Me-time, at last. End of week four. I was really looking forward to be alone, time to think, enjoy nature and just be….Alone.. I was dropped off at a spot called Klipgat, proberly the most beautiful spot on Amakhala Game Reserve! It is difficult to describe this paradise spot, it has a waterfall, a pan and gorgeous cliffs surround the pan and waterfall. It is a place of peace, a place the elephants usually hide out on a hot day, a place where 100’s birds call and swoop, enjoying the coolness of the water and shade. It is like something that you would see on TV, a beautiful spot – paradise and this is where I had the privledge of being for 24 hours.
Sarah and Jandre gave us all stricket instructions – do not lie out in the open and do not find yourself anywhere that your escape route is blocked (like the bottom of the cliffs) – those things are just looking for trouble! So I made sure to find myself a safe spot in the cliffs.
I filmed a Black-headed Oriole, in Afrikaans a Swartkopwielewaal. It’s related to the European Wielewaal, in Dutch that is. A beautiful bright yellow one amongst the grey-brown-black European birds.Why on earth did evolution plan a yellow marker on a continent filled with grey, black and brown….. questions like this and others filled my mind and I made notes to ensure I could bombard the trainers with questions, once back at camp.
Anyway. Back to me-time. I just climbed almost to the highest rock of Klipgatcanyon. Thereward is an almost 360-vieuw of Amhakhala – it is just amazing. The price is a nasty steep climb with thorny schrubberies everywhere. And with limited watersupplies it might be a bit stupid to climb in the midst of day,but hey who wants to waste time while being in heaven!
The shadow catches the sun early in this ridge so I find my warm sleepingbag before it’s really pitchblack. Night settles in and Ienjoy the sounds of crickets, frogs all around me and in the distance the call of the zebra….
I made it through the night and was awoken early with loud barking baboons (pretty much right in my ear!), quiet an interesting way to wake up. Slept like a baby out in the bush and it was awesome.
Jandre and the rest of the students picked me up and it was great to hear the others had a good, interesting time as well. Back at camp we were welcomed by delicious home made burgers (thanks Sarah) and ended off with a choclate cake for Tomoko’s birthday! (Happy Birthday Tomoko:)
So a leopard did not get me, I had the most amazing 24 hours in the bush and ended off an awesome week around a big bonfire, sharing experiences with my fellow students. Yes life at Ulovane is good!
- A dutch mountaineer… (Marc)