Back into the EcoTraining routine today with wake up calls and Backing-up on trails. We’ve got an EcoQuest Group in through a third party operator, it’s an interesting model and certainly one I should consider if I want to keep the African dream alive whilst living back in Blighty.
We did a relatively short walk from Mr BB up to Shishangeni Spring with the purpose of picking up my camera trap. The results were excellent for species although the ones of civet, leopard and hyena weren’t great quality. There were some really cool ones of baboon and impala though. When it comes to my ‘Lead Trails Guide’ assessment I’ll do a similar walk with the camera set up a good few weeks in advance, it will give me lots to talk about from conservation and research to the animals that it captures.
Hine and I were surplus to requirements this afternoon as there were no walks going out, just a drive to Langer Gorge. We stayed back to do a few chores and were rewarded with a breeding herd of elephants surrounding the camp and using the inner firebreak as the path of least resistance. I sat on the deck to draft a couple of emails whilst watching the wildlife go by. This included a young calf in full trumpet chasing a baboon, the baboons crawling all over the decks roof, impala coming through and a martial eagle flying level with the tree canopy.
The elephants hung around whilst we did the braai and were still there when the guests came back. Just before everyone retired for bed a big bull walked through the middle of camp as relaxed as can be. My final view before going to bed myself was watching another bull feeding on the climbing river thorn next to my tent. This was quite a magical sight as we were stood less than ten metres from him without hime noticing.
I hope I manage a better sleep than I did last night. I kept myself awake thinking about the impact of poaching, contemplating that it’s highly likely that mankind will completely wipe out the wild population of one of the savannah’s story book species within the next 20 years. My sleeping pattern probably wasn’t helped by being temporarily displaced from my normal tent. Instead I’m in a dome tent on the inner firebreak to make way for the large group that’s in.