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@laurenepbath / Lauren Bath | Australia

Photos and videos by laurenepbath

I am off to bed! Yes I know it's 9:30, it's a little past my bedtime. πŸ™ŠπŸ™ŠπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ I wanted to share another shot of Port Willunga, the first place I drove my little Skoda after picking it up. This shot was taken maybe 20 minutes before the other one I've posted. Goodnight all. Xxx @SkodaAustralia #Skoda #Sponsored
Morning all! I couldn't help but choose another shot from Lake Bumbunga to share. I already had an eight hour drive to Port Lincoln on this particular day and I still found time to get into the Adelaide Hills and stop at this incredible pink salt lake. At first I was hoping to drive the Skoda down to the shore but I read a bunch of websites that strongly recommended not taking cars onto the lake. πŸ™ŠπŸ™ŠπŸ’žπŸ’•πŸ’“ (I do have some common sense 😳.) Instead I took my self out there and grabbed some reluctant selfies. I tell everyone who asks that I will literally photograph ANYONE else that's around if I want someone in my photo and only use myself as a last resort. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ @SkodaAustralia #Skoda #Sponsored
Good morning! Has anyone ever seen a sunrise like this before?! πŸ”₯🌞πŸ’₯ This was Port Lincoln for my Skoda road trip. Yesterday afternoon I said a sad goodbye to my girl. She ended up on 1583 km in four days of driving. When I returned her to the dealership, looking a little worse for wear πŸ™ŠπŸ™Š, I said that was a heck of a test drive. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ If anyone has any questions on the car I'm happy to answer them. I actually didn't know this until my mum told me but my uncle has a Skoda and he spent thirty years in the car industry with a competitive brand. I would genuinely consider buying one myself, after all Dreamboat DID write off my car last year and I bought a temporary second hand car at the time. πŸš—πŸš— Enjoy your day everyone, I'm in bed editing and answering emails. πŸ‘ŠπŸ»πŸ“·πŸ’»πŸ“±πŸ“§β€οΈ @SkodaAustralia #Skoda #Sponsored
One of these things is not like the other ... 🎢🎡🎢 Double tap when you spot it πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ¦ˆπŸ¦ˆ! This is the reason I chose to take my Skoda on a South Australia road trip, to tick off this incredible bucket list activity. I am going to do a couple of additional posts on this experience with Calypso, once I'm finished my Skoda job. I know a lot of people have thoughts on shark cage diving and I'm more than happy to chat through my own opinions. But for now I just want to say that it's well regulated, safe and incredible. I have more respect for sharks than ever before, this girl was majestic. There's no other word for it. I have been on the road for four days and covered over 1400 kilometers and today I'll be heading back to Adelaide to say goodbye to my Monte Carlo. πŸ˜©πŸ˜©πŸ˜©πŸš—πŸš—πŸš— You know how watch companies give influencers watches to keep? Can't I just keep my Skoda? πŸ˜œπŸ˜œβ€οΈπŸš—πŸ™Š @SkodaAustralia #Skoda #Sponsored
What a day! I'm here in the Clare Valley safe and sound and I've done over 1400 kilometers in my little Skoda since I set out from Adelaide a few days ago, since I didn't drive at all yesterday that's a pretty good effort. πŸ™ŠπŸ™Š Today I spent my drive talking on the phone to my bestie for hours, listening to tunes and I even went full road trip style and got McDonalds drive through. (Quarter Pounder no meat πŸ˜‚πŸ”πŸŸ) I seriously love road trips so much! I'm loving the feedback on this trip, about to go and answer comments on my last post. For those that want to know what the car looks like I did do one sneaky 'portrait' in gorgeous Hahndorf. πŸ‚πŸπŸš—πŸπŸ‚ Goodnight everyone. Xx @SkodaAustralia #Skoda #Sponsored
