So I sent off my "daily report" a bit early last night. I left off the best part, dinner African style! As we rallied for dinner our local guide Allen asked us to join him for a short walk under the stars to "look for scorpions". a little odd, but we were all game. Apparently "scorpion" is code for a walk to a traditional African fireside dinner, complete with a choir from the local village. The village elders joined us and shared eagerly how working with the conservancies has so positively impacted all in the village, what a great way to spend and evening.
Wake up call at 5:00 AM for a walk to a nearby hill and catch the sunrise. Little did we expect to crest the hill and first hear the singing (African welcome song) and then right on top of the hill was a fabulous breakfast spread. Coffee, baked goods and a little bacon and eggs, breakfast has never tasted so good! We leave as we came to beautiful African song and continued our hike to a local village. Judging by the number of goats, cows and chickens, this was an affluent village of huts and shacks.
Ben our host for the visit was a sharp looking man and a wealth of local knowledge. He literally beamed as he introduced is to he extensive family. We arrived at Rhino Camp deep in the conservancy in time for sun downers around the fire. Rob from Wilderness and Jeff from Save the Rhino Trust joined us and shared stories of the success of the program. Namibia continues to set the bar for wildlife conservancy, in fact is only place on the planet with growing numbers of endangered Black Rhino. The decline in numbers are staggering, from hundreds of thousands in the late 80's to an estimated 2500 world wide. We are in the heart of Rhino Country and couldn't be more pleased.
Back to the fire after dinner and more stories (funny how a fire brings that out in all). Festus our local guide asked us to step away from the fire to enjoy the night skies. Once again we learned more about how special Namibia is at some many levels. Namibia is reported to have the best star gazing in the southern hemisphere and I sure wouldn't dispute this.
Off to bed, 5:00 AM comes early and the infamous Black Rhino await. The trackers head out before us to "cut the tracks" and a grand day awaits. Sleep comes easy in the camps, long days and only the Sounds of the Savanna make sleep deep and pleasant.
Typing this on my Blackberry over good coffee and a rising sun. Everyone is excited and anxious, we are about to head out to see an endangered species the vast majority in the world will never get the opportunity to see.
Got to go, got the "load up call"