Monday, August 18, 2008

ENKOSINI (Means land of kings in zulu)

Firstly apologises for not putting anything on the last post. I had to spend most of my time sorting out my online banking. Last week my bank decided that it would be a good idea to send a text message to my mobile as part of the login process. They have never done this before and of course my phone’s battery was dead as a kudo. This meant that not only did I not get logged in but when I tried to access it this week (waiting with charged phone at the ready) I found that my account had been suspended. So instead of sorting out emails, blogs and finances I had to top up my phone and then ring their online banking services in order to get my status changed. Waiting for automated messages giving options then sub options before having to be transferred to accounts while your mobile phone credit shrinks faster than a spent elephant dong is quite annoying!

Anyway, back to the blog.

On arriving in Joberg airport I met Anne, one of the other volunteers who promptly told me that due to a family crisis, she had to fly back to Scotland. Some cynical people might say that meeting me for the first time might have made her decide to do that! Other than that getting to Enkosini went mostly without a hitch. I met the other two volunteers, Rob and Nick and after spending a night in Lydenberg we got picked up by Chas, one of the rangers. It was at this point that I got my first shock of the trip. Enkosini is so remote that they only come into town once a week to pickup supplies and volunteers. This meant that any alcohol had to be purchased there and then. I near shit myself and had to run into the local spar to pick up some sustenance before we left.

My second shock of the trip was that at night it is bloody cold! Our ranger camp is at an elevation of over 1000m. My one season sleeping bag was like a white mans condom on a big black man – inadequate! Even with thermals and several layers of clothes I spent most of the night freezing until I managed to get some blankets to put on.

On our first full day at the reserve we were taken on a small walk by Adam the other ranger. Unfortunately the only animal we seen was a large kudo skeleton (pic to follow)

I should probably explain a bit about Enkosini at this point. Enkosini is a start up reserve which basically means that it ain’t got many animals. They have just finished doing the fence round it but due to various problems which I will rant about later they have not introduced any new animals. They do have some leopards, hyenas and some herbivores such as kudo, hartebeest and warthogs which I will hopefully see before I leave. There is also a reservoir just outside the reserve which has some crocodiles and fish eagles.

1 comment:

lloydm said...

Good to hear you are still alive. I clicked on the next blog button at the top and there is a blog from a babe in Brazil. Much better to look at but don't understand a word she is saying. Keep it up.