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.


sandra said...

What a wonderful opportunity to share with you in your fantastic trips Sue. Thank you for sharing this way, it really makes my day. Congratulations

Kate said...

A nice blog, Sue, and some great photos. A pleasure to be a "guest" on your last Garden Route/Cape Town trip - you helped make it really special.

Coral Wild said...

Thanks Sandra and Kate for stopping by and commenting.

Kate, it was a real pleasure meeting you and being able to show you our awesome country.

Joyful said...

Hi Sue, I had wondered where you went. I am a fan of all your wildlife photos but rest assured I will read whatever you wish to post. Your photos are always worth it and from what I've seen through blogs, your country has much to offer that is interesting. Glad to see you again :-)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sue - these will be wonderful posts to see - the changing seasons, and changing life along the southern coast and Kruger at times. Those 'boys' are stunning aren't they ... lovely photos too.

I just recently wrote about Burchell and his zebra ... people seem to love seeing different parts of the world ... and hearing some news - ancient or new ...

Cheers -enjoyed seeing the post pop up - Hilary

Coral Wild said...

Hello Penny, I'm glad you enjoy the photos so much. Hopefully they might inspire you to also visit South Africa next time you go to Kenya?

Hilary, thanks for the visit and comment. I will definitely be looking up your post on Burchell and his zebra :)

Gaelyn said...

Lucky you broadening your horizons. Addo is my second favorite safari park and I love the scenery along the Garden Route. Keep on sharing.

Diana said...

That makes lovely viewing, Sue. How fascinating to have a "new" career, good luck with it. We are never too old to expand our horizons! I look forward to more news and views. Diana.

Wispy said...

Hi Sue.
Good to catch up with your ever cheerful blog. Call in when you are next in PE. Ilse and I live in Protea street, Blue Horizon Bay. All the nest.

Coral Wild said...

Thanks Wispy - I will definitely pop in next time I'm passing thru.