Page 1

Volume - 10

Orange River

Monsters

No such thing as overkill

Lion Lessons Mistakes are fatal!

Rethink the Shark How to cast a fly line Luiwa Experience Old man of the mountain

HUNTING

Fintastic Fiji

Splendour in die South Pacific

I FISHING I DIVING I ADVENTURES I DESTINATIONS


FROG PLUS

MAXIMUM EFFICIENCY MAXIMUM E N E R G Y MADE

IN

ITALY

The blade’s progressive �ex pattern ensures tremendous energy transfer at every level of the kick. Ultra-soft inserts on the blade help channel water away quickly and ef�ciently, providing more thrust. The blade material is ultra-durable and resistant to aging, wear and abrasion. The foot pocket lies below the blade, a Cressi innovation, and provides a more ergonomic and energy ef�cient kick.

Maybe go pro

Cressi’s Frog Plus �n, the next generation of the classic Frog Fin, features a dual-density Technopolymer blade which provides a nearly effortless kick yet delivers outstanding performance.

Learn

more:www.cressi.com


www.africanadventures.co.za

Vol 10 2012

1


I was fortunate to spend the last two weeks travelling through our country and as always was blown away by the beauty that South Africa offers. Sipping away on a cold beer and watching the sun lay its head down over Robin Island was mesmerizing to say the least. Then, 48 hours later I went tight with a fish while the sun rose over the Indian Ocean. The culmination of these two worlds made me value the diversity that is on offer in this part of Africa. I’m happy to announce that we’ve increased our circulation and expanded our distribution to other parts of the country. Welcome to all our new readers and enjoy the magazine. I want to encourage you to share your experiences on your unique adventures of our beautiful country with fellow enthusiast. It is another bumper packed edition and as diverse as our continent. We pay a visit to Fiji and head up into Africa, hunt mountain sheep and face monsters in the Orange River. There is also a new and exciting photo competition with great prizes. So send us your photos and stand a chance for it to be placed on the cover. “I can’t say I was ever lost, but I was bewildered once for three days.”

2

Vol 10 2012

www.africanadventures.co.za

Johan Viljoen


www.africanadventures.co.za

Vol 10 2012

3


4

Vol 10 2012

www.africanadventures.co.za


Contents FISHING

Regulars Letter from the editor

2

Photo Competition

6

Events

32

Destinations

62

Pg 24

Featured species: Steenbok

13

Zambezi Shark

29

Greater Flamingo

43

King Protea

51

Recipe of the month Seafood salad for the lazy

39

Orange River Monsters

24

How to cast a fly line

30

DIVING Fintastic Fiji

34

Scubalicious Egypt

40

Hunting Pg 34

Adventures Rethink the Shark

46

Soaked in solitude in Botswana

54

Liuwa Experience - Life on the plains

58

Pg 54

Pg 8 Old man of the mountain Lion Lessons

8 16

www.africanadventures.co.za

Vol 10 2012

5


6

Vol 10 2012

www.africanadventures.co.za


THE CAMELBAK “GOT YOUR BAK LIFETIME GUARANTEE” For all Reservoirs, Backpacks, Bottles and Accessories.

Hydration Packs and Gloves Designed for the Harshest Conditions. M.U.L.E™ M.U BFM™ AMBUSH™ AM

TRI-ZIP™ TR

MOTHERLODE LODE™

H.A.W.G W.G®

THERMOBAK MOBAK®

ECM Technologies

FOR THESE PRODUCTS AND MANY MORE CONTACT YOUR NEAREST DEALER

89 Mann Street, Riviera, Pretoria Tel: +27 12 329 4116 | Fax: +27 12 329 4120 Email: sales@ecmtech.co.za | Web: www.ecmtech.co.za

Tablet and Smartphone Compatible!

About | Advertise | Distribution Networks | Downloads | Contact us

Search

The FREE Magazine for the Adventurer

Volume - 10

Volume - 9

Volume

-8

African Adventures is the FREE adventure magazine that connects adventure enthusiasts from all walks of life Fintastic Fiji Underwater ed! fishing Love at first Flightsplender in die South Specific hoofok Surf Bursting the Bubble.... Get uction Rock and Lionam Lesso A hunter discovers his passion An introd

moreck Nyala, Dorado and much uita wre Route

Paq in the Garden A jewel

Elephant

Decoding DRS

The thrill

Dre

ns

A thrillingbwe Zimba experience for in unexperi gthe of stalkin enced

Kgalagadi

A travellers tale on this arid region

Onrage river ts Rockavongo Monsters Mr Spo How hard will you rock the Delta? MeetRethink Only the the

fit wil prevail more How to cast h Shark Great Competition a fly and muc hin Scubal icious Egyptline missed Not to be Dolp Old man ard, NATIONS steak salad Bbq the DESTI mountain I of edition Leop TURES also in this G I ADVEN HUNTING G I DIVIN I FISHING I FISHIN I DIVING I DESTINATIONS HUNTING I FISHING I DIVING I ADVENTURES I ADVENT HUNTING URES I DESTINATIONS

