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Bye-bye for now!

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Anonymous's picture
Bye-bye for now!

I am leaving for SA in the morning!

I will be staying in Pretoria (with my friend Antorika) for a few days, visiting the De Wildt Cheetah rehab centre with Essie - and, hopefully, spending a day at the Wildlifecampus HQ......

After which I will be flying to Capetown to visit Penni, Leon, Peter Braat and Quinton (Cape Leopard Trust) to visit Hermanus and then visiting my CLT sponsored Anatolian Shepherd Dogs in the Cederbergs.

I will be away for 2 weeks but I will try to get online during my trip to post a 'diary' of my stay in SA


Anonymous's picture

"Tabs" wrote:
I don't know if I will get online in Capetown but if so I will post again here.

As an aside, the temperature here is +/- 32 degrees *phew* and I am taking cold showers whenever possible!

I did not manage to get online during the 2nd half of my visit - and have been so busy catching up at work since then that I have not had time to post the rest of my diary.

However..... here it is!

I flew to Capetown to be met by Quinto Martins of the Cape Leopard Trust who was to deliver me to Grabouw in the Elgin Valley, to meet up with penni.
I had decided to hire a car as I did not want to be dependent upon penni and I planned to visit other places during my stay.
I was a bit scared of driving in a 'foreign country' never having done it before, but it was much easier than I anticipated, especially as they drive on the left in SA, as we do in the UK.

I spent 4 days with penni, exploring the area, and one night with Leon at Hermanus.
We went to the coast and watched the birds and walked around her farm, stopping at the dam to chill and chat.
Some of the farmworkers children followed us, laughing and chattering all the way!
Penni and I found a fantastic area - totally wild and uninhabited - surrounding the local water pumping station and dam. We found a lovely brook with frogs and tadpoles and some nice birdlife. It was surrounded by plants and flowers - we had to watch where we stepped in case there were puff-adders hiding in the vegetation!

In Hermanus I strolled along the beach, took pictures of the birds and the dassies and spent a wonderful hour browsing the local craft market where I bought some gifts for my Nursery children and a skirt for myself.

I then drove back into apetown (I only got lost once!) to the B&B where I was to stay that night - the night of the Cape Leopard Trust fundraiser.

The evening was fantastic, the CLT raised lots of money - money which is vital if their research, and conservation efforts, into the leopards is to continue!

The following day I drove, with Sarah who is doing research into the dassie population in the cederbergs (this is important as Dassies constitute a large proportion of the leopards diet there), to Paternoster Beach Camp..... Quinton was to join us later in the evening.

The Beach Camp consists of small 2-bedded tents and a tented bar and kitchen/dining area and is situated (literally) a few feet from the sea!
The toilets are 'long-drop' but they also have showers and a place to wash hands and brush teeth! It was possibly the most peaceful and beautiful place that I have ever visited, apart from the Eco-Training camps that I have been to.

I spent most of my time there walking the surrounding tracks looking for birds and other small animals (I managed a few 'lifers') and sleeping!

We had a bit of excitement one evening when one of the staff found a scorpion sitting under the door of the gent's toilet - she caught it in a mug and we then looked it up in the field guide. It was one of the most dangerous of scorpions found in the Western Cape - Parabuthus capensis - and it was very lucky that it was found before anyone stepped on it!

Quinton was, ultimately, unable to join us in Paternoster as he received a message that a female leopard, which he had recently collared with a GPS tacking device, was caught in a gin-trap!
He rushed back to the Cederbergs but, although the vet only needed to amputate one of her toes, she was found to have a large cyst on her head and was not coming round from the anaesthetic as expected..... and was very sick. I am still waiting to hear whether she survived or not Sad

I drove back to Capetown (only got lost once on the way!) and then flew to Johannesburg and then home.

I can't wait for my next adventure in Africa!

Anonymous's picture

:oops: Ha! Just spotted one of your latest posts...and I see that you are no longer in SA. That'll teach me for not looking about the Boma a bit more! Hope you had a fab time and go steady on the re-acclimatising.... don't rush it now! Laughing out loud

Anonymous's picture

"Fani" wrote:
Maybe it isn't only a muscle...My last trip before 6-7 years ended with such a way...And since then I have never travelled again....and maybe never in future...

