For our last few days the rhinos have been appearing for most of the groups, standing very close to one of the routes to a main waterhole. They are very calm and a joy to observe as we head out to our respective jobs. The elephants have also moved closer to camp and continue to entertain us with their disappearing acts. They have been observed eating and trying to knock down trees and have often been seen travelling on the tracks for some distance before walking into the bushes and vanishing.
We have seen quite a few juveniles of several species during this last week, the new-borns arriving with the spring here. There is a four-day old giraffe, several baby oryx that look like little fluffy cows (although I’m told that their distinctive long straight horns grow very quickly) and we came across a very calm sable antelope with three young on Wednesday. The acacia bushes are coming more into bloom and with the warm weather the spring smells are wafting over the savannah now. Flipflops around camp are becoming fashionable with a growing feeling that the cold has really gone for this year.
As the end of this slot approached a bottle of whisky appeared from John’s bag and the last three nights have produced an increasing number of tasters each time. We even managed to stay up past 22:00 on Wednesday night, pretty much unheard of due to the early mornings, fresh air and early darkness (06:00) in these parts. For our last evening we all headed out to find the ancient rock art that is marked on our maps as a little way NE of base. We had a wonderful drive as the sun was beginning to set and spent a relaxed half hour with the rhinos before heading up the slope to the East. We stopped in what we thought was the right spot, but only found a rare example of ancient Namibian invisible art. After some serious searching we gave up and had a sun-downer whilst Kristina gave us a summary of the work that has been done here. We all got back in the Land Rovers and headed back only to be stopped after a few minutes by Kristina declaring that we were at the right spot – after a very short search we found a fabulous drawing of an oryx and some hunters, well worth it. A shooting star lit our way home and the evening finished with Joerg giving us a great summary of the elephant research that had been done.
Many thanks to all in slot 2. It was a very memorable 2 weeks with some great work and lots of expedition spirit! I am heading home too so all the best to Jenny (Kraushaar) who will be taking over as expedition leader for the remainder of the expedition, and I hope that Kristina, Joerg, and the next teams have a wonderful and productive time.
Strategy Director & Expedition Leader