14 Aug
Days adrift.  Click here to see our best and worst experiences so far.
Number of flights.  Click here to go to the itinerary page.
Bus, train and taxi rides.  Click here to see all posts relating to transport. (56 posts)
Miles walked.  Click here to see all posts relating to walking and trekking. (43 posts)
Countries visited.  Click here to see what we think of them. (14 posts)
Number of species spotted.  Click here to go to our wildlife page.
Photos taken.  Click here to go to the photo gallery. (94 posts)
Rainy days.  Click here to find posts relating to the weather. (50 posts)
Number of times scammed.  Click here to read all about it!  (2 posts)
Otters spotted.  Click here to go to our website about otters: amblonyx.com
...two travellers in search of the world's wildlife

29 August 2010

One month in

Written by Maureen on 26 August 2010

It has been exactly one month now since we left our cosy home in England to embark on this once-in-a-lifetime trip around the world. And it still feels like a holiday! I’m going to be honest (and risk the ire of serious travellers everywhere) and admit that I won’t complain if the whole trip continues in this vein. We have had a fantastic time so far. To cap it all, we’ve just seen our first otters.Our first otters

We are staying in Tillietudlem, a picturesque farm to the south east of the Drakensberg mountain range. Mike, the farm manager, on otters: “There is a family of four cape clawless otters who often come out to fish in this dam (in front of our cottage). They are out all times of the day.” Having spent several very early mornings huddled in the windiest and most exposed areas of South Africa’s coast looking for otters, we were naturally sceptical. Optimistic, but sceptical. So imagine our delight when we spotted the otters fishing one morning as we returned from a nature ramble. Since then, we have seen them several more times, and even captured their antics on film.

Of course, the quest is not over. The farm is also home to the spotted-necked otters, the smaller and less gregarious cousins of the cape clawless. We have just one more day to try and find them. This involves tiptoeing along creeks and pools around dawn and dusk, which can be quite perilous! Last night I almost stepped on this black mamba.Snaaaake

Well, actually it’s a harmless grass snake. But I didn’t know that at the time!

Anyway, here’s a round up of some of the challenges we have yet to face on our trip:

  • Unsafe drinking water. The tapwater in South Africa is not only drinkable, but is actually tasty
  • Mozzies and malaria. Although this will be a problem in Kruger, where we will be in a week’s time
  • Public transport. Though expensive, hiring a car is a very easy way to get around
  • Extreme heat. If I had a woolly hat, I would be wearing it in bed
  • Illness (touch wood)
  • Haggling. Looking forward to it
  • Touts, scammers and persistent beggars. Many South Africans are paranoid about security, but apart from the odd beggar, some bogus parking attendants and a shouty chap in Cape Town, we have had a relatively easy time (so far)

In honour of this anniversary, here is a short video I took on Dung Beetle Derby day. It is dedicated to all of you working hard in the office – wishing you were here. You will need sound turned on on your computer. Please excuse the quality as the camerawoman is still learning the ropes. I will be posting more videos soon.

Note to project managers: tongue is firmly in cheek!

4 Responses to “One month in”

  1. Jane says:

    couldn’t view the vid! wahh!

  2. Nessa says:

    The video is set to private so cant be viewed :-(

  3. Jane says:

    Knows how the ‘worker’ beetle feels! I’ve been hovered over plenty by eager/worried/unhelpful supervisors. ;)

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