Wow – I survived already almost 4 weeks in Selati. Yes SURVIVED is the right word… My storys about my first week, seem now like an appetizer. What I have learned, encountered and experienced in the last few weeks is just crazy, amazing and sometimes unbelievable. No day is like the other… And if I would tell you about every single sighting of an animal or learning about a tree – this blog would never end. So I will try and give you like a little taste of the main course that I am just eating and trying to digest at the moment. So just hop on on the vehicle and Enjoy your first Safari with Ranger Ninja 😉 .
Good Morning everyone, I am Ninja and your Guide for today. I hope you are all as excited as I am to go on this amazing Game Drive through the Storys of my weeks spent in Selati. First of all I would like to point out some safety rules for this trip:
Please stay at all time seated – even if the Storys „blow you from the chair“,
Smoking and Drinking is allowed but please no littering. Nature, whereever you are right now reading this – needs responsible people who won’t litter. Nature is too beautiful to destroy it.
Hold on to your important things, as my english writing skills can get quite bumpy and your eyes may fall out just from all the errors you see.
Hopefully my storys are interesting enough so you won’t need any breaks – but if you are in desperate need of using the toilet – just let me know and will ensure you a safe bathroom.
Most important thing: I need you guys – please keep your eyes open and read it carefully, listen to what I am saying and try to learn something from it. So – if you are Ready let’ts hop on the Range Rover and let’s gooo…
4.45 O’Clock: Alarm Clock goes off. Cold air floats throught my lungs. In my sleeping bag I feel much more comfortable than going out into the cold.
5.00 O Clock: „Good Morning“ – here gomes the Duty Team. Every now and then you are on Duty team – which means: Waking everyone up, preparing coffee and tea, helping with the meals amd presenting them in a funny entertainimg way and some other stuff.
5.30 O’Clock: Tea & Coffe: Half asleep I am „slurpping“ a tea to wake up and get warm. Preparing for the day ahead. Not knowing what will come around. Well we always have a plan for the day – but most of the time, plans are getting disturbed by the unpredictable wildlife of SA. Sometimes we plan on going out for a 2 hour drive and ending up 4 hours of tracking a lion on foot. Or we are planing on going on a 6 hour walk and hope for many animal encounters and well ok – we still gonna walk 6 hours but sometimes 6 hours without even seeing a single animal.
But somehow – I like it – I like to just go out and be faced with wathever nature will show you today. It relaxes, makes the day unpredictable and you Enjoy every moment for what it is. Taking hour after hour. If we find a lion on our way home to the camp 5 minutes out – we won’t say… oh well breakfast at 10 see you later lion. No, we going to appreciate that we now see the lion and that we can learn now something from him. Breakfast can wait.
Anyway back to the road. 6 O’Clock: Everyone in the car? Yes. Everyone everything packed? More or less. Everyone awake? Not so much. From the second week on, we, the students are in charge of the drives. You drive and guide your collegues through the bush and you try talk about everything that we already heard 100 times as enthusiastic as possible. And let me tell you something – driving in the bush – isn’t as easy as it seems but it is as fun as you think. 🙂
Radio: Good Morning all stations, this is Ninja from EcoTraining going mobile towards HQ Weir. Yes Radio procedures is as well a must to learn.
How is everyone doing so far? Enough interesting? If not let me tell you about a few really cool animal encounters. We were staying in the middle of an elephant herd. One younger bull suddenly got interested in us.. and came Closer an d Closer… he stood there and opened his ears to hear everyhing coming from us… his trunk smelling all the smells… we were just sitting and observing his behaviour. At one point he wanted to come too close and our guide just started the engine of the car and the elephant had enough. I didn’t know then, that this was only one of many close encounters with elephants. In the last few weeks we spent some times looking at elephants and learning about their behaviour.
Sometimes we drive sometimes we walk. When we walk it is always: Single-Lined, no noise and no talking, 2 guides in the front with riffles and always tracking and listening and looking around if we can find something. Well the bush definatly knows how to defend himself and how to leave a massive impression on me behind. My legs are loooking horrible. But the walks are the best.. It is exactly when I feel like being in the real bush. Vulnerabel and ready for anything to happen. And yess it really can happen anything at anytime. One time we just walked already for 3hours not seeing anything… and suddenly while talking about an elephant dung we realised we are staying in the middle of a lion pride. Because left and right we heard grummels and bäm next thing they run off… and yes we tried to find them again for another 2 Hours. 5 Hours of walk for 2 sec of a lion sighting – and yes it was worrth it.
After lecture we have some free time… until 2.30 O Clock. Freetime means: Learning other stuff… like bird identification, bird calls, Trees and filling out workbooks. Sometimes you also can use the time for a shower or washing your close. And of course if you Need a break .- there is Always someone who wants to chat or Play some volleyball. But I tell you – time flyes by… and those workbooks get blanker and blanker and the bird calls get harder and harder.
Well most of time we are back from our drive between 10 and 12 O Clock and it’s breakfast time. Crazy isn’t it? Sometimes we already spent like 6h in the bush and we are just starting the day. It feels pretty amazing but also it is tyring. After breakfast it’s time to learn some theory. Most of the time we have 1-2h lecture. Well don’t forget, we have first to fill out our logbook – where we have to write down all of our Hours in the bush, what we saw, what we have learnt, when where and with whom. So far i have about 80 hours of Bush-Time already. Before lecture starts, first Thing: A test about the last lecture. about 10 Questions multiple choice. Lectures are always interesting but also a loooot to learn. So far we covered topics from Geology, Ecology, Animal Behaviour, Grasses, Plants, Mammals Bioms etc.
What really amazing is… is that you can sit outside – listen to your surroundings and hear maybe a bird calling… bäm learn it. Or you can walk around the camp and try to identify the trees and leaf structure. Or you can look at the Giraffe feeding on a Knobthorn. In the morning you can look outside your tent on the path and see what kind of tracks aka animals just walked by last night. You can look into the river bed – what kind of rocks can you find there? And in the night – just look up and learn all the different star-signs.
Even though it is a lot to learn – everything I learn accompanies me every day. Everyrthing I learn, gives me more understanding of how the nature and ecosystems functions.
So ladys and gentleman. I think I found a nice spot to just have a Little coffee break… to get some energy into our bodys and I will continue with some more storys and the second half of a „normal“ day in the bush.