Monday, 26 June 2017

Eventful Hyena Hunt.

Well, I am sitting in bed trying to find the correct words to describe what my day was like yesterday. And whilst I am busy procrastinating, the shallow vibrations of Hyena calls eco through the bush.
Ahh home is the best place to be.

In this present time it is my birthday in South-Africa and I am a solid 25 years of age and I literally don't know where the time has gone.
Yesterday after getting everything done for the arrival of the next group of Veterinary students, I decided in the spur of the moment to accompany my husband and fellow clients to a reserve bordering Kruger National Park. This place holds a very dear place in our hearts and I was very excited to see this beautiful place again.
The wilderness is unsurpassed. everything is left untouched and extremely wild. Lions, Elephants, Hyenas all breaking through the fence and traveling between Kruger National Park and all of these bordering reserves. That is why the aura of the place screams wilderness like you have never experienced before.

On our arrival we immediately started looking for bait, just in case we needed a plan B for the Hyena hunt.
As daylight simmers down we needed to get a move on with the bait and luckily they shot a Dyker and the nerves where a little less tense.
Hyena hunting is extremely difficult as they are smart creatures. The reason for hunting the Hyena is quite simple, over population and over destruction of wildlife numbers on this reserve.

As dusk settles in they Hyenas did not fail to let us know that they where active, calling one and other from one end of the reserve to the other. The noise piercing through your veins!
We settled in and got set up in an old salt shed, where they would salt the skins before sending them to the taxidermy. Nevertheless that the lion pride had a keen sense of breaking and entering the salt shed to get to the skins. So we had to keep an extra eye out for them as well.
We sat in the shed for about four hours before hearing complete chaos! I t sounded a like a mad fading frenzy, the Hyenas made a kill on the other side of the river bed not too far from us and we decided to drive there. In the hopes of getting onto their trail, in the pitch black darkness of the night.

As we approached the war zone we stopped and listened to the helluva ruckus that they made, and I tell you it was absolutely breathtaking to be in the midst of chaos with nothing but pure and raw nature.

My husband took the two hunters and tracker with him as they pursued them on foot. Matt and I stayed at the vehicle and kept an eye out for any other dangers. We sat in completer darkness with only the stars to brighten up our paths, how beautiful this sight was. Miles and miles of breathtaking starlight

We sat for a while staring into the thicket of the brush until we could not see them anymore, only glimpses here and there of his green light flash light until suddenly a shot was fired, immediately knowing it was a clean miss. It wasn't until then that we realised that this was going to be a long night. Until we herd the cracking and breaking of branches and the noise came straight for us. Grabbing the torch, not hesitating for one second that this  is a Hyena  coming to size us up and as soon as we shone the light on him he took of behind us.
Not long after that we the rest of the hunting party returned with a freshly caught nyla bull that the Hyenas devoured! The perfect piece of bait, exactly what we needed to get the upper hand.

We dragged the carcass behind the truck to an open field and tied that what was left to a tree, when the ruckus of the Hyenas feeding started again. Immediately following the noise again, but this time it was not as easy. They where on to them and just kept on running away. Following their defeat the hunters retreated, or not completely.. Taking the road to the open field again we could see that the Hyenas too the bait and followed the scent, like the expert scavengers they are. Lighting the spotlight into the dense brush we could see a few pair of yellow reflected eyes.

It was only a few seconds until another shot was fired and it was a straight hit.
Very delighted with the trophy at 12:00 in the morning, we could load up and head back home.
The amount of Hyena on this property is terrifying. There where two packs which at least had thirty animals each.

We headed home wards around 01:00 in the morning. Encountering a rough bull hippo on the main road next to some alfalfa fields. Overshadowed in puncture wounds from older bulls, trying to finds his place in the animal kingdoms hierarchy. He will stay on the bottom of the hierarchy until he matures and grows into an mature, adult hippopotamus bull that can defend his territory no questions asked. But for now he needs to keep a low profile and out of mature bull's territories.

What an eventful night.
Take Care

Monday, 19 June 2017

All in a Days Work.

We are always hustling about, and then you get those extra busy days like this one was.
We had to move quite a bunch of auction animals for my father in law as the auction is drawing near.
We darted six Sable Antelope cows, all went smooth and uninterrupted. Everybody operated like a well oiled machine in the field.
When we finished up with the cows we moved along to this one bull, still very young and showing immense amount of potential.
We waited for our transportation crew for a few minutes and whilst sitting there I always like to take a closer look at the tremendous animals. His beautifully curved shaped horns are symmetrical to one and other, they have thick basis almost too thick. It is like the horns of an antelope tell a story about their ancestors. Big bodied and muscular animals with a fighting spirit.

