Brigid Travels

Updates from The Road

update on Earthwatch study [2000]

Jambo. Sorry I skipped over the black rhino study - and I don't have time to do it justice now, but I'll see what I can do in the 5 minutes I have.

I definitely recommend doing one - the people are great and very eager to learn, the people that run it are very aware of safety and getting the most out of the experience. My team was 9 people - 2 couples, a set of brothers and 3 single women. The 3 of us shared a thatch-roofed hut (individual rooms) and we were also teamed up together, so I got to know Wendy and Anette very well.

We would go out into the bush each morning between 7:45 and 8:15, and walk between 5-13 km. The most exciting times were those first few days being chased by elephants, lions, buffalo, and rhino (more details on those later). The last day was a special treat - we went out with the rhino patrol (as soo as they spot them, we note where they are on the GPS and what they are doing). We tracked 2 adolescent males and found them! They were napping in some brush 50 m away!! Rhinos can only see 50 m, and the wind was blowing in the right direction so they couldn't smell us, so we were relatively safe. But when we took some pictures, they both stood up and looked in our direction. We stood quiet and still, but they were at attention for a good 15-20 minutes. And when the guard made sure we knew to climb a tree if they started charging, it didn't make us feel so secure! But eventually they lay back down (ears still rotating, listening for us) and we backed away. What a way to end the experience!