Okavango Delta, we stopped to watch this dazzle of zebra, as they enjoyed some deliciously succulent grass.

While we watched them, my guests and I chatted about all sorts. We discussed many theories such as; the length of a new born foal’s legs, and how even from very young the height of their stomachs is the same as adults. Could this be so that a lion, stalking low down to the ground, couldn’t differentiate a youngster from an adult?  

Eventually the question ‘what is the purpose of a zebra’s stripes’ was broached. At least it wasn’t ‘is a zebra white with black stripes, or black with white stripes’….

Like many things in the bush, the true reason behind something is rarely straight forward, and the purpose of a zebra’s stripes is no different. However, there has now been a lot of research to suggest that there is one theory that trumps all others. 

Having seen many zebra being hunted and caught by lions, the theory about the stripes confusing doesn’t really add-up to me. Similarly, the theory about the stripes helping them keep cool, for me doesn’t hold water. Interestingly, a theory to do with keeping flies off, seems to be the only theory that makes sense. We’ve written another article on that if you’re keen to find out more.

After a while enjoying this beautiful setting, and interpreting the boredom on the face of the zebra closest to us, we realised it was probably time to move on. 

Next stop, the shade of a fig tree overlooking an active waterway where we could while away more hours discussing the tiny ears of a hippo. 

Thanks for reading,

The Bonamy Travel Team

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