Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Namibia - 7th time lucky

Here's the latest blog after a really fun 6 weeks with EHRA in Namibia. It was my 7th trip out there so you might say I have a little obsession with the place. The purpose of this trip was to work with Rachel and update the website I had created for them 4 years ago (which we're hoping to relaunch in the next few days). I also got to spend a few much-needed weeks living out in the bush, sleeping under the stars and cooking over the fire.

In early November after a 22 hour journey, I reunited with Chris (the project manager) and spend my first 2 weeks with the volunteers - 3 lovely ladies from the UK and one from the US. After a few tough and hot days (38C), we got pretty close to finishing a wall around a water pump at a farm near Khorixas during the first week. We even had elephants come to drink from the dam right beside the pump one night, as if to prove a point that a wall was needed to protect the pump while still allowing the elephants to drink. The second week we headed up to the Huab river (one of my favourite areas) and we tracked a couple of herds up there. We even heard lions roaring one night quite close to camp, a little unnerving but also very exciting.

I spent the next few weeks back in Swakopmund working on the website with Rachel at EHRA's head office and helping a little with the slideshows for the end of year party in the desert. If you want to know more about what attracts me there, check these out!

EHRA the beginning -

The last year 2013 -

While I was in the office the new batch volunteers finished off the wall in Khorixas. The volunteers included Robby from Zimbabwe. She was out volunteering 2 years ago when I was last there. The rest of the volunteers (3 girls and a guy) were from the UK, Switzerland, Germany and Brazil. Matheus, the Brazilian even gave us girls samba lessons one night around the fire. Following the end of year party (which was almost rained out), I stayed out in the bush with the volunteers and joined them for their 2nd week which was for elephant patrol. This time we drove to the Ugab river first to check out the herds there, and then headed back towards the Huab river. We saw 4 different herds in total and I'm happy to say I can recognise some of the elephants now :) 

We had a fantastic patrol, as well as elephants we saw a lot of game such as oryx, kudu, springbok, steenbok, ostrich, zebra, giraffe and a couple of black rhino. I even got to drive in the sandy riverbed, my first proper 4x4 experience. At the end of the week, on the Thursday night before we headed back to town, I noticed there were a lot more shooting stars than normal, about 2-3 every min. Turns out it was the beginning of a meteor shower. What a lovely way to end the trip. As always it all went too quick so no doubt there'll be a 8th, 9th, 10th trip out there in the future. And if any of you ever want to join  me, let me know!

Things I'll miss about Namibia:
- waking up to birds (as loud as they can be sometimes, its so much better than an alarm)
- sleeping under the stars and not closing my eyes till I see at least one shooting star or satellite passing overhead, I'm not usually waiting long
- cooking over the fire and my hair and clothes smelling like campfire
- feeling low maintenance and not worrying about what we all look (or smell) like, although some smell more than others :)
- watching animals in their natural habitat
- learning something new from Chris or Mattius every day
- sunsets and sunrises
- meeting new like-minded people
- Willy the one eyed camp dog who I totally fell in love with and I like to think he did with me too. So nice after losing sweet Tobes in August
- the whole EHRA family - Rachel, Joe, Chris, Mattius, Victro, Adolf. And all the dogs of course - Kiki, Zanzi, Zulu and Tsaurab who liked to nap on my bed.

Another wonderful set of memories to get me through the winter. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!



Post a Comment