Subscribe today Subscribe to your FREE digital magazine

Visit us online Visit your FREE online magazine from your computer, tablet or mobile phone www.africanadventures.co.za

Get social

Join our online community of adventure enthusiasts Vol 10 2012

7


hunting

Andries de Klerk I first saw this animal a few years ago when a small group was introduced to our farm. Two males and ten females. This was by share luck. My dad received a call from a game merchant and inquired if we would be interested. Without any prior knowledge of this animal, we bought them. Why I can’t say, but honestly we don’t regret it. He is as handsome as he is majestic. The most noticeable characteristics would be the goat like appearance with a flowing golden beard that reaches from the chin down to his chest with more hair around the knees than a Zulu impi. He is the color of gold which makes it notoriously difficult to spot amongst the rocky country they enjoy to inhabit. Both sexes carry horns that are set high on the head which curves backward in a semi-circle. The bull’s horns are heavy, lightly ringed and in old animals the tips tend to bend slightly backwards. The male is bigger in body than the female and a shade darker as well. The animal’s front quarters has a slightly higher appearance with very well developed hind legs. All the attributes defines an animal made for scaling the largest and steepest mountains in Africa.This pseudo sheep, also known as Aoudad is found in the hills of Algeria, Tunisia, northern Chad, Egypt, Libya, northern Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger and Sudan. As most exotics that has been introduced to countries the story of the Barbary sheep in South Africa is very much the same. Over flow of zoo populations to the private sector has assured thriving populations in the Eastern Cape, Freestate and especially the Northern Cape. Last mentioned was also the province we decided on to conduct our hunt. A good friend of mine has been hunting Barbary sheep for years and through asking advice on breeding Fellow deer on our property I also became quite familiar with the sheep hunting stories. My curiosity for this species came to braking point when I saw this season’s umpteenth photo of spectacular sheep. I just had to pursue this wary animal. After speaking to Abrie Arlow on several accounts I was sure that we have everything planned down to a T. I would fly up to Bloemfontein where I will meet my dad. Drive to the north of Kimberly where we will meet up with Abrie and fall in behind him for the last part of the route. Just after one in the morning we made the last turn into camp; high in the mountains and bursting

8

Vol 10 2012

www.africanadventures.co.za


hunting with excitement. It is hard to get much needed sleep in the few remaining hours of the night when there is so many expectations running through your mind. But alas sleep over came us and Morpheus where paid his dues. The darkness was interrupted by an alarm and soon the welcome smell of coffee filled the air and the slight glow of the sun crept closer on the horizon. Darkness gave way to day and slowly the shape of the mountains started to reveal itself. Abrie briefed us on the lie of the terrain and the habits and keeps of the sheep. I was armed with a custom .300 Win Mag and dad with his custom 7X64, just in case I have a slip up. One thing I should mention is that the most important kit by far on this hunt is a good pair of binos. He is well camouflaged and spotting him with the naked eye is at best difficult. There was a steady southern wind blowing crisp morning air in our faces. We were hunting into the wind, better hunting conditions could not be asked for. To me and my dad’s surprise we spotted at least 60 sheep from the first vantage point! I was astonished by the numbers. There was nothing rare about this sheep on this farm. Slowly we worked over the groups of sheep with our Leica’s. A few decent rams could be spotted but not the quality we came for and what the farm are known for, so we circled around to another vantage point. Here we had the element of surprise and were able to get within 30 meters of a small group. No shooters but a wonderful opportunity to study the young male and the difference between him and the females. We slowly continued with Abrie in the lead. The sun was up now but the slight over cast and fresh wind served for very mild conditions. With the coolness the sheep was still moving and feeding later than the norm. As we proceeded into the next valley, we had 15 sheep to our left on the ridge watching us. Amongst them were the first glimpses of a mature male. Soon we spotted two more groups. One of these groups was intermingled with five kudu. This group consisted of 3 female and one peach of a male. It is like they say: the big ones look big. It did not take any imagination to see the quality of the male among them. A real brute with long curly horns easily distinguished amongst the females. This was him, a ram of ages. We quickly advised a plan to get closer. But with all the eyes to our left and those of the kudu it turned out to be more than a challenge. We spotted him twice more, but sadly he evaporated into thin air. We spent another hour trying to find him but without any success. It was midday by now and the pleasant coolness gave way to the summer sun. It was hot and we decided to take a break and sit out the heat of the day. We crossed a couple of klofies on our way back and made most of it through some scouting. We saw a few ewes but nothing more. Back at camp we planned to return to the same area

