Sunday, October 23, 2011

Update of my blog on going.... be patient ;)

I'm adding my pictures and stories from my Africa trip here now... But it'll take some time... so please, be patient... I advice you to start with the oldest note and work you're way back to the present day. Then you'll get everything in the "right" order.

If you are only interested in the pictures, have a look at the pics to the right here.

Hope you enjoy! (I did)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Day 6 - Game Ranger course - First walk in the wild!

On the second day at the course we were going on a morning walk with Brian. We had to leave camp at 6.30am in order to use the light and not be out there in the mid day sun (which is soooo strong)

Sun rise at Palm Vlei

And here we are. Brian Kelly, out guide was walking as #1, then our instructor Ralf Kalwa (also with a rifle), then us students: Maureen, Andrew and me at the end. It was actually pretty exiting to be the end of the line... looked for lions, leopards and other preditors all the time. Didn't see any though... :( (but that actually felt a bit like a relief)

Walking through the fever tree forest, along the big river Limpopo. This pan is about to dry up (don't remember the name of it... if it has any?)

Some impalas ahead. Pretty hard to spot them in the grass. Good cover.

Our first leopard track! It had walked on the same path as we did now, but maybe just an hour before us. Imagine that!
I'm so impressed by the way Brian and Ralf spots everything. Tracks, animals, smells, signs of activity and just reading the environmet and reacting to it. Saw a small croc by Nlangaluwe pan and then some elands (biggest antilope in the world) in the far distance. I'm stunned! This is life!

 When we got back to camp, it was time for some proper breakfast!! Man I was hungry. We walked for about 3 hours without anything els than coffee and rusks (skorpor) in out stomachs.
Look at this breakfast! They served this every day! Yummie!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Day 5 - Game Ranger - Rhino capture

Let the adventure begin!

The drums (wake up call) went off at 6 am, then we had some coffee and rusks ("müsli skorpor"). To be honest, I hadn't sleept that good during the night. Heard a lot of noises which made it a bit hard to relax... I was convinced that it was something big, aggresive and meat eating animal outside our tent during the night. I could hear a lot of barking. Thought it was baboon and was afraid that they was about to enter the tent!!!
But in the morning (or during the day) I found out that it was the impalas!!! hahaha We got shit scared of impalas! very funny!
But after laughing a lot and a few cups of coffe we started to get a bit warmer (it was only 3-4 degrees in the morning) and was able to start the lecture, about 7am. But we just got started with the introduction, when Brian (one of the guides) came running. Telling us to pack our bags and a lot of water to drink. We were going to join the Kruger Vet (Marcus) and Sections Ranger (Sandra) when they were going to anesthetize and tag some of the rhinos. Yay!! So we left the books and headed of in the jeeps.
Study deck (also used as dining and dance area)
We headed of to Palms Spring (an area where the rhinos usually are) and talked to one of the trackers that was waiting for the chopper (with the vet and section ranger).

But the chopper got delayed in Mosambuiqe, so we had to stay out here in the heat for 4 hours. Used the time to talk about the area, identify some trees, talket about archaeology and got to know each other a bit.

 We were only 3 students in the Game Ranger course but there was another course (Conservation course) joining as well, from Botswana and a film crew that was following Brian and doing a documentory about his life.

Finaly!! the chopper arrived

 And out came Sandra (Section ranger) and then the chopper headed off again, to go and put down the rhinos that the trackers had found further on.

The film crew is doing an interview with Brian while he's driving. 
He's explaining why we need to follow and stay close by.
Second car is following too. Driven by Daniella

Here it is! At least one of them. This is the cow.You can also see the film crew, Sections Ranger Sandra and Vet Marcus back. 

Sandra is taking some blod samples from the cow's ear to check healt status. They also took some tissue samples for DNA tracing.
One of the trackes with the rhino bull

 Marus is explaining why they are tagging the rhinos ears
And then, when we where ready, he did a full description of what happened and why.
And off they whent!

