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...two travellers in search of the world's wildlife

28 October 2017

Dik-dik

Rusty rocks of Erongo

Rusty rocks of Erongo

14 October

Our early morning walk at Erongo was much better. First we bumped into a Damara dik-dik, which is the tiniest and most charming little antelope – its legs are like matchsticks, it has huge soulful eyes and a mohawk, it looks like its wearing Cossack trousers, and it just wants a big hug. Next we perched ourselves in a good vantage to look over the boulder field, and first got a good look at a Dassie Rat, and then got a really good view of two endemic Black Mongooses making their way across the boulders like two lightning-fast dribbles of jet black ink, pouring into all the nooks and crannies. These guys are my favourite animals of the trip so far, like shadows in motion.

Black mongooses

Black mongooses

Our drive from Erongo to Toko Lodge was useful too in collecting more mammals: we saw Steenboks, a Kudu and a trio of trotting Warthogs crossing the road, which is three more species for our trip list. We missed a magnificent opportunity with the Kudu – he ran across the road right in front of a road sign with an outline of a running kudu on it!

At Toko there was another sad lack of useful staff, and the dopey fellow we did have was telling us that the night drive (the main reason any mammal-watcher visits Toko) wasn’t going to be happening. Luckily this warning proved wrong and we went out for two hours on the dusty ranch roads, spotting aardwolf and scrub hare but not much else. Apparently the windy weather would be keeping many of the nocturnal animals tucked up at home.

Damara dik-dik! D'aww!

Damara dik-dik! D’aww!

Yeah… this holiday has been such a dose of deja vu when it comes to customer service. Exactly the same experience as our eight weeks in South Africa, and our week in The Gambia last year. Of course you get examples of bloody stupid service all over the world, but it never seems as consistently poor as in Africa. Occasionally it’s outright unfriendly; people behind desks giving the strongest impression that you are just an annoying thing that needs to be processed, and their forms and records are far more important to them than helping a fellow human being. More often the people are genuinely friendly, just completely incapable of handling a simply request. And any question to do with wildlife is a complete non-starter.
But which is the shadow?

But which is the shadow?


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