I led which was great experience

6th May 2014

Sunday 27th April 2014

Woke at 0215 this morning but couldn’t get back to sleep again. I was so happy when the drums went at half five, it meant there’d be tea and rusks on the go.

Bruce and Dee left for their three month trip across Australia. I’ll be gone by the time they return but I’m confident that I’ll see them again. I just need to work out a way of keeping my African dream alive one way or the other.

I had a productive morning which included making a start on slashing the inner firebreak which is being over run with elephant’s ear.

In the afternoon Jomi and I drove the trails group out to Makwadzi for their walk. On the way over I couldn’t break quick enough – because in the Landagreenie there are no breaks. This meant I hit a rut and gave every one a jolt. One of the guests whacked me on the head in playful style but I wasn’t happy, I’ve only just met this student, far too over familiar. Jomi could tell I was furious but I managed to bite my tongue. This is going to be a long month if they carry on behaving like that.

Jomi and I left the vehicle for the Trails Group at the bottom of Sand Pad so they could pick it up and drive back to camp. We then walked back through the Fever Tree Forest which was absolutely stunning. I led which was a great experience especially as we had two elephant encounters.

The bush was thick but we managed to weave our way through. Well that was up to a point, I went right of a pan rather than left which led us away from the Fever Trees. I thought/ hoped that it would open up again but it didn’t. Light was fading so I had to pull the emergency cord.

Plan “B” was walking up along the line between the mopane scrub (which is too thick to walk directly through) and the more open Acacia tortilis. However, following this line meant that we weren’t getting any closer to camp, when we did emerge on Middle Road we had to hot foot it back to camp.

As we walked along the road we ducked into the bush a couple of times, the first time was when the Trails Group drove past and then again when the Vets came past. We wanted to get back on our own steam and we managed to do so as the last of the light went.

The vets from the vulture project are staying with us at the moment. Andre Botha of the Endangered Wildlife Trust gave a presentation on the work that they’re doing in the Kruger. All incredibly interesting and great to see one of the BIAZA members featured in the presentation. This was the Hawk Conservancy Trust who are sponsors of an aerial survey of the Park to identify the number of large raptors nesting.