www.africanadventures.co.za

Vol 10 2012

9


hunting we were that morning. With that high numbers of sheep we were bound to find a decent ram, or even better, the male traveling with the kudu. After spending midday at camp waiting for the high temperatures to give way to the afternoon mildness, we were back at the ridge where we saw the monster in the morning. We were greeted with nothing more than a pair of sheep. A completely different picture than that of the morning. It was still hot and the sheep were not moving yet so Abrie suggested we made ourselves comfortable and wait for the sheep to show themselves instead of unsettling the bush by moving through it. This turned out to be a good idea for in the next 30 minutes the veldt started to liven up. Some sheep appeared but still no trophy males. We made sure that we did not see what we were looking for and moved on. The ridge we were on ran for about two kilometers and then makes way to the flat plains of the farm. We preceded slowly the last couple of hundred meters of what was still suitable sheep country. My expectations slowly dwindle away with barely half an hour of light left and we where sure to succumb to this skillful opponent before returning back to camp. Abrie said: “It is time for a plan. Old man you circle back and get the bakkie and save us and yourself a bit of walking. Andries and I will just make sure the foot of this hill doesn’t have any sheep.” “Abrie it is nothing more than a mere two hundred meters” and he asked why don’t we all go back? A silly question to a man that has put more of these sheep in salt then you can shake a stick at.” OK! Let’s go have a look” I said with doubt. So we split up and with one last look back, we parted ways. “Impala! Damn it” They nearly gave me a bloody heart attack. I thought it was the sheep. We spooked the group that was feeding half way up the hill. Abrie suggested we have a closer look just to make sure that it is only impala. Something doesn’t sound right, could have sworn I heard sheep, boerbok like sounds. The neighboring farms have boerbok and we are not too far from the boundary fence. Maybe some slipped through? “Quiet Andries, they are close.” said Abrie. Mixed with the Impala was the Barbary sheep! The weary Impala sensed our presence and parted along the open flats. Luckily the sheep didn’t follow the impala and circled back around the foothills. As they say, old habits die hard. We quickly cut across the summit to intercept their imagined path. I have spent a lot of time in the veldt and have seen some very interesting things but what happened next is an encounter that will last in memory for a long time. We settled down in a favorable place the sheep may cross. As we settled down the first head popped through the grass a mere twenty meters away and within seconds we had a small group of young males making their way directly towards us. This wasn’t the same group we just saw on the other side but maybe there is a matumale among them? A total of seven young males kept coming towards us until they were so close that we practically share the same spot! They saw us, turned around and parted

10

Vol 10 2012

www.africanadventures.co.za


“He is the color of gold which makes it notoriously difficult to spot” in top haste as expected but after a mere twenty meters they stopped, spun around and slowly walked back towards us. The nearest one got as close as twelve meters, which I confirmed with my Leica Goevid range finding binos. For the next ten minutes we took the most beautiful photos to our hearts contend. They were so close that you could see the yellow of their eyes without optical aids. The only problem was that the herd we were stalking was coming up the hill and this group of males were raising suspicion. Once again the young males sped off. Once again they stopped and turned around to investigate us. Luckily this time they were on our backs, but the group of sheep we had our eye on was fully aware of things not being right. We moved position to make sure we had a good view of the group making their retreat up the mountain. I folded up my Harris bipod and got behind Abrie. This was going to be a quick shot if it happens. “Abrie you just whisper the words and I will do the rest, don’t you worry, and I won’t miss”. I know the group consists of nannies and two nice Billies.” In a mad dash they came past, nannies and kids first; the billies must be bringing up the rear. Then the first one made his appearance and stopped for a brief second. “Not him” said Abrie. My finger tightened around the trigger as I waited for the last billy. And there he was, same as the first, stopping just long enough to hear the words: “him, that’s him, shoot”. Flawlessly the 180gr Barnes X triple shock flew from the .300 Win Mag barrel striking the billy higher than would have been a good shot but with the downwards angle he was struck in the neck vertebra exiting behind his right shoulder and collapsed as if hit by a ton of bricks. The spent case flew from the chamber as I quickly chambered another round. I wanted to be ready, last thing I would like to see is a fine trophy run off, but he was down. The next hour was spent admiring this handsome animal. The stern build, flowing beard, long face and of course the thick set horns that curls backwards in a semi-circle and the points bending back towards the rear. A marvel of an animal. It was late and the sun hung low in the sky. Just enough time to capture this amazing moment on film, well at least digital film. The amber glow of the sun enhanced the brick colored coat of the sheep. When the hunt is over and the dust has settled and the time in the veldt is exchanged for time in the office it is lovely to now and again to look back to these photos. For at the end of the day the only things we have left of a hunt are the memories and pictures, and if you are really lucky a nice mount. For this big Aoudad there is a special corner reserved in the trophy room for his reincarnation as a full mount. For the hunter that has it all or looking for an extraordinary hunt I will strongly recommend this cunning specialist of the high and dry country. I would like to extend a very special thanks to a friend, colleague and professional hunter, Abrie Arlow from Pronk Safaris. He specializes in above average trophies and especially the exotic animals of this country. This hunt was so memorable that my next one is already planned and a mere two months away and a deposit paid for the third in 2013. Happy hunting.