As we reversed the drug and the Sable Antelope was already introduced to his new breeding herd he gently tilted over his head and gracefully scratched his back with those spear like horns.
We should always know who the real boss is.

Monday, 5 June 2017

Golden Wildebeest that Outshine the Sun.

I have said it before and I will say it many more times to come, "I love working with Wildlife!"
I landed my dream job of Wildlife Veterinary Assistant with the Veterinarian we run our Volunteer program with.
Animals are substantial, they give a certain purpose to life. Working with them always leaves me in awe of how bountifully God has blessed our lives and I wish that this beauty never fades.

The picture below shows me with two Golden Wildebeest cows that we recently sedated for relocation. They are a color variant of the common Blue Wildebeest that we have. Their coats shine with a golden ember color, if the whole herd stand together they outshine the sun.
They are hands down one of my favorite animals.

The first Golden Wildebeest bull was captured in the 1990's on a game farm called Swinburne, by Alec Rough in the Limpopo Valley. (We are from the Limpopo Valley)
The majority of Golden Wildebeest originate from this area. Pioneer breeders firstly referred to them as Red or Yellow Wildebeest.

Take Care!

Thursday, 1 June 2017

More Endurance Riding Pictures.

I am truly mesmerized by the passion our South-African people have for this sport. It brings a sense of togetherness, people that have horses in common actually shares lives. It is a topic that can be showered upon, just because of the happiness these animals bring into our lives.
The are able to carry you over great distances and the give their absolute all for you. We just need to take care of them and prepare them well to carry us the distance.
I will forever be in awe.

So here I have a few pictures of the venue where it was held called Sondela Nature Reserve, a pristine setting with loads of wildlife.

This is the vet check area. These pictures where taken on the friday night just before the race.

A picturesque sunset setting our eyes ablaze!

Tacking off after the fist leg of 31km.

Taking my horses pulse before going to the vet check. The pulse should be 64 beat per minute or less.
I always used a stethoscope, I feel it is more effective and by doing so I started to learn my horses' pulse whether she is fit or unfit. To me it is just more accurate. 

Slowly walking her towards the vet check area.

Trotting out for the veterinarian. They need to make 100% sure that your horse is fit to complete the race.

Mekadesh Zunata coming back from vet check number one with more fire!

Checking out all the other horses.

Coming back from our second leg.
She is such an amazing ride.

Take Care.

Monday, 29 May 2017

27-28 May 2017 Sondela Endurance Ride.

We had an exciting weekend away with the horses.
I took my three horses to compete in an endurance ride. All of the still need to complete their ''novice horse'' phases.
I left early friday morning with two horses as the ride is quite some distance away, it's a about a five hour drive towing a full trailer.
It was only me and my groom.
Some of my friends whom volunteered to ride my two other horses are in the pictures below.
We arrived at the ride base in good time, settling the horses in, off loading all the equipment and setting up camp. The pre-vet check for the horses riding the following day opened at 15:00 for us and so we took the horses to the vet and they are ready for the race.
Troy and Marilet only left our area at 19:00 the evening and arrived at the ride base with my other horse and her horse just passed mid night! All that could go wrong on their behalf did! But they managed to push through. 
Got up at around 05:00 to start at 06:50.
Our legs distances over 80km worked out ar 31km,31km, and 18km which is nice, well I like it.
The track consists of a lot of sand, some parts it felt like I was somewhere in the desert!
Never the less it was awesome!
We took REAL slow, I just want my horses to successfully complete their 80km novice rides, and real slow we did. Our total time for the day was 07:04 hours + grooming time.
All three of the horses completed their rides successfully, I am on very happy owner!

This is Stonecroft Sun Jewel, she completed her novice horse phase this weekend and can start riding competitively! Happy Days!

This is Mekadesh Ibn Alin, he rode his second 40km race and has two 80km races left to complete his novice career.

Mekadesh Zunata, successfully completed his 80km race and he only needs one more 80km to complete his novice career. He did such a great job.

Stone croft Sun Jewel the day after the race. Happily grazing away on her alfalfa.

Mekadesh Zunata also enjoying his hay.

This was a quick picture of how the temporary camps are set up.
Premier Endurance Club did a great job to host such a fantastic event!

Marilet grooming her horse for the final vet check.

Take Care!

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Zanzibar Honeymoon ,Travel ZANZIBAR!

I know these are a little late, but I have not posted them yet.
I feel the dire need to share our experience we had in Zanzibar. We only went on honeymoon about two weeks after the wedding.

The Zanzibar Archipelago is an alluring landscape, filled with eden like beaches with transparent warm waters and a captivating Arab -Swahili culture.

