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.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

It still saddens me to write this.
My husband's brother Benjamin Osmers passed away last year on a wednesday afternoon September 28th 2016 in a tragic helicopter accident.
The proceedings of that  faithful day still sends chills through my spine.
Charl's family owns a helicopter business which his father started and so everybody in the family are well rounded pilots.
Especially his brother, whom in a very short amount of time became very renowed. 
His workmanship and professionalism where unmatched!
He was born to be a pilot!
He did an astounding amount of work up in northern Mozambique, counteracting the highly fought battle that we know as poaching.
Nearly half of Mozambique's elephant population has been killed only for their ivory in the past five years. A dramatic 48% decline in elephant numbers, from just over 20 000 to an estimated 10 300.
And he was there on the front line. 
With the poachers always armed and ready for fire this was not a job for the faint hearted.
He was a brave soul and contributed immensely towards conservation, and he is missed dearly everyday.

On the faithful day of that wednesday on September 28th 2016, the conducted the finale phase of a game count on a farm not to far from here.
Game counts are conducted each year by most farms to get an estimate of the wildlife numbers. 
This information assist with management plans, as each farm has a certain carrying capacity for wildlife which is best not to over take. To keep a healthy balance and to take care of your property.
This game count lasted for about three days.
The game count was finalized and he was ready to head home to his beautiful family, his wife Susan, eldest Elih Benjamin and youngest son Jordan Jacob. His family was everything to him.

He and the fellow busy commenting his commercial pilot licensing hours Gerdus Korb took off.
It was about 5mins after take off were they heard a loud bang from the engine and it was only a few faithful second when they hit the ground in full flight. 
The helicopter immediately caught fire and in a few minutes the helicopter was incinerated.
By some miracle Gerdus could phone Charl's father. Charl and Roux (a fellow family friend) flew over to the accident scene as fast as they could and Charl's father, mother and Susan drove to the hospital.
Gerdus managed to escape the wreckage but Benjamin's post mortem declared he was dead on impact.

His legacy will life on forever.
He was a father a brother a son and a husband.

This picture was taken up in Northern Mozambique. Two beautiful elephant tusks they managed to save from poachers.
Benjamin on the right with the hat and the faithful Bell Jet Ranger he lost his life with.

Take Care.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

I will describe myself as a very avid horse rider! Nothing can compare to my love for horses and just being outdoors.
After loosing my endurance horse last year I kind of lost my "avidness" if I can even call it that...
He was my world, he would always give me his absolute all!! An oh man did I see an amazing future ahead for us. And I am still sad, I still wish he was here and that I was able to compete with him.
There is not a time that goes past when I think of him that I don't get teary eyed, and yes I am sitting in front of the computer, watching the sun rise with a tear in my eye.
And saying this, I have neglected my other endurance horse just because we did not have the bond that Samurai and I have.
And ultimately when I did my first endurance race for the year, the picture far below I did not prepare and condition my horse well enough for a 80km. And when I finished this race I said to myself "how selfish and petty do you want to because if this is going to be your attitude you might as well leave everything!"

 We have another race coming up at the end of May and my sister has been such an angel in helping me prepare my two horses. I followed my conditioning and exercise schedule like I always did if not even better now.
It gave me a new burst of life an excitement and from here on out I am only looking forward. That which have happend in the past we can only grow stronger. And never take anything for granted that we still have in this present life that is just as good.
Now we are taking three horses to this endurance ride and I am yet again excited beyond measure!!

The horse in the top is an Arab x - Stonecroft Sun Jewel.
The on down below is a pure bred Arab - Mekadesh Zunata.

We will be off later this morning for another conditioning session.
For all of my non horsey friends here are some explanation of terms;
1. Conditioning: Working the horse to become strong enough to compete endurance rides without damage.
2.Ecercise: The level of work that does not stress the horse. It just maintains the fitness.

Take Care.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Hi Everyone.
I would like to formally introduce myself as the writer of the blog, as I have not done so, since I have been writing these posts.

My name is Jessica Osmers, I am 24 years old and I am married to a phenomenal husband, Charl Osmers. We live on a 200ha private game reserve the Northern part of South-Africa in the Limpopo Province, bordering Kruger National Park.
We live on this farm with my in laws, a million dogs and the most exquisite wildlife your eyes will ever see. My father in law dedicates his life to wildlife conservation and my beautiful mother in law is the foundation that keeps everybody together. 
And with this blog I will be taking you guys through the most entertaining and fun filled adventures of your lives.
So buckle up and stay tuned....

Take Care.