So, then end of my stay at Kwa Tuli is almost here: I leave for South Africa on Monday.
Its been a great 6 weeks – lots of animals and some great people (including Trigger, I guess ;^))
the weather has dried but also got colder as winter arrives – the good news is we see herds of ellies daily now – and we get charged on a pretty regular basis too! We’re also getting the ellies in the camp at night now…which is OK so far (its unlikely they squash ourt tents…I’m told)
saw my first snake (a puff adder) yesterday …not sure how the guide knew the sexuality preference, but heyho! quite a few Wildebeest lately and more raptors too.
on the way to town today to get spare for the Landie which is broken at the mo, we saw a donkey carcass at the side of the road getting demolished by about 50 vultures…nice. then the engine on the Hi-lux just about failed too (a main bearing has picked up so its DAMNED noisy now!)…maybe the vehicles dont want me to leave???
well, this is my 2nd visit to town (3 hr drive today) so heres a bit of an update:
we are located at 22.39857 degrees South, 28.95346 degrees East. About 1km inside the Botswana/South Africa border
the camp is a permanent fixture on the banks of the Limpopo river – there are 6 ex-army tents all on 2ft thick concrete bases, then theres a concrete kitchen, concrete scullery and a thatched boma bbq (braai) area for chilling
every day except Sunday we drive around the conservation area either doing game counts or monitoring specific animals. We also spend a lot of time trying to spot leopards!
…basically, the conservation area is unfenced (unlike most game reserves) so the animals wander thru as the like and are ‘proper wild’ we see Impala, elephants (ellies) Kudu, warthogs, jackals, ostrich etc. on a daily basis as we drive around on a ‘safari LWB Landrover’
Ive had mixed pickings with photos but things are improving, pertickly as the rains have stopped now so othere are many more hers here (we have permanent water spings on the project)
Yesterday we saw a leopard (named George)..my FIRST!!! he was sitting on a koppie (rocky hill) watching us. Weve followed him and AJ and a female leopard LOADS of times, but they outsmart us each time…even when we did a night drive/sleepout to a carcass of a Kudu that AJ had just killed (nice maggots!)
its 30 degrees during the day, but down to 20 at night (its autumn/winter here) and very sunny all the time (one day I might show you my white bits). there were 10 sudents for my firt 2 weeks (mainly gap year 18 yr olds) but most have moved on now, so theres only 5 now with an average age of about 30 (from 18 to 39….Ive told everyone I’m 32)
I passed my tracker test, so I can sit in the hot seat on the bonnet of the Landie during drives, spotting the various animals (you wouldnt believe how hard it is to spot ellies at times…and a xouple of weeks ago we LOST a herd of about 30!!!! (no, it wasnt my fault!)
we get animals walking around our tents at night…whic is ….interesting – last night we had a single ellie just along from out tents – it wont be long before they are walking thru (which they have done in the past!)
We also drive to a nearby place called Lekkerpoet which has Cheetahs and Lions in it…again, LOADS of tracks but not spotted any yet
I cant begin to tell you how good Tuli is…if you have kids – send them (make sure THEY pay) or if you can afford the time, then come here!
photos at http://s116.photobucket.com/albums/o36/chuggys/botswana/