Dudus and Plants course, May 2015

A 4 day Training Course for Professional Safari Guides
27 th of May to 30 th at Suyian Soul, Laikipia
Botany Entomology
Anne Powys, and Dr. Dino J. Martins
Botany and Entomology course

Interested in Botanical course focusing on Plants and Dudus (insects)? This three day course introduces classification – families, genus and species. How to start recognizing different families in the field.

Field work consists of making notebook specimens of the identified plants which will include a written description enabling us to become familiar with basic taxonomy and the terminology in plant literature. We usually focus on the most basic and obvious parts of the plant, like leaves, leaf margins, stalks, stems, petals, etc. and try to understand the botanical language a little better.

The course always takes place in the field even the simple test on the last day!

We will provide notebooks, masking tape and pens.

Aims and objectives

  • Το gain a better understanding of how plants are classified.
  • Become familiar with plant families learning the most obvious characters that determine which
    family they belong to.
  • Understanding the genus and why plants are split using examples in the field.
  • Looking at the more specific characteristics which finally determine which species a plant is and why.
  • Bringing plants closer to us by discussing all the useful things about our plants including: medicinal, food plants, spiritual, perfume as well as the symbiotic relationship between plants,
    insects, birds and mammals.

Field workplan

LeavesBoth days will take place in the field. We try to cover as many vegetation types as possible in the time given, so as to make sure the guides pick up as many id’s as they can of the more common trees, shrubs and herbs on Suyian. The first day will be taken up with pressing plants and looking at the main characters that separate them as well as writing up a simple description of each plant. The second day we will continue to collect and press plants, the focus will be on learning more about the different families that plants belong to.

Entomology with Dino Martins

Insects have been called ‘the little things that run the world’. In East Africa insects are involved in almost every single aspect of ecology and animal behaviour. Insects are everywhere and are often encountered by visitors, both young and old.

PlantInsects are indisputably the most successful life form on the planet. We have gone through many  evolutionary changes as humans over the last six millions years, but one thing has remained the same through this period of our evolution – the diversity and importance of the insects, whose history stretches over 400 millions years. For all intents and purposes, we are still living in the Age of Insects.

East Africa is blessed not just with remarkable large animals and birds, but also with a diverse and stunning insect fauna. Many insects are visible and constant parts of the landscape, such as the ants living in the whistling thorn trees and the ubiquitous termites. Without some insects, such as dung beetles and pollinators, life as we know it would come to an end on the planet.

On safari many people encounter insects, and they often have questions about the insects that they see around camps and lodges as well as when they are out in the bush with guides. Guides need to understand the role of and diversity of insects as this provides the basis for interacting with visitors in a higher quality way that enriches the experience for them. Understanding insects and the roles educates both visitors and guides in the intricacy and inter-connectedness of the natural world.

Course Objectives

  • Appreciate the value and importance of insects
  • Understand the need for insects and their role in biodiversity, their importance and effects onother animals, plants and the ecosystem
  • Learn about the classification, biology, ecology and behaviour of insects
  • Learn to identify major orders and families of insects
  • Acquire skills for observing and sharing the wonder of insects with visitors – both adults and children.

insectsThe course will be a field-based course with an emphasis on acquiring the basic skills for identification and observing behaviour of insects. Attention will be given to the life-history strategies of insects and this will be linked to their interactions with other animals. Therefore, a lot of animal behavior information will also be passed on to the guides as part of this course.

Topics covered

  • Insect
  • Communities Insects and Ecosystems
  • Insect Classification and Diversity
  • Insect Ecology and Behavior

In addition, the basics of first aid related to insect bites and stings are also covered by this course.

Guides will come away from this course with a solid understanding of insects and their role in the world and the ability to share the wonders and details of this fascinating group of creatures with the rest of the world.

Training Schedule: 2 days Botany, 2 days Entomology Maximum of 20 participants, divided into 2 groups of 10

Cost: 35,000/= pp full board (for those staying in the lodge)

10,000/= pp full board for safari guides – bring tent and bedroll

Alcohol not provided

2 participants per room

Vehicles provided at Suyian (Travel to Suyian not included)

Deposit: 20,000/= non refundable deposit, the balance to be paid on arrival.

Dates: Accommodation at Suyian Tuesday 26 th May to Saturday 30 th of May inclusive.

Teaching dates: 27 th May to 30 th May (Allows for arrival on 26 th of May and depart after breakfast Sunday 31st
of May 2015.


  1. Anne Powys
    Mobile: 0722 397 860
    E-mail: annepowys@gmail.com
  2. Dino Martins
    Mobile: 0733 673493
    E-mail: dino.martins@gmail.com
2 replies
  1. Ewan Lesowopir
    Ewan Lesowopir says:

    Amazing! Teachers were wonderfully rich in information, socially and easy to understand. May God bless them wherever they will be. I will not stop mentioning the whole team that participated in the course, you are wonderful people. Let us have our community embrace the opportunities in our dear land, promote the work of the supporting organizations. Personally I would wish to continue to study entomology and obviously plants which these insects depend on.

    To our beloved teachers, we really enjoyed being there with you. Suyian is really rich in insects and plants that got lost some years ago in where I come from.


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