www.africanadventures.co.za

Vol 10 2012

11


12

Vol 10 2012

www.africanadventures.co.za


Featured specie

Raphicerus campestris

www.theanimalfiles.com

Main Characteristics Steenboks are small antelopes that have a body length between 61 and 95cms, a tail length between 4 and 8cms, and weighing between 7 and 16kgs. Their coat is short and bright fawn in colour with a pale underside, chin and throat. They have a light coloured ring around each of their eyes and they have very large ears with black “finger lines� on the inside of them. Only male Steenboks have horns. They measure 7 - 19cms in length, they stand straight and parallel and they are smooth in texture. Steenboks are active throughout the day, however during hotter periods they move to a shaded area where they will either sleep, ruminate or groom themselves. Habitat Steenboks are found in the semi-desert, open woodlands and thickets of eastern and southern Africa. They are either solitary or live in a pair and they have territory of 4 - 5 hectares. They mark their territory with dung and they chase away any other Steenboks that enter their territory.

www.africanadventures.co.za

Vol 10 2012

13


Featured specie Diet Steenboks feed upon grasses, roots, fruits and tubers. They rarely drink as they obtain the moisture they need from their diet. Breeding Steenboks breed throughout the year although more fawns are born in spring, during November and December. After a gestation period of 168 - 177 days, 1 fawn (sometimes 2) is born. At birth the fawn weighs approximately 1 kg and within minutes of birth they begin to feed from their mothers. They remain hidden from predators for the first few weeks and when they are approximately 2 weeks old they begin to eat grass. They are weaned at 3 months and are sexually mature at around one year of age. Predators The main predators of steenboks are leopard, jackal, caracal, african wild cat, martial eagle, pythons and humans. If they feel threatened by a predator they will lie low in the grass. If the predator comes to close they will leap up and run away in a zigzag pattern to try to shake off their pursuer. Subspecies There are two subspecies of Steenbok: 1. Raphicerus campestris campestris which are found in southern Africa. 2. Raphicerus campestris naumanni which are found in eastern Africa. Interesting Facts Steenboks are also known as: Steinbuck, Dondor or Steinbok.

14

Vol 10 2012

www.africanadventures.co.za


Vir alle wapensmidwerk en jagtersbenodighede www.magalieswapensmede.co.za Johan 083 284 9785 loggiesj@gmail.com Grobbies 082 447 9391 richardgrobler@vodamail.co.za Eufeesgebou Nr.5, Gerrit Maritzstraat Pretoria-Noord

www.africanadventures.co.za

Vol 10 2012

15


hunting

Jofie Lampbrecht The opportunities to be a big game apprentice in Namibia were very limited in my young P.H. years. I had made friends with a P.H. in Tanzania who had invited me up for several months of experience and work which I gladly accepted. Arriving in my shiny new Toyota Land Cruiser, it was quickly named the prettiest truck in East Africa‌ only because it had not seen any safari work yet. It was on my second safari in Tanzania that we were laboring down a sandy river bed too late at night. I was bone weary, with my liver and kidneys having become one organ from bumping along‌ with two day old ripe hippo bait in the bed of the truck. We were still driving away from camp as the sun set to find the perfect lion bait spot in the farthest reaches of the concession. Rounding a sharp bend in the river, the truck came to an abrupt stop, chassis deep in white river sand. It was a relief to stretch our fatigued bodies, in quiet frustration at having to get the truck un-stuck. 16

Vol 10 2012

www.africanadventures.co.za


hunting All hands – P.H.s, clients, trackers and game scouts all pitched in. We tied bait rope together to reach the nearest sturdy tree, all the while digging and jacking! We worked silently at a situation we could rely on only ourselves to get out of. After more than an hour of this it was becoming as mind numbing as working fence. A tracker walked around the truck with a flash light to see how the opposite team was fairing, with the beam of his flashlight streaking across our back track. Like a gazelle he silently jumped onto the back of the truck, standing on the hippo bait, before he warned to the rest of us- “SIMBA! HATARI!”. Even with my rudimentary Swahili I knew that the mango had just hit the fan. All lights turned towards our spectators, several pairs of eyes, crouched and observing our labor. There was a mad rush for rifles, and a confusion of bodies getting either into the cab and trying to slam the door shut with bodies still trying to get in, or vaulting onto the bed. If captured on film, it would have looked like a bunch of fools blundering in the dark, smelling much like the hippo bait. Shouts did the trick, their stalk busted; our feline followers slinked off into the tree line on the water courses edge. We had found our baiting site. Amazing how quickly you can get a truck un-stuck with a surge of adrenaline, and in the dark, with all local inhabitants scanning the surrounding river bed for advancing eyes rather than the task at hand. A quick decision to back track a little, tree, rope, bait hung – without one boot touching the ground. We would have made formula-one pit stop crews proud at our efficiency. Homeward bound, with excited voices dying down, all our heads would wearily droop to catch short naps. Getting back to camp just before midnight, we grabbed a quick bite to eat and no motivation was needed to retire to our tents. With our loudly protesting bodies, we assembled in the mess the next morning for breakfast and strong coffee. We knew which bait was going to get checked first, and we headed out with a renewed purpose. The truck tracks, pug prints and bait were the only evidence that we had been there, in the seemingly unknown surroundings. As we approached the bait, it was swinging. Another P.H. Dylan and I nonchalantly jumped off the truck, carrying only what we were wearing, and lumbered through the thick sand towards the bait. What happened next was the longest short seconds

