Sleep out in Selati reserve

20th September 2013   •  By James Bailey

Sleep out at Selati Private Game Reserve

Thursday 19th September 2013

Marnis upped the game with his morning game drive, he did really well with some great knowledge on the majority of the animals we came across.

I need to prioritise what I allocate my time to as I’m desperate to do well at this and there’s not a lot of spare time. I can’t figure out what to focus on first. Just some of the choices are trees, birds, grasses, calls, theory, tracking, geology and behaviour.

However, for the next 24 hours I have two priorities, town to start the long drawn out process of getting a SA driving license and then prepare my presentation on adaptation for tomorrow morning.

Graham’s lecture was a quick fire guide to geology and how it can affect the area that you’re working in by way of vegetation. But today’s focus was on the sleep out.

We drove about one hour twenty minutes into the reserve and set up camp in a drainage line. Camp was basically a big groundsheet and a fire.

I had a comfortable nights sleep on my blow up mat (thanks for the gift old works team). It was only the cold that woke me up occasionally but it seemed so natural sleeping out under the stars in the middle of Africa, very primitive.

Took it in turns for sentry duty, we were in pairs keeping an eye on one end of the camp each.

Armed with the spotlight, a cup of tea and a rusk Rom and I had the graveyard shift, 0200 – 0300.

The full moon made it easy to see things and also less intimidating. My senses were switched to overload which meant that the smallest of twigs breaking certainly got your attention.

There were a few calls in the night but they weren’t the only noises, Group 7e can snore, a few individuals in particular.

The hour soon went and it was time to wake Annalise and Melissa for the next shift, then add some wood to the fire and put the kettle on so they could have a hot drink.