Good morning!! I'm still in Port Lincoln but today I'm taking my little Skoda out for a long drive to Clare Valley, 6 hours on the road. Someone asked me on my last post how I differentiate between a sponsored post and a #sponsored trip and I thought you might be interested in my answer. A sponsored post is when a brand gives you something to photograph and you basically take a photo and post it. I personally only do sponsored posts for brands and services that I use anyway and I don't do many at all, maybe a handful a year. A sponsored trip, for me, is much more natural. I wanted a chance to actually drive one of these cars and I asked if I could choose my own road trip in a destination of my choosing. I chose Port Lincoln in South Australia because it's a decent drive away, giving me a chance to actually test the performance of the car, and I really wanted to do the Shark Cage Diving. (Yep, swam with Great White Sharks yesterday. 😱😱) I want to be able to fund my travels and still share brands and experiences that I think others will be interested in. I hope that makes sense? This here is the old abandoned jetty at Port Willunga! I drove the Skoda here directly after picking it up, I think I've done a thousand kilometers already. πŸ™ŠπŸ™Š @SkodaAustralia #Skoda
I've finally got a minute to post something from my trip! I am so proud to be working with Skoda Australia this week in South Australia. When Skoda first approached me I knew very little about them and I was not prepared to do sponsored posts. Instead I proposed a road trip of my choosing so I could actually get to know the car and do my favorite thing, travel! Luckily they said yes and I've been driving a brand new Fabia Monte Carlo all over South Australia to tick something else off my bucket list, but that's getting ahead of myself... THIS was one of my first stops of the trip, Lake Bumbunga. I was tempted to drive the car onto it but thought better of it. πŸ™ŠπŸ™Š I don't work for many brands, as you know, so please feel free to ask me any questions about the job, the car or SA! Whoo hoo! This is a #sponsored trip but all logistics, images and words are my own as always. @skodaaustralia #skoda πŸš—πŸš—
Good morning! I'm just packing for my next trip and thought I would tell you that MY NEXT TRAVEL BOOTCAMP IS LIVE! We are going to be in Sydney on the 12th August this time around and I'm excited to announce that Intrepid Travel have joined Olympus as a sponsor and there are huge opportunities to be gained by coming, one delegate from our last conference is winning a mentoring trip to India! 😱😱 The link is back up in my profile and we have limited early bird tickets on sale for the next few weeks. We've also added more testimonials and information to the website and made it easier to navigate so let me know what you think. Oh, and our venue is the Intercontinental and it's fancy!! 😍😍😍 @thetravelbootcamp #thetravelbootcamp
This is my last post from Zimbabwe for now. I've been home for the week working on my online photography course and it's been a real pleasure to share this passion project with you. There's been a lot of changes in my business lately and I know I'm moving in the right direction. I want to leave a legacy, both as a traveller and educator, and hopefully all of my hard work now will make that dream a reality for me. I'll have big announcements for the Travel Bootcamp this weekend and my first online course finalized before Christmas as well as some great trips and photography. Amongst it all I hold on to these precious memories of Zimbabwe and my long term plans to help tourism there. This image is my niece Kupa leading me to the funeral of my mother in law during a full day ceremony in December. It was a heartfelt moment that I grabbed this one image of. For those that have responded to the many challenges facing wildlife in Zimbabwe, I've put a link to the Bumi Hills Foundation page in my profile and the option is there to donate. Have a wonderful weekend all. Xx @bumihillsfoundation
Good morning! I know these posts from Zimbabwe have been pretty heavy. Between poaching, poverty, human-wildlife conflict and corruption there's definitely a lot going on and it can feel overwhelming. The good news is that for the most part people in Zimbabwe are very happy. I photographed this scene when we were out for a drive in the rural with Dreamboat's uncle. We were kind of lost and a massive storm was rolling in and I felt alive! I'm starting to write a rough itinerary for tours to Zimbabwe and they are like two years away from being a reality but I am so determined to show people the beauty of this country and to provide employment for my family there. Who would come? πŸ™ˆ
from Zimbabwe
