September 26, 2013

BUSH TELEGRAPH: YOU HAVE TO SEE FOR YOURSELF – DAMARALAND, NAMIBIA


EcoTraining instructor Mark Gunn is continuing his travels through Namibia whilst sharing and imparting his knowledge. This of course is all part and parcel of our commitment to guiding excellence throughout Africa. And striking up partnership with various companies across the continent, is just one way we are doing it, thus widening the base of knowledge and ensuring the future of nature guiding.

Mark shares his diary:


Day 3

We went up to the main lodge this morning. A 21km game drive, lovely scenery. The students had a tour through the lodge to see front of house and back of house activities etc. We then headed back for lunch after a stop at the airstrip for an E.T. moment. (Phone home…)
We decided to try and find the lions. They are tracked by satellite, so we headed downstream. The Huab River is, well, not a river all the time. There is some water but only in places, very few places. We did some real 4X4 driving. This terrain lends itself to this activity, and what fun! All manoeuvres and techniques were explained. The extended Landy is not a joke to drive. Our expedition was thwarted by a section of road 50m long that was too angled for this huge vehicle. We did however get some good terrain crossing practice in.
It was a very good day. Everyone is highly motivated.


Day 4

Drove to the Slangkop farm this morning. This is an old farm that has a spring. We encountered a desert elephant and followed him for the trip to the spring. A slow approach and gentle manoeuvring got us really close. We had a great time watching him drink and then splash mud all over himself. A lonely patriarch of this harsh environment. Adjectives can never do justice to this land. The only way to appreciate it is to get yourself up here and see for yourself.


Day 5

A long drive this morning took us via Krone Pos to Springfontein. An exciting place for its trees, restiods and geology. While we were adding three more trees to our list we saw a flock of rosy faced parakeets, what a pretty sight. We scrambled about 80 meters down the slope into the canyon and back up to the vehicle. The Hartmann’s mountain zebra use this trail to get to the water up top from the valley floor below. We found rhino markings at the bottom. A long drive took us to the workshop at D camp to fix the bearings on the left front wheel and the break pins on the right front wheels. A good lesson all round for the students. The conversation around the fire is going strong while I write this. Dinner is under construction. The thick down duvet on my bed is getting more and more inviting. A good day. 


Day 6

Hillary took us on a long drive to poacher’s camp via the village of Bergsig. Fantastic scenery, three black rhino, giraffe, oryx, kudu, steenbok and springbok all added up to make a great drive. One section of the road was too rough for Hillary’s style of driving so I took over and got the truck up the hill. We are all tired and looking forward to a good dinner.


(Thanks for sharing Mark!)
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