www.africanadventures.co.za

Vol 10 2012

17


hunting of my life. With a guttural growl bushes parted, and the queen of the bait came. We turned on our heels, and sprinted back to the truck. All in slow motion, the zippers of gun sleeves were being fought with on the back of the truck, and the game scout sat in the cab of the truck rolling up his window. Armed with an AK-47 Kalashnikov, the ranger had left about an inch of window open to stick his barrel out the window to save us. The only problem was, the barrel was pointed towards the sky with the window closed, and all you could hear was the barrel banging back and forth on the body work on the truck and the grunts from behind that were getting closer. No shots were fired, but we dove into the bed of the truck. The lioness used all of her traction control to skid to a stop just a few short feet away… sand spraying the side of the truck. As she turned the driver finally found the ignition key, put the truck into first gear, and with that we made our escape. The truck screamed down the river bed toward the corner where we had been stuck the previous night. By some stroke of luck, the driver made it over a firm patch of sand, just feet from our plough ruts from the previous evening, and we were able to turn the corner without getting stuck. After about a mile, we stopped and narrated our close call with nervous laughs and pale faces. A Maasai tracker sitting on the back of the truck was not amused… “We will now only have problems with this lion, she knows we fear her.” How right he was. For the next few days, all we could do was do a ‘drive by’, all eyes peering down to the sandy river bed to look for big male tracks. Each time we drew near to the bait with at least one rifle loaded, there were plenty of anxious looks from the unarmed. Boiling out of the cover, she

18

Vol 10 2012

www.africanadventures.co.za


hunting charged the truck. Our mistake on the first day had cost us a chance at shooting a lion from this bait. Stand your ground and take a rifle – always – was the lesson that I will never forget from that safari. Our safari was drawing to a close. No Simba yet. The other client in camp – John and his P.H. Quin had bagged a beautiful lion just a few days previously. This is how it went down. In the southern Selous in the Tunduru district where it was said the highest incidence of maneating lions exists in modern Africa. John and Quin had had a wonderfully successful safari thus far. Driving down the river the truck suddenly stopped. Tracks bigger than a man’s hand was spotted following the vehicle tracks from the day before, having been drawn by the scent of the drag of tripe. After a quick discussion with the trackers, they grabbed their loaded guns and off they set on the track… the bait just over a mile in the distance. After the energy draining mile, progress was slowed to a slow creep. Fresh tracks still under their feet, moving around a corner in the river bed… the bait would be visible in a second. The bait was swinging… and it was not from the wind. After collecting the various accounts of what happened next, I deduced what had happened. The sharp eyes of the tracker picked up a solid shape to the left of the bait. Shooting sticks went up, and John was briefed. “That is a big lion”, Quin quickly said looking through his Austrian binocular. John scanned the edge of the forest for his tawny prey. Locking on all he could see was the giant head of the feline. “Shoot him right on the tip of the nose” was the instruction. The lion was lying down, glaring down his nose at his admirers. As the Barnes bullet found its target, all pride was lost. The king of beasts was down with a bullet having traveled down his nasal cavity, and the soft nosed bullet lodged in the base of his neck. Lights out. Game over.

www.africanadventures.co.za

Vol 10 2012

19


hunting From camp we had just served the second round of drinks that were going down like a home sick mole when we heard the shot. The staff erupted from the back of the camp. Grabbing pots and sticks the “Kabubi kabubi� song started up, which begins the celebration for one of the big 5 having been felled.

My truck is now well and truly broken in, with over 100,000 miles on the clock. Lion lessons learned.

20

Vol 10 2012

www.africanadventures.co.za


hunting

www.africanadventures.co.za

Vol 10 2012

21


hunting

22

Vol 10 2012

www.africanadventures.co.za


www.africanadventures.co.za

Vol 10 2012

23


MONSTERS

ORANGE RIVER

fishing

Barry Matthews The Orange River is one of the largest river systems in South Africa, stretching a mind boggling 2200km, from the highlands of Lesotho, flowing westwards into the Atlantic Ocean. Home to the biggest sharp tooth catfish found in our country. The Orange River winds its way through arid parts of the country with very little angling pressure and farming communities along its banks. Not only known for its catfish but also a fly fisherman’s dream come true when fishing for large and small mouth yellow fish, both indigenous to these waters. Back in 1995, I was paging through one of the local angling magazines, when I came across an article about the monsters that inhabit these waters, I was hooked and the rest is history. Twelve years later a few anglers and I have been fishing the river year on year. It was not an easy start and our research on both the river and its inhabitants was pain staking, with little to no information on where and how to catch these big fish. We had to start from the ground up and through trial and error, developed our own system to target these fish. Back then there were only a hand full of places that anglers could fish the river and they were usually situated near the few towns close to the river. Today there are a host of venues along the river that cater for these kinds of fishing adventures. Private farms along the river have opened their doors to anglers and even though there are more places to fish the best places are but only a few. 24