Bumi Hills sits on the edge of Lake Kariba and it might surprise you to learn that this lake is the world's largest man made lake by volume. Completed in the early 60's by the Rhodesian government (under British rule) the lake is over 230 km long and covers an area of over 5,500 square kilometers. Although an incredible feat of engineering, the 'building' of Lake Kariba displaced over 57,000 native Zimbabweans, who were relocated to the hot and harsh rocky plateaus away from the lakes shore and the building of the lake, and other factors, have contributed to a third and fourth reason why this area is losing so many animals. We've already discussed poaching and commercial hunting but consider now that Zimbabwe is also losing animals due to trapping animals for bush meat and due to human wildlife conflict. The locals here live traditionally in the village way and their existence is basic and poor. If a lion, for example, strays into the village to hunt goats there is no hesitation in killing the animal. Survival out here is ruthless. As for the bush meat trade, locals run snare lines in the forested areas and snares are indiscriminate. No matter what they catch they will likely kill the animal, maybe not immediately but often later from infection. If an elephant steps on a snare the wound will likely fester and kill the animal, unless the team from the Bumi Hills Foundation are able to step in in time. This story still has a few chapters to go. @bumihillsfoundation
I have another topic to discuss and this is one that really starts some debates: commercial hunting! Bear with me, I want to give some more information than what you're probably used to hearing. You might think that I'm vehemently anti-hunting but in actual fact I have a lot of respect for people that live closer in line with nature and how our ancestors lived. I might not eat meat but I can understand people who hunt an animal they need to survive and then butcher the meat themselves and live off it for months. I think this method is far more sustainable than people who eat meat from the supermarket every day, without thought to where it came from. What I am passionately against is trophy hunting, I cannot in any way understand humans who like to kill animals, who do it for pleasure. Even so I was prepared to sit down with an ex commercial hunting guide and hear about the industry. Here's the first scary fact, like it or not commercial hunting is bringing in WAY more money than regular tourism and theoretically does more for conservation than anything else. Wrap your mind around that! In a perfect world commercial hunting would play a viable part in conservation. However this is not a perfect world and the systems that are in place to protect the animals have decayed. If you're a hunter and you're reading this, take note. You might think that everything is above board but in countries like Zimbabwe the hunting quotas are often vastly inflated because of greed. Also, the local communities that the money is supposed to help? Forget about that. Let's just say that things are not as they seem. I don't know the solution to this one. For many of us, evolution has changed our DNA and we have no urge to kill beautiful things and yet that is an urge that was once fundamentally human. How do we make people who feel that urge give up hunting? On the other side how can we inject enough cash into these economies so that they don't have to rely on commercial hunting enterprises, can our love of animals outweigh others people's urge to kill them? How do we make the powers that be more accountable for proper surveying? Photo @bumihills @bumihillsfoundation
from Bumi Hills
Believe it or not one of the most in-demand tourism products in Zimbabwe is still hunting and there's a lot more to this industry than meets the eye. The figure in this photo, blurred in the foreground, is a displaced farmer who went on to work as a commercial hunting guide before being devastated at the loss of Cecil the lion in Hwange, even though he wasn't directly involved. After that life-altering event he went to work in Bumi Hills as a photography and safari guide, I hope you're reading this David? Where do I even begin to talk about all of the white farmers who had to leave their land? Because my partner is black I have been exposed to a lot of information both for and against the Zimbabwean land reforms. When Emmanuel (Dreamboat) first met an ex farmer working in tourism he had tears in his eyes to learn what it was like to lose family farms. There are now so many white Zimbabwean ex-farmers working in tourism and proving what a resourceful bunch they are. I want to talk more about commercial hunting, so consider this a bit of background into that conversation.
