On Friday morning we left camp at 6:00 am with the idea of searching for Bush Pigs. They are fairly elusive but we were determined!!
I couldn’t complain too much about the early start, especially with this type of view…..
…or this one as the sun came up….
Our guide for this part of the trip is Bredger, an American who works here for part of the year and in the US as a policeman the rest of the year. This particular fact is VERY important as the story progresses!!
Bredger’s truck is not a double cab so typically he and Michael share the cab and I sit on the back and enjoy the views!! It is amazing what great photos you can get as you slowly drive thru various areas….
I have to say here that I LOVE my iPhone!! These photos are almost impossible with a DSLR but I could just point and shoot with my phone!!
As the sun rose, I found myself enamored with the shape of the Palmetto leaves and I took LOTS of photos. I will do a separate post about that!!
Our tracker was Vashko and he did a marvelous job of protecting me from branches and vines that would have hit my head as we traveled……
He also steadied me when we hit particularly BIG bumps and I flew all over the back of the truck!!
I started out sitting completely on my butt with both feet on the floor but quickly learned that it was easier if I propped one or two feet up on the roll bar and pushed back into the seat….
But, in some cases, even that wasn’t enough!!
In 2021 I wrote a post about truck sitting including all of the good AND bad parts….
But back to Friday!!
This area has large “dips” in the land that are called Pans. They normally have water somewhere in the center and can have large open spaces as well as tree and brush areas.
These areas are normally overflowing with animals, but as we drove, we saw VERY few. Bredger actually commented that something was wrong.
As we drove, we would often come to dead-ends and it was Vashko’s job to make a way…..
It was amazing to see how quickly he could carve out an area just using his machete.
THEN IT HAPPENED…..
Vashko and Bredger spotted 6 poachers running away from the truck, one carrying a long spear (used to kill the snared animals…..not us)!!
Bredger immediately kicked into full police pursuit mode and we flew over the ground. After 10 seconds, he realized that if he hit a bump at this speed, I would be thrown out of the truck so he slowed to a respectable pace.
When we arrived there was neither hide nor hair of the poachers. We scouted out a bit to see if we could find their camp but finally decided to leave it to the professionals.
When Vashko isn’t working with Bredger, he is part of the Anti-Poaching team of Coutada 11. Bredger radioed into the Anti-Poaching headquarters and Vashko gave them all of the lowdown.
He also took several large palmetto leaves and put them in the road as a marker.
A bit later we ran into one of the anti-poaching patrols……
….and they were given all of the data as well.
We never did see many animals, but these three Hardebeasts were gamboling about…..
….and the Lillies were a beautiful distraction…..
So that is the excitement of ONE morning in the bush….more to come!!
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