Vol 10 2012

www.africanadventures.co.za


fishing As for the catfish well they are big, strong and aggressive and nothing like those we are used to catching in all our local dams. These catfish are at the top of their food chain with little to no natural enemies and a bounty of natural food sources. And being river dwelling they contend with strong currents and fast flowing water which makes them relentless once hooked. With fish reaching weights close to 100kg and lengths of over 2 meters it becomes somewhat of battle fishing for them. Now I have not caught any really old monsters and to date my biggest I’ve been able to land is just short of 50kg. It’s those that I couldn’t land that take me back every year. The locals along the river talk of monsters that sound unreal but after twelve years of fishing for them, I’m a believer of their folk tales. Seeing is believing and a few of us have vivid images of big catfish making a meal of drowned goats and sheep that land on their menu. But nothing prepares you for that first big take when what you thought was overkill in tackle and gear then seemed too weak or under rated against the violent foe that got hold of your bait. It’s not a complicated affair to catch these fish. The rigs are simple and the bait nothing but what they feed on naturally. It’s more where to find them and how to look for them and this is what makes certain stretches along the river prime areas. Big catfish are lazy and they tend to hole up in deep pools with slow flowing currents. The prime time for feeding is at night and during the day they will move along the slow flowing areas in the shallows were they know food will be washed up on the sand banks and against the rocky out crops along the river. They are creatures of habit and as we learned over the years will patrol a certain stretch of river in a zig-zag formation scouring the river for anything dead or alive. On two different occasions we caught the same fish four times in the same area in a matter of a day. The best bait is mudfish, yellow fish and carp

www.africanadventures.co.za

Vol 10 2012

25


fishing heads. And when trying to get the biggest catfish the saying: ”The bigger the bait the bigger the fish” is very true. With mouths big enough to swallow a 6kg fish whole they are not shy. Knowing

everything

about

these

fascinating species and understanding their habits will go a long way in your attempts to catch them. As for the tackle needed to battle these catfish, well it’s nothing short of gear meant for the sea. Armed with 6 foot jigging rods, tuna rods and reels that are made for ocean game fish like the Penn 500 or Diawa SL 50 reels, filled with strong abrasion resistant 20-50 pound Berkley line, 80 pound leaders and circle hooks 12/0 and bigger. Not every bait will get you a monster but being prepared for when it does take your bait is worth every cent spent on strong tackle. Not only do you have to contend with the sheer strength of these big fish but also their cunning methods to wrap you up in structure and between rocks and if they manage to reach the stronger flowing water, well then you have your work cut out for you and you can be sure that an hour in the gym will be a walk in the park. Once the fight is won you face round two and landing a 30kg plus catfish usually ends up in loss of skin, finger nails and other injuries if you don’t do it right. Being strong river swimmers these catfish are one big muscle and on dry ground they trash around with brute force. As one of my friends found out

26

Vol 10 2012

www.africanadventures.co.za


fishing after landing a 25kg catfish that gripped his fingers in its mouth and with one swing of its body put him flat on his back knocking his wind out and removing all the skin off his fingers. With two sets of fine teeth on the top and bottom of the mouth they are able to grip and hold on to anything they grab. Almost the same effect as that of very ruff sand paper. They also have a very strong bite force and there are very few things that would survive a solid take from those jaws. Monster fishing the Orange River is a adventure second to none.

www.africanadventures.co.za

Vol 10 2012

27


fishing

28

Vol 10 2012

www.africanadventures.co.za


Featured fishingspecie

Zambezi shark Carcharhinus leucas

Cobus Steyl

The Zambezi shark, also known as the bull shark, is commonly found worldwide in warm, shallow waters along coasts and in rivers. The Zambezi shark is known for its aggression, preference for warm shallow water and the ability to thrive in freshwater systems. Main characteristics Zambezi sharks are large and stocky. Females are generally larger than males, measuring on average 2.4m and weigh up to 130kg. Slightly smaller, males average 2.25m and 95kg. Zambezi sharks are wider and heavier than other members of the same family group. The upper section of the body is grey and the under part white. This assist with camouflage making it difficult to see the predator from above or below. The bull shark’s tail fin is longer and more horizontal than that of other larger sharks and has a second smaller dorsal fin. It’s short, wide snout is one of its most distinctive characteristics. Bull sharks have a bite force of up to 600 kilograms and is the highest among all investigated cartilaginous fishes. Diet A Zambezi shark’s diet consists mainly of bony fish and sharks, including other bull sharks. They also feed turtles, birds, dolphins and stingrays . They hunt in murky waters using the conditions to ambush their pray and are known to use the bump-and-bite technique. Reproduction Bull sharks mate during late summer and early autumn, often in the brackish water of river mouths. After a gestation period of 12 months, females give birth to between four and ten live young. This phenomenon is known as vivipary. The pups are about 70cm at birth and take 10 years to reach maturity. Coastal lagoons, river mouths, and other low-salinity estuaries are common nursing grounds. Ecology Bull sharks are apex predators and rarely fear other animals. Humans are their biggest threat but larger sharks such as the tiger shark and great white shark, may attack them from time to time.