And in the afternoon, we went on a drive (Brian is driving, our Instructor Ralf sat next to him and the girl  (just forgot her name :() from the film crew up front in the tracker seat) to Mangeba lookout where we wathced the sun go down by the Limpopo river! And as soon as the sun had set we heard leopard just behind us! Cool and scary, because it was pretty dark when we heard it.
 Took a quick shower after the night drive, listening to the hyenas howling close to camp! Soooo cool sound! I'll try to record it for you! But wow, what a first day ey?!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Day 4 - Game Ranger course 14 days (22/7-4/8) - Arriving at camp

And here we go. Into the wilderness! Punda Maria gate (one of the gates to Kruger National Park)
Makuleke camp. My tent for this week was the one to the left #1.
I shared tent with Maureen (the other student in this course). My bed is the one to the right, with the mosquito net (I'm always sleeping with a net now, after my experience in Nice with rats, spiders and scorpions in the bed)
Nice panorama view! A bit old when it was windy though
Our bathroom! Very fancy for a tent!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Day 1-3 - On my way down there...

Finaly, time to begin my adventure!!!
The flight down to Johannesburg took about 15 hours, incl a connecting flight in Amsterdam. I left Landvetter at 6.40 am on the 19/7.
I stayed at a hostel close to the airport (Emerald guest house) since I arrived at 11 pm that Tuesday night. It was a nice place but freeeeezing cold in J-borg!!! It couldn't have been more than 3-4 degrees! I slept in my long johns and a extra blancet. This is the room I had (door to the left). Forgot to take a pic of the inside...:
 Dining area
 Breakfast (notice that I'm drinking coffee!)

Small pool just outside the dining area (almost fell into that pool when I arrived the first night, since it was pitch dark and they parked the tranfer bus just next to it!)

 A bigger pool in the backyard (I did not swim in might not look cold but it was freezing. They had snow 1-2 weeks later)
On the 21/7 it was time for me to go to Neilspruit, were Andrew (one of the students in the Game Ranger course) where suppose to pic me up on the 22nd and then drive to Makuleke Camp up north. I had booked a bus ticket with City Bug. I hade some trouble to pay the ticket, but I arranged that when I jumped on the bus at the airport. The ticket price was 350 Rand (=350 sek) for a 4 hour trip.
Just some funny info in the inside of the bus...the most important part (that you are more than welcome to tip the driver, is almost bigger that the safety info)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

It all started as a dream.... but now I'm actually going to to the true wilderness of Africa!

My booking has finaly been confirmed! I'm now gladly able to let you know that my next trip will be to South Africa, for 8 lovely weeks this summer (their winter)!!!

The purpose of this trip is to attend some field guide courses in the famous and fantastic Kruger park and learn about the daily work to preserv the park, how to guide tourists and the most exiting thing of all: learn how to track wild animals!

These courses are provided by Eco training and in this map you can see the locations of their camps.

This is my schedule for the trip:

- 19/7 Flight from Göteborg (at 06:20) to Johannesbourg, via Amsterdam (KLM flight)
- 19/7 15 hours later, arriving in Johannesburg airport at 21:20
- 19/7-21/7 Staying at Emerald Guest house, in Johannesburg
- 21/7 City bug bus from JHB to Nelspruit.
- 21/7-22/7 Staying av the Mecure Inn hotel in Nelspruit for one night
- 22/7 Car to Makuleke camp
- 22/7 The 14 day long Game Ranger course starts at 2 pm
- 28/7 Change location to Karongwe camp
- 3/8 The end of the Game Ranger course.
- 3-6/8 Vacation/free time! So far, no plans.
- 6/8 The 28 days long Trail guide course starts, we will be staying at Makuleke camp
- 8/9 End of the second course. 7 hour long bus trip from the camp to the airport in Johannesbourg
- 8/9 Flight from Johannesburg at 23:20 to Göteborg via Amsterdam (KLM flight)
- 9/9 Arriving by plan at 12:05 in Landvetter

- 12/9 Back to work....