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Anja’s Travel Diary

Wednesday, 19 Oct 2005

Location: Shamwari, South Africa

MapAnother one bites the dust! Woke up this morning to find Nat very under the weather. Luckily not another trip to hospital but she had to stay home in bed.
As Rach still not 100% it was just Brad & myself in the bakkie. Lots of room to spread out! We headed back down to Bayethe to catch the buffalo as they'd been seen this morning but didn't quite get there. The rest of the group were taking Scab the tortoise to see Johann the vet as he wasn't getting any better. We decided to join up with them as we wanted to see him in action (the vet not the tortoise!) & also to find out about the darting next week. He unfortunately doesn't hold out much hope for Scab but we now have antibiotics to try him on.
We'll be darting next Tuesday early - a female lion who needs a transmitter fitted. This is also being filmed for a programme on Animal Planet so hey, maybe I'll get to be a film star aswell?
We headed back to Bayethe to catch the buffalo but they'd disappeared as it's gotten really hot. Was a good drive though & a stick insect befriended me for a while. Bless!
After lunch we watched a film about 'lion canning'. This is where lions are farmed to be held in an enclosure & shot by big fat rich men as trophies. I can't print my feelings on the subject as they'd probably close my website down. Needless to say we had quite a discussion afterwards!
This took most of the afternoon but we still had time to get out & collect a bakkie full of rocks for the soil erosion project. And yes I had to sit on them on the drive back. The conclusion is that they're no way near as comfy as barbed wire.....
We went on a night drive with Anja (the ranger - not me!) after dinner. Left about 7.30pm to see what we could find. And what a night it turned out to be! First up came owl & hare followed by white rhino snoring in the night! This was closely followed by brown hyena, various antelope, black-backed jackal & all sorts of things that go bump in the night... We stopped off for coffee on the ridge & after scanning the surrounding area for shining eyes decided we were safe & that what we could see was waterbuck! So, boiled the water, settled down on the grass & munched chocolate when suddenly one of those shiny eyed waterbuck let out a roar... Yes, they were lions - the 2 sub-adults! I've never seen anyone move so quickly as Anja! With various expletives she told us to get into the landie as quickly as possible but believe me we didn't need telling! And we went off to take a closer look. Wow, they looked fab in the torch light - and also very big with good canines! We started the drive back & came across a black rhino in a hurry. Luckily he wasn't running at us. All in all it was a good night but I was definitely ready for bed at midnight when we got back. So much for an early night.......