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Anja’s Travel Diary

Monday, 03 Oct 2005

Location: Alicedale/Shamwari, South Africa

MapWOW! First day at work! Got up bright & early (6am) to go running! I must be mad... Got straight off after breakfast as we had an appointment with Johann, the vet here at Shamwari. Unfortunately we were a little late for our appointment as we kept bumping into wildlife along the way & it would be rude not to stop! Johann is one of the most respected wildlife vets around so it was fantastic to meet him. After messing around with the darting gun he calmly informed us that we would need to help him dart a lioness in the next week or so who needs a new radio collar fitted & that he also needed help darting & moving some rhino! Just another day in the bush then...!
We went off to meet the local residents in the breeding pens - very rare ground hornbills. After a quick taste of our fingers we were sent off to help on the reserve. The rangers had started bush fires to burn away unwanted vegetation but the wind had changed direction & so the fire was going the wrong way! Well, I always did like firemen! 3 hours later - hot, sooty & knackered - the fire was under control & we went for a well earned lunch!
Game drive this afternoon. The big project here is the releasing of Wild Dog back into their natural habitat. Low & behold 300 metres from the gates we came across a pack of 11, including cubs. They were very relaxed & let us get right up close to get some great photos. We also saw elephant, warthog, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, yellow mongoose, al sorts of antelope & various birds of prey! What a great first day!
I'll sign off now as we're off to the pub to drink Smeagals Bo%&oks!!
It's very nice despite the name!!