www.africanadventures.co.za

Vol 10 2012

29


How to cast a fly line Hannes Venter

Fly casting is different to casting with a conventional rod. With conventional equipment we use a weight to pull the line off the reel during the cast. In fly casting the fly line plays a major role in the cast as it carries the fly to the fish. The rods major function is to give the fly line energy during the cast. It is recommended to practice developing your basic casting action on the water as this will provide you with the necessary resistance you need on the fly line during the pick up. If you don’t have access to water then a spot on the lawn in your garden is suitable. Do not attach a fly to your line when practicing rather use a piece of wool. Developing a basic casting action Step 1.1: The grip When you hold the fly rod you must make sure that your thumb is positioned on top of the grip. This will provide support, direction and power to the cast. Step 1.2: The pick up Position 2 or 3 rod lengths of fly line straight out in front of you on the water or grass. For this exercise we recommend that you trap the fly line between your index finger and the rod handle. Make sure that your rod is parallel to the water or ground. From there make an accelerating backwards movement of your forearm to a vertical position next to your ear. Step 1.3: The stop It is critical to stop the rod with a crisp action next to your ear. If you do this correctly the fly line will shoot past you on the way back forming your back cast. Step 1.4: Loading the rod As the line straightens on the back cast, the rod will bend causing the rod to load. Never let the fly line drop below the rod tip on your back cast. You should feel the fly line pull as it loads. Step 1.5: The forward cast Once the line is fully extended on the back cast accelerate your hand forward towards the target and stop the rod with a crisp movement in the position as shown in the next pictures. If you do this correctly the fly line will shoot past you on the way forward. 30

Vol 10 2012

www.africanadventures.co.za


fishing fishing 3

STOP

1

4

2

Step 1.6: The drift Just before the fly line straightens completely on the forward cast in front of you, you must lower the rod until it is parallel with the water. This will put you in the same position that you started in initially. The main purpose of the drift is to help you to present the fly to the target correctly. Step 2: Shooting the line Pull between 3 and 5 meters of line from your reel this is the line you are going to shoot. You will feel that same pull as the line straightens at the front, this will be the idle time to let go of the line that is trapped between your finger and the grip. Timing is very important if you let go of the line too early or too late the line will not shoot. You will have to practice this. If your casting action is good then the line should have enough speed and shoot through your hand therefore adding distance to your cast. Don’t try and shoot line if you not happy with your loading of the rod rather go back to step 1. Step 3: False casting The term false casting is used to describe the backwards and forwards motion of the fly line as it is being cast in the air without letting the fly touch the water. To perform a false cast all you need to do is when you have reached the stop on the forward cast wait for the line to almost straighten out in front of you before starting to make your back cast. It is important to limit the amount of false casts during the cast. Good casters make less than four false casts before they present the fly. You can fish without doing false casts, so concentrate on step 1 and 2 before frustrating yourself with false casting it will come with time. A well presented, accurate cast is more important then distance.

HanneS Venter Fly Fishing Academy 082 373 2622

www.africanadventures.co.za

Vol 10 2012

31


events

Not to be missed KwaZulu-Natal

GAUTENG

Big Boyz Toyz SA Expo 30 March Durban

Rotary River Festival 3 March Vanderbiljpark SA National Drag Racing Championship 21 March Krugersdorp

Splashy Fen Music Festival 28 March Drakensberg Shelly Beach I/Prov & Natal Champs 1-3 March Shelly beach

DINFest 31 March Midrand

Sea Pike Club Comp 28 March Sodwana

Nissan Easter Festival 31 March Kyalami

Mpumalanga NORTH WEST

Lake Umuzi Kosmos 3-in-1 Marathon, Half

Lichtenburg Zebra Zamba & MTB Race

Marathon and 10km

3 March

10 March

Lichtenburg

Secunda

Om Die Dam’ Ultra Marathon

Sappi Mankele MTB Challenge

16 March

23 March

Hartbeespoort Dam

Nelspruit

32

Vol 10 2012

www.africanadventures.co.za


events Lambert Bay Crayfish & Culture Festival 22-24 March Lamberts Bay

Freestate Vintage Tractor Fair 1-3 March Clocolan

Eastern Cape

Pentagon Pistols 32km

Christy Catch Crab Walk & Run & MTB

17 March

Ride

Bloemfontein

21 March St Francis Bay

Limpopo Wine Tasting @ Joe’s Bar Pick n Pay Bosveld Mile

23 March

24 March

Cape St Francis Resort.

