Sunday, October 11

Not just a Safari Guide

By the end of last year it became more and more apparent that I needed to broaden my horizons, set myself new challenges and move further out of my "Kruger Safari Guide" comfort zone.

An interview or two later, I was on my first 12 day Garden Route to Cape Town tour as a "trainee". Since then I've completed four tours as the Tour Leader/driver and I have another three scheduled before the end of 2015.

In-between I've managed to do just enough safari guide work to keep myself happy on the "wildlife" front.

One of my excuses for having blogged so little this year was the uncertainty of how you, my faithful readers, would react to having less stories and photos of our amazing African wildlife and more on the spectacular landscapes, flowers and creatures of our southern Cape coast.......

The other excuse, I'm afraid, is that I have been so "tested" by the significant differences between what I was used to for the last 7 years, and the new type of tour I am doing, that I had little energy or motivation to focus on sharing with you via my blog.

Well, I hope that's changed now. I have a small but reasonable collection of photos taken whilst on tour and I'm beginning to feel a lot more comfortable about delivering what my guests expect - so now I'm a whole lot more motivated!!

To ease the transition from mostly blogging about the wildlife of Kruger I'm going to use this post to cover some of the more significant creatures we hope to see whilst on the Garden Route to Cape Town tour.

We start off in Addo Elephant Park and that of course implies that we will definitely see elephants. Fortunately we have on every trip so far, but we have struggled several times to get even one sighting!

What I found amazing is that we have seen the 2 young male lion (introduced from the Kalahari a few years ago) on every trip except one. They are such handsome boys too!

I do find it disorienting how lush and green Addo is at this time of the year - when Kruger is at it's most starkly barren.....

We've also see zebra, kudu, hartebeest, eland - and not an impala in sight!

Based on the large numbers of kudu that we have seen on the last four trips I would say they are Addo's equivalent of the impala (which is not native to this part of South Africa)

For the next few days, wildlife spotting is not a focus, but we see plenty of Rock Dassies and occasionally bush buck and baboons at Storms River.

And then of course we get to Hermanus, where from August to November, spotting Southern Right whales in Walker Bay is the most important objective!
On my September trip we saw whales but they were not very active. Last week we had a real show!

The 11th day of the tour takes us down to Cape Point, where in addition to the magnificent scenery we look out for ostrich, the endangered bontebok, eland, whales and dolphins. In September we had several Humpback whales swimming around the point - which was quite a rare sighting.

Then of course we return to Cape Town via Simonstown and the Boulders Beach Penguin Sanctuary.

One of the highlights of the whole trip for most of my guests!

I hope I've broken my posting drought with this entry. As I add to my photo database I will become more inspired and post more - if you are keen to see birds, flowers and landscapes......

Not to forget that I am still getting at least one Kruger safari every month and I will post more on those trips as well.