A week into their expedition, the nine Duke of Westminster cadets are clearly already fully immersed in the experience. Mike Chambers caught up with Thomas Cliffe, Megan Williams and Eleanor van der Zanden for the inside story. There will be a further catch up podcast next Monday.
Duke of Westminster Award - Days 4-5 - Photo catchup!
More photos giving a flavour of the trip.
Duke of Westminster Award - Days 1-3 - Photo catchup!
As mentioned in our previous updates, that part of South Africa is having some internet issues at present so the photos and information are coming through rather sporadically - here are a few ‘catchup’ photos we have received this morning.
The top photo shows the group at Isandlwhana, the photo below that shows them at Rorke’s Drift. The photos below that are from Elandsheim and Fugitives Drift.
Duke of Westminster Award - Day 7 - Imfolozi Game Reserve
It began with an early wake call, 04:45 to be exact! Somehow, we managed to get dressed in the dark and freezing cold morning ready for the game drive in Imfolozi game reserve, the second oldest game reserve in the world.
The open-topped land cruisers that arrived to collect us didn’t exactly suggest a warm leisurely drive in the morning. After a ‘pleasant’ drive to the game reserve, the sun soon rose and we began shedding layers to adjust to what became a lovely sunny day.
Some of the adventurers had been wrapped in what looked like 12 layers of clothing and blankets, complaints of “a think ave got frostbite” could be heard from Dan from all corners of the 96000 hectors of land that the game reserve boasts.
Our two drivers soon began to head deep into the African bush and soon both cars got lucky. Throughout the morning we saw many amazing animals which include lions, giraffe, cape buffalo and even the rare black rhino to just name a few.
The day was rounded off with a eye opening talk about the effects of rhino poaching and problems that are encountered with conservation of these majestic animals. The traditional Indaba and evening meal ended the night off nicely ready for the next day of adventures.
Duke of Westminster Award - Day 6 - More Elephants and Cheetahs
Some photos are trickling through today…
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Duke of Westminster Award - South Africa - Day 6
First photo has been received! Looks like this was part of the Elephant Interaction.
This morning we visited an Elephant Interaction where we got to feed an elephant in a variation of different ways, sometimes getting up close and standing right under the head (with one elephant getting over familiar with one lucky member of the group, who might have a beard….)
Having visited the elephants we went to Illala restaurant for lunch and to buy a few souvenirs. One member of the group who might still have a beard added to his Zulu tribesman image by buying an animal skin, to complement his spear. All he needs now is a shield, and his image will be complete.
Finally, to complete our day we visited Emdonene (a wild cat sanctuary) where we saw and were allowed to stroke a cheetah and a few other of the wild cats of the bush. Seeing if she could push her luck, one of our team members asked with genuine sincerity in her voice if she could kiss the cheetah, much to the consternation to the keeper!
We woke with a sense of trepidation knowing that within a couple of hours the team would be performing a dissection of the ‘McDonalds’ of the bush, an impala. Having had an enjoyable breakfast of bacon, scrambled egg and toast plus a few bowls of cereal; we ventured down to find an impala waiting for us. Having been shown the basics we all mucked in and proceeded to dissect the animal.
After cleaning ourselves up, which took longer for some than others, we had a rather enjoyable lunch.
Following a quick rest, we journeyed into the bush for our first ever game walk into a reserve.
Animals seen included; Zebra; common (grey) Duiker; Impala; Wildebeest; Red Duiker; Antlion; Warthog; Crowned hornbill; Lesser Egert; Hadeda Ibis; cocked-tail ants; leafing ants; and a lot of trees.
The final part of the day involved taking part in an indaba. The translation of which is; informal meeting.
Day 4, 19th
Today we woke at 8am ready for set off at 9. Breakfast was sugar toast for one intrepated explorer, for everyone else ground maize was the choice. Then we left our temporary home of Elandsheim.
After a 2 hour journey we got out of the minibus and started our kentucky fried adventure! We then set off on an epic five hour journey through the South African countryside, in which many of the group were amazed to find out that pineapples do infact grow out of the ground.
On arrival at we were given a valuable and life saving talk from Tommy about the bush which scared one individual to pieces. We were greeted by two small but very excited little creatures who were very pleased to see us all and then we were shown to our “lodges” which consisted of a framed tent with bunk beds.
Our first experience of life in the bush was the invasion of a small, female impala who was chased by Copper, the dog. After this we all changed into our swimming stuff to experience a dip in the cool pool and then we chilled for the rest of the night; star gazing, fire making and of course, we love to play a few card games; before lights out and well earned rest at 10pm.