So onto Addo Elephant Park…much more sedate and civilised!
We had a lecture on managing the 600+ elephants on the reserve and then we nearly saw all of them…
Sarah and I shared our chalet with and had a visitor (a grey mongoose).
There were some gorgeous sunsets and birds
And by no means least the vervet monkey….
The students got to meet the legendary, Hapoor (bite ear literally translated).
After a bit of drama at the one gate, we left Addo Elephant Park on our way to Amakhala Game Reserve (Woodbury Tented Camp) where the real work was going to start! But before reaching our destination, we had to make a pit stop at the Nanaga Farm Stall…the place of all things good! I purchased some koeksisters (I had already given the students a taster of these delicious totally coma-inducing bundles of sugary goodness), melktert (milk tart – a South African dessert or tea time snack), beef and kudu biltong (dried meat), droerwors (dried sausage) and chilli bites (thin pieces of dried meat coated in chilli powder). I had to introduce them to some of my typical South African foods that I grew up consuming. We also had to get the famous (well in South Africa) Nanaga pies or rooster koek with different fillings for our lunch.
Our time at Woodbury Tented Camp was as good this year as last year. We were welcomed as family by Jenn and Giles Gush (owners of the Camp) as well as our favourite guides from 2016 Jason and Simone Smith, plus all the staff that catered for us during our stay. The company and food was exceptional and very welcoming to the point where none of us wanted to leave when it came to the day we were leaving! I am not going to go into what we did every day as the students had already told you much of that so I am going to just put some of my favourite memories (photos) from our stay…
Rhino procedure day – unfortunately due to poaching we could not post photos of the procedure as there are many ways for ‘poachers’ to trace the rhino but this is the elated group after the rhino has recovered and moved off:
Some community work during World Environment Day and the Charity 8km run/walk (collecting money for ‘Coaching for Conservation’)
World Environment day is about bringing children from different local schools and educating them about wildlife and conservation of our animals:
Can you guess what we are doing?
We also did some work (only a few extras there are many examples through the other blogs):
From this to this . Ooh it’s nice and warm!
This is how to set up and test camera traps… and we even set up a camera trap at a ‘giraffe birthing station’
More work on how to do vegetation analysis:
but totally oblivious to what’s behind them… What can you see?
Getting to know reptiles:
A missing link last year:
Another exciting animal sighting – (at tent 5)
Some animal humour…how did the waterbuck gets its white ring and the hyena its laugh? (No giving it away AWE 2016/2017)
Downtime included some soccer, horse-riding and some meaningful discussions
Our final day after all the work was done was spent at Kenton-on-Sea at the beach. It was a bit blustery but that didn’t put us off as we took a walk along the beach, around the rocks and over the rocks to one of my favourite places growing up…carriage rock
and we left our mark !!
Well I think that is about all from me…I hope this wasn’t too long winded…I am told I like to chat! Thank you for reading this and hopefully it shows how much I enjoyed being with this incredible group of people and aided in their thirst for knowledge into African Wildlife Ecology.
A huge big thank you needs to go to our intrepid Prof. Dan Parker of Rhodes University & University of Umpumalanga for his expertise and knowledge and his sense of sometimes misplaced humour plus missing his son’s birthday party! A big thank you to Sarah Gatti-Yorke, without you this trip would not have been so good!