How awful Fani, so sorry to hear that. I hope, that if it's what you want, you get to travel again someday in the future. Best wishes.

Anonymous's picture

Are you back yet Tabs or still in our favourite continent? Thanx for posting a brief resume of your trip, it's such a shame about your back - hope it hasn't curtailed your African exploring and experiences too much and certainly hope it's much better now.
Would love to hear more...... Laughing out loud

Fani's picture
Joined: Feb 18 2006

Aaaaa It is terrible Tabs...so sorry for this...I can understand very well...Please take care yourself...Maybe it isn't only a muscle...My last trip before 6-7 years ended with such a way...And since then I have never travelled again....and maybe never in future...So please take care yourself....

Anonymous's picture

I arrived safely in Joburg to be met by Antorika (ex-africam) with whom I am staying whilst in Pretoria.

We had a great evening, reminiscing and drinking some great SA wine BUT...... on the journey I had managed to put my back out rather badly and was not able to sit or stand without help!

However, Ant and her friend, Lorraine, had medications and a hot-pad which helped Smiling

The following day, Essie collected me and we went to the dewildt/shingwezi cheetah centre for 2 nights - wow! - what an amazing place. Essie also booked a Game Drive for me at a nearby (yes, 30kms is nearby in SA) Game Farm and I was fortunate to see lots of antelope, birds etc and even a herd of 10 ellies!

At dewildt we were taken to feed the cheetahs, wild dogs, small cats and vultures but, the best thing about the stay was our cottage - it was beautiful, in a great setting, isolated, very quiet AND we got to see 2 giant plated lizards which live among the rocks next to our stoop. Unfortunately we did not get any pics of them Sad

On our return Essies brother Hilton, who I have met in London and SA, brought his kids over to see me - I was in Kruger with his young daughter Tammy, and Essie, a couple of years ago and saw her again last year. Tammy's ambition (at the moment, aged about 13) is to be a game ranger - she knows about as much as I do about birds and can spot animals very well.

Yesterday (weds) I spent the day at Antorika's house trying to rest my sore back and watching/listening to the birds in her garden! I think I have pulled a muscle or something..... whatever...

Today I spent most of the day hobbling around, shopping and getting totally lost (those who know me also know that I have absolutely no sense of direction!) in the - somewhat large - Menlyn shopping centre in PTA; and afterwards Essie brought Tammy and Brett over to the house to collect Brett's birthday pressy from me - it is his 11th Birthday today - and a little gift for Tammy of course.

I haven't decided what to do tomorrow yet - it all depends upon what time (if) I wake up as Antorika gave me a muscle relaxant injection in my b*tt tonight to help my back pain - for all I know she could have been injecting me with M99!!! If you don't know what M99 is Google it :twisted:

Tomorrow evening I will be going to a family party at Essie's for Brett's birthday - and then I will be leaving for Capetown early on Saturday to meet up with Quinton from the Cape Leopard Trust (Leopard cam) Leon, Penni and, hopefully, Peter Braat.

I had hoped to spend a few days at Nkorho during my time in PTA but, unfortunately, I could not manage to contact them in time before I left, for some reason :cry:

I don't know if I will get online in Capetown but if so I will post again here.

As an aside, the temperature here is +/- 32 degrees *phew* and I am taking cold showers whenever possible!

Anonymous's picture

Have a great trip Tabs ! Say hi to everyone from me !

Anonymous's picture

"Ingwe" wrote:
Pleeeze Tabs, When you get back home can you post pics from De Wildt?

Have a fabulous time :mrgreen:

I don't 'do' posting pics here (because I can never remember my log-in details on the pic sites - lol) but, if I send them to you maybe you can post them on my behalf?

Thanks for the sentiments - I will have a Fab time, if only because you have wished it for me!
Laughing out loud Laughing out loud Laughing out loud

Ingwe's picture
Joined: Mar 14 2006

Pleeeze Tabs,
When you get back home can you post pics from De Wildt?

Have a fabulous time :mrgreen:


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