Bela Bela Chille Festival

WESTERN CAPE

23-24 March Port Elisabeth

Kalk Bay fish fare 2 March Kalk Bay

Pennington Natal Champs 21-24 March Port Elisabeth

Cape Town Bike Show 3 March Noordhoek

Ratel Rally 2013 21-24 March Graaf-Reinet

Cape getaway show 15 March Somerset Wes Tyger valley outdoor Sport & Adventure 28-31 March Bellville

If you would like to publish your event here, please send details of event to: info@africanadventures.co.za

www.africanadventures.co.za

Vol 10 2012

33


diving

Fintastic Fiji

Anthony Black

Located in the South Pacific this collection of islands offers many dive sites for the traveller. A dive trip to Fiji is simply spectacular. Famous for its soft corals the multiple dive sites will leave you breathless to say the least and the vast variety of dolphins, fish and whales are all contributing factors in creating paradise. The tropical warm waters combined with the variety of diving experiences ranging from reefs to lagoons and the unspoiled underwater beauty make for spectacular and memorable memoirs. The importance of taking advantage of the variety of sites can’t be overstated. When planning your trip make sure to go with a scuba diving company that offers a wide selection of different spots. Nevertheless you can consider different operators as long as they have a reputable accreditation to the Fiji Scuba Diving Association. This will ensure the best dives on your visit to paradise. When to get wet: The tropical climate with high temperatures ensures an abundance of marine live and the sandy beaches with crystal clear water makes Fiji a great destination all year round. However, it is advisable to visit in the off-peak season and try and avoid the height of the rainy season from November to April. Where to get wet: Taveuni is a stunning diving island that forms part of Fiji. Multi-coloured reefs and huge schools of fish will guarantee wonderful dives. Often referred to “Garden Island” this gem offers the best soft corals in an area known as the Rainbow Reef. The vibrant colours are breathtaking and the visablility of these waters only helps to amplify this effect. Other famous dive spots on this island include The Great White Wall, Jerry’s Jelly, The Ledge and Annie’s Bommie.

34

Vol 10 2012

www.africanadventures.co.za


diving

Home to The Great Astrolabe Reef, the southern part of Kadavu Island offers scenic dives around what is arguably the largest living organism in Fiji. This reef is also the third largest in the world and boasts a large diversity of both soft and hard coral as well as an abundance of marine life. With large parts of the reef never dived many calls it “Virgin Diving” and the unspoiled beauty is evident on your decent. Schools of sharks, barracuda and a wide range of coral makes the Naiqoro Passage another famous site on this island. Wananavu Beach Resort is a colourful paradise offering a bounty of corals and is home to one of the largest varieties of marine life anywhere on the islands. Not to be missed is the black coral trees that can be found in an area known as Black Forest. This area is covered by a variety of fish and marine life and has the best example of ancient black coral trees. Other spots not to be missed include Golden Dreams, Macarena, Seqa na Leqa, Tunnel City, Dreammaker, Garden of Eden, Vatu-I-Ra Passages, Amazing Maze and the Pavilion. Situated just south of Suva, Beqa Lagoon presents a variety of different diving options depending on your level of experience. The Beqa Lagoon itself is large and is in fact considered to be one of the best in the South Pacific. Better known for its brightly covered coral and range of marine life this must not be missed. For the more daring at heart shark diving can also be arranged. Some of the popular dive locations at the lagoon are Side Streets, Caesar’s Rocks, Tasu Number 2 and Carpet Cove. Wrecks in Fiji: Resting on the ocean floor 30 meters submerged the Salamanda is a wreck that can be found off the Sonaisali Island. This dive is for advanced divers and a must see. Swimming through this

www.africanadventures.co.za

Vol 10 2012

35


diving 40 meters cruise ships interior will make for an interesting and memorable dive. In the nearby vicinity you can also dive the scattered remains of a B26 Bomber and very interesting yacht wreck makes for a truly unique and fascinating experience. Another wreck that is an exciting dive can be found in Beqa Lagoon and is the Tasu No. 2. A two hundred ton fishing vessel that sank in 1994. It now rests completely upright as if continuing to it’s destination on a bed of white sand. While there aren’t any recommended swim throughs, it is still an intriguing wreck as the clarity of the water allows divers a good view of the marine life that now inhabits this vessel. Fiji’s marine life: With more than 12 000 different fish species it is impossible to try and list them all. The abundance and diversity of marine life is mind boggling but here are some of the more notable marine life that you will encounter. Sharks, barracuda, octopus, turtles, moray eels, red emperor, eagle rays, kingfish, rock cod, batfish, amberjack, manta rays, clown fish, bump nose wrasse, rainbow runners, sea stars, coral trout, triggerfish, box fish, squirrel fish, surgeon fish, Moorish idol, electric rays, