Lihle talks about her Tracks of Giants experience
Lihle Mbokazi, experiential education co-ordinator for the Wilderness Foundation recently returned from the second-final leg of the epic Tracks of Giants expedition. She describes the experience as “something that will live with me forever, something that I will share with those that will come after me.”
Lihle chatted briefly with Esethu Numa, a Media and Communications student at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, about her role in the backup team and her participation in the Tracks of Giants journey:
Q: How long were you on the Tracks of Giants expedition?
Lihle: I left on the 20th of July and I was there for 4 weeks.
Q: What countries did you travel through?
Lihle: I joined them in Botswana, Pandamatenga, and I left when we were in Mozambique.
Q: What kinds of things did you do on trail?
Lihle: The whole journey was so exciting, so much I can’t even explain it! My colleagues were cycling, and fortunately I didn’t cycle, I just drove behind (laughs). I did some hiking, which I really enjoyed, and kayaking in Mozambique.
Q: What does the Tracks of Giants experience mean to you? How has it changed your way of viewing the world and nature?
Lihle: It means growth to me. Seeing the environment the way that I did, seeing people and how they live although we didn’t interact with the community at grassroots level, which I hoped for. I also realised, through conversations with people from different nature reserves, that we still have a lot to learn and to work on.
Q: What was your most memorable moment?
Lihle: Being in the land of Botswana, seeing how Botswana is and how they operate. Oh and definitely managing to canoe!
Q: And your biggest challenge?
Lihle: When I left P.E I was so excited because I heard about this expedition a long time ago and so I was looking forward to going and when I was finally there I started feeling inferior and a bit scared as I was the only female and I didn’t know what was expected of me. Also there were conversations where the guys would have talks about “guy subjects” which I wasn’t exactly well informed about.
Q: So what has been your biggest lesson learnt from this extraordinary experience?
Lihle: Wow, there’s many but if anything, it’s definitely the importance of being well informed as a wilderness guide and knowing what’s happening in the world around you.
Lihle says that it is important to not give up and to trust us ourselves, because those are two of the principles that have gotten her this far.