A quick three hour flight from OR Tambo International airport in Johannesburg took us straight to ZNZ airport. A tiny airport with a lot of traffic. The infrastructure definitely needs some upgrade but hey it adds on to the experience.
From there we where met by our travel agency that took us to our resort, we stayed at the The Gold Zanzibar Beach House and Spa, breathtaking!
Zanzibar is the biggest of the Archipelago and is predominantly flat and sandy.
Zanzibar has a extremely rich history which makes all so beautiful and interesting. The culture of course is embodied in Stone Town, a maze of winding lanes and narrow alleyways, mosques, palaces and many more.
All rooms are designed and furnished as Swahili culture would, thick doors and hardwood floors.

Why Zanzibar?
  • Spice Tours.
  • Joan Forest.
  • Stone Town.
  • Maruhubi Palace.

One of the best diving and snorkeling sites in Zanzibar is Mnemba island.
I have not seen anything like this before!

The very popular Dhow, known as the traditional sailing vessels with one or more masts with lateen sales used in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean region.
We went on a sunset cruise and as you can see the sunset are spectacular.

I would go back in a heart beat.
It was one of the best holidays of my entire life.
Probably because my husband hates traveling and he got his far.
But never the less, Zanzibar is paradise found!

Take Care!

Monday, 22 May 2017

Professional Hunter Dies After Elephant Falls on Him.

We received heart breaking news on saturday.
A dear friend in the Professional Big Game hunter industry lost his life to an elephant who fell on him on friday 19 May 2017.
Theunis Botha, 51, lost his life on friday afternoon during a hunt in Gwai, Zimbabwe.
When a member of his group fired at a charging elephant cow.
It is said that the group of hunters had gone for a walk on friday afternoon when they suddenly came across a breeding herd of elephants.
Three elephant cows stormed at the hunters and Botha shot at them. A forth cow stormed them from the side and one of the hunters shot her after she'd lifted Botha with her trunk.. The shot was fatal and just as the cow collapsed, she fell on the Professional Hunter.
He was a well known and respected hunter in Zimbabwe.

He was a highly regarded houndsman and he frequently led lion and leopard hunting safaris with his extremely well trained  pack of dogs. He was a specialist at hunting leopards with his hounds.  He pioneered traditional European style ''Monteria hunts'' here in Southern-Africa.
Monteria hunts are where  large packs of dogs are used to drive deer and boar towards hunters and then open fire on them. 

His wife Carika will reportedly travel to Zimbabwe today to identify her husbands body and to bring it back to South-Africa.

Theunis Botha was also a good friend of Scott Van Zyl who was killed by crocodiles in Zimbabwe last month. Rumors are that he was murdered by thieves and the his body was fed to the crocodiles. Van Zyl, 44, was on a hunt at the Chikwaraka camp in Zimbabwe, when he disappeared on April 7th.
His backpack was found on the banks of the Limpopo river and two crocodiles where shot during the extensive search.
DNA samples where taken from the crocodile's stomach contents and tests where done. And it matched the DNA of Van Zyl.
Part of a boot, similar to that which Van Zyl was wearing when he disappeared  was found in the stomach of a third crocodile.

What a sad and tragic way to loose a loved one.
Our heart felt condolences and prayers go out to each of these families.
We pray that our dear Lord will always keep our families safe.

Theunis Botha is survived by his wife Carika and their five children.

Take Care.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Banging on my kitchen door.

I was busy inside the house when I suddenly heard this loud bang! This little guy flew straight into our window. How pretty is he not?
They calle themselves the Black-Collared Barbet, they occur in ares with fruit trees, which explains why he came knocking on our door. We have beautiful Rock Fig trees surrounding our house and this attacks a huge variety of bird life. Waking up in the mornings with all of the whistles of the beautiful birds surrounding us.
He sad on my hand for two minutes or so and then suddenly like a lightning bolt just took off. I think this poor guys was exhausted.

Poor little thing, luckily he is ok!

Almost recharged and ready to take off.
I almost had a heart attack, it was so quick!

On my way later the afternoon to head out my run, with my dogs of course I was able to capture this picture of Aero, the sunset and this beautiful Fever tree.

Whilst living on a game farm with a diverse amount of animal species I ALWAYS have tenants on my lawn! And these guys have been visiting us for a couple of days now. These antelope are called Nyala, young sub-adult bulls. They get very accustomed to people and generally feel safe being around the house. They did not have a problem with me approaching them. They can get aggressive when matured. So it is always better to keep a safe distance. Wild animals will always stay wild! 

Here he is checking out some noise coming from our guest bungalows.

Here you have a glimpse of the bungalows.

Take Care.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Sunset Run With The Dogs.

