CM Travels: Callum Gowar
When I look back on my time as Guide I can’t help but see the good memories. But on closer reflection I also remember that there were some tough times. The training I under went was lengthy and tiring. When I eventually got the nod from the senior ranger and GM I then realised that guiding and hosting guests for 6-8 week long stints can be exhausting. The hours are long and the level of energy must be maintained at all times.
These tough times created life time bonds with my fellow rangers. Although Callum and I worked at different Camps we most certainly know just what it is like to be a not only a Guide but a custodian of the wonders of nature.
Why we Guide
Growing up on the breezy shores of Cape Town, blessed with the magnificent Table Mountain and beautiful Atlantic seaboard, I couldn’t be any further away from the plethora of wildlife on the Lowveld and in the Greater Limpopo Transfronteir Park. After being schooled adjacent to my house in the leafy southern suburbs, I packed my bags for Rhodes University in Grahamstown, a small university town situated in the rural heartlands of the Eastern Cape Province. This is where I met a then much younger Murray Forbes, now co-founder of CM Travels.
Fast-forward a few years and the past three have been my most rewarding, memorable and life-changing years I have ever experienced. The African bush and the natural landscapes its provides, teaming with a vast abundance of naturally occurring wildlife and the serenity of the wild make for an excellent place to work and an even better place to visit.
‘Panning’ is a term used as a result of a low shutter speed and a moving subject thus creating a blurred image with one part of the image in focus. Alternatively, a lower ISO creates a lower shutter speed and has a similar affect. In this image of a Tsalala young male lion, a low ISO (unintentional mistake at the time) accentuates movement of the lion whilst still resulting in a sharp eye. Settings: ISO 1250; f/4.5; 1/25.
With one of the Matimba male lions as my subject and a willing guide on the opposite side armed with a spotlight, it presented my guests and myself to this perfect opportunity. Although I would say my settings probably weren’t perfect, for a first attempt I was happy with the result. Focusing (with the focal point) on the brightest part of a backlit animals often presents the best results. Settings: ISO 2000; f/5; 1/60.
Probably one of my top-5 all-time favourite photographs is the Mashaba female leopard drinking at a small natural waterhole. With the sun high in the sky on the opposite side, her positioning (and ours) couldn’t have been better and presented a perfect opportunity to capture a beautiful reflection shot. Settings: ISO 800; f/5; 1/320.
I wish to continue to strive towards sustainable tourism, remain dedicated to wildlife education and increasing the awareness of the devastating affects of poaching and other negative anthropogenic impacts.