Adrian Bantich

NAME: Adrian Bantich





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The nature of things

This diary entry took place at Tswalu

I am sure that the thought has crossed many a guide’s mind as to why he or she is out here. It is in our nature to ponder on this…it is in our nature to sometimes think of what we may be missing out there in the ‘real’ world. Luckily for me reality quickly sets in and moulds my feet back into the fine red sand.

When I started guiding I said to myself, “Guide for a year or two. Find yourself out there…and then when you are ready…you can go and find a real job.” Go and find a real job…

It took nearly seven years, but only now do I realise that this ‘job’ is as real as a job can get. In fact, to reiterate, what we do out here is not a job…it is a lifestyle.

Rebirth, Awakening. The essence of the word is so apt in so many ways. I have been privileged to work and guide in many different environments of South Africa thus far. They all ignite special memories as well as feelings of amazing experiences. It must therefore sound very strange to hear that the first time I had ever felt ‘freedom’ was when I drove out into the western dune veld with Marco Tonoli whilst visiting the Southern Kalahari for a guiding position now forty-two months ago. A crimson red sunset above the dancing and wind swept silky bushman grass made me realise there and then that this Acre of Africa is for the soul.

My time here out here has, I feel, moulded me into the person that I hope and aspire to be for the rest of my days. An incredible feeling of humility, understanding, passion and energy flows throw my veins each and every time I am out here in this vast field…be it on a game-drive, on a bush walk, or standing on Namakwari dune in the midst of admiring a sunset.

The difficulty arises when one tries to convey or bring these absolutely abstract feelings across to a guest. What never ceases to amaze me is that flicker of emotion, that spark of bewilderment that I always see in every guest’s eye at some point during their stay. What humbles me even more is when I realise that this vast land of sand will never stop speaking for itself. Words like freedom and tranquillity will never do a reserve justice…it only begins there…

What I know now is that our lifestyle out here is an incredibly selfish one; many guides will never get to experience this place…and for that I feel truly humbled and privileged.

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