I will say it every single darn day! We are blessed beyond measure to call this picturesque, beautifully  blissful place our home and I would never want to life anywhere else as in our mother Africa.
As they always say "home is where the heart is" and I could not for a second agree more.
I love to run, it is one of my favorite pastime hobbies, or I would rather call it a  lifestyle. And running would not be same if it was not for my adorable / unfit fury kids.
We have Border Collies, my husband uses them as tracking dogs because they are so fearfully smart!
When tracking an animal they don't want to bite or injure it like most other common breeds would do, they use their natural instinct of herding. And it is spectacular to witness! 

So currently we have three dogs, not a million as my in laws. But if they had any less dogs their house would not feel the same. It is always such a homey feeling and anyone would feel welcome in their presence.

This is my dog Poacher. He is the youngest addition to the tracking squad. Charl has an older dog Snappi which is retired, unbelievably intelligent dog. And he teaches the teenagers. My husband lost his younger dog which was supposed to take Snappi's place. And now that privilege is passed on to Poacher. He still has a lot of learning to do but we are getting there.

We did our run up to the mountain. The chocolate collie is called Aero. I don't think he will ever grow up. But that's ok, he can stay my baby forever.

This is what the sunsets from the mountain looks like, and this picture does not even do it justice.
Breathtaking every single time.
The sun reflects a simmering hot piece of metal falling from the sky.
Oh how I absolutely adore what our God has created for us.

This is a picture of Aero that I took earlier during the day whilst herding some horses.
I think this picture says it all.

Take Care.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

My pictures are being published!

So I have received some news that my amateur photography will be recognized in Wild's Digital Magazine on the 27th of July 2017.
I am so grateful for the exposure, who knows maybe somewhere in the future I will be able to sell digital copies for a few extra pennies.
I am in love with photography and being outdoors, it's a part of who I became in the past few years.

Here are three of my photographs.
And like everyone says "a picture says a thousand words".
These photographs where taken in Kruger National Park, I always take each of my student groups for a day visit to the park. I is just something you have to experience when you are here!
A picture a memory in you hand.

These will be lovely on canvas.
I will most definitely post some more of the photographs in the future. And remember to keep an eye on Wild's Digital Magazine on the 27th of July 2017.

Take Care.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

The life of a Juck Russel Terrier on Farm Thankerton

 Yes it comes with the territory.... No just anything, only.. well.. DOGS!
And a whole bunch of them!
Today was no usual than any other day. It was an early morning wildebeest re-location here on the farm.
My father in law was piloting and me, Charl's grandfather and Francios the other pilot where ground crew in the truck, retrieving the animals.
And we where so gallantly escorted by Bubbles the Juck Russel Terrier, the spot where you see her in this picture. That is where she will be day in and day out and normally there will be a whole lot more but today they missed their ride. Well they will definitely be there for the next one!

For all the ladies that love farm life and always join out on the outings similar to this, I do have some useful tips for you:
1.Pack sunscreen and a hat, the days tend te stretched out as long as possible.
2.Make sure you wear your hiking boots!
3.Shorts will be good.
4. And maybe some sunglasses.
4.Pack a water bottle.
5. And of course a sense of adventure and an avid working ethic, because this is the life we live for!!

Take Care.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Our Wedding.

Charl and I are still newly weds. We got married on the 11th of March 2017 and what a day it was...
I know they said that your wedding passes by as quickly as the blink of an eye, but seriously...
Luckily we have pictures to remind us of every single detail.
We received a sneak peak of our wedding pictures and I absolutely love every single one of them.

We got married here on the (Farm Thankerton, Gravelotte(Limpopo) South-Africa. In the helicopter hanger, like we have always planned to do.
It was more than I could ever have asked for and even more.

We took most of our pictures up on the mountain called "Panty Dropper" - don't even ask..
But if you really want to know you can just take a look at that view and you can make your own conclusions haha!

The sunset was breath taking and we had a hoot of time playing model for our wonderful photographers.
Most men despise taking pictures especially this one of mine, but he did an excellent job.
I was very pleased with him. I probably was the mood of the day, nothing could bother us.

The bridal party got ready at main camp also on the family farm where we live.
All was so convenient. The view that we had that day was unbelievable! The sky was crystal clear not even and inch of smokey or haziness in sight. Whit a light breeze brushing down your skin, just making it cool enough for our outdoor ceremony.

This is one of my favorites.
To me it symbolizes marriage.

My wonderful bridesmaids.

A bit of the setting inside during the day.
I loved every piece.
Organizing a whole wedding by yourself is a very tasking job but at the end it is all worth it. And I would never have it any other way!!

My father in law took this picture when the moved the helicopter to the old hanger.
And I am still in love with everything.
The whole family helped us immensely, I don't know how I would have done it without them.

And I love my husband with all my heart.

Take Care.