I have a lot of other issues to discuss but firstly I want to talk about one way that we can help poverty in Zimbabwe, by traveling. I want to tell you how I ended up at Bumi Hills. Basically Dreamboat (pictured) wanted to visit Lake Kariba and I didn't want to because I felt bad about spending money when his family are in such need. We had debated going but ultimately I decided I wasn't comfortable swanning off when the money could be better spent helping at home. It was at that time that I received an email from MoΓ«t & Chandon to work on their Christmas campaign. Because I love the brand and I loved the campaign (that's a story I told at the time) I decided to take the job and use some of the fee to go to Bumi Hills for the photo shoot and a few nights of luxury. We arrived at paradise on a weekend in the middle of December and we were the only guests there! Our visit ensured that the maid, the chef, the waiter and the bar man plus the safari guide had work that week and food on the table. After discussing this at length with some of the team I realized just how important it is to have tourists in this area. They create demand for safari drives (making live wildlife important and valuable) and they provide work for the local people so that they don't need to poach or assist poachers. It's a very small step but very real money that is needed. When I start to design the itinerary for my own Zimbabwe photography tours (they'll debut in 2018), Bumi Hills will be on my list. @bumihills @bumihillsfoundation
from Bumi Hills
Who would hurt these incredible animals I hear you ask? Well I am about to drop a massive truth bomb into this story and it might change the way you think about poaching, it certainly changed mine. Who would hurt these incredible animals? The answer is most poor people in Zimbabwe. I don't know about you but I have it pretty good here in Australia. I eat well, have long hot showers daily, the garbage man collects my rubbish every week and I have access to 24/7 electricity and running water. When I stay in Zimbabwe I get a taste, a very small taste of how the other half live but I see how the very poor live and it's not like you would imagine. These are some stories JUST from people that I know well in Zim. (Names have been changed) Mary desperately wants to be a school teacher but in order to get an interview to apply for a place she has to bribe an official $US2,000, she doesn't have $1 for food on that table that night. Robert was at the top of his class in school and went on to graduate university with an engineering degree, last year he was almost arrested selling drugs on the street. Young girls line up to sell their bodies on the street for as low as $1 and some go home having not even made that. Things are TOUGH! Do you think that Mary, Robert or those girls would hesitate to tell a poacher where an elephant is? It's easy for us to sit around and wonder why people do the things that they do but they do it for their families, for self preservation. When you have nothing your life does become more important than the lives of wildlife and that is at the very heart of the problem. I'll talk more about these issues in my next posts. @bumihillsfoundation
Yesterday I promised I'd tell the story of the time I came across poachers in Bumi Hills. As I've mentioned I managed to become involved in the Bumi Hills Foundation after staying at Bumi Hills and the best part of the story is that I had gone there after I landed the job with MoΓ«t, although that's a story for another day. Like so many things in my life I believe that I got the job because it landed me at Bumi Hills and that's exactly where I was supposed to be. Anyway the offer was put on the table for Dreamboat and I to go on an anti poaching patrol with founder Nick Milne and three of his new team and we jumped at the chance to learn more about poaching. As we were picking our way through the African bush there was a silent flurry of activity between Nick and his rangers and within seconds they took off at a sprint after spotting other people in the bush. Our safari guide David stayed behind to guard as at gun point. Sadly the team didn't catch the poachers but they did find meters and meters of wire being set up in the bush for snares. I bet you didn't know that there's more than one reason for people to be poaching out here? I'll talk about the demand for bush meat in another post. @bumihillsfoundation
When you're down by the Lake on a safari drive in Bumi Hills it seems like there's lots of elephants around, sadly what you see is what you get! The local population love to eat the weed that grows by the lake and the entire population circles back and forth munching all day. What you wouldn't know is that this region has lost 75% of its elephants in ten years and if this loss continues there will be no elephants left in ten years! This is a problem that will affect our lifetime and the time to act is NOW! I was fortunate enough to spend time with Nick Milne and learn about the @bumihillsfoundation and I'm going to continue to share information about the poaching issues faced in the area and what the foundation is doing to combat them. And there was also that time I went on a patrol and we stumbled across poachers! Keep following along and I'll tell you all about it. 🐘🌍
I haven't pre planned the captions for this Zimbabwe series so I hope that they make sense by the time I'm through. I have a portrait photo of these two beautiful girls and I will post it at a later stage but for this shot I wanted to isolate the fruit, nothing reminds me more of the rurals of Zimbabwe than fruit from the tree. These are my nieces Aisha and Kupa and they are growing up in tough times in Zimbabwe. My partner and his family are proud people and I know it hurts them to see their country suffering, and for me to talk about it publicly, but every issue I will discuss regarding conservation comes back to core issues. Issues of poverty, lack of infrastructure, devastating cash shortages and a short sighted government who can't or won't fix things. Despite all of this Aisha and Kupa are still young and they are growing up without wanting for anything. When we visit the rural areas the kids run free; picking fruit from the tree, running and laughing and bathing in fresh water streams. I wish they could be children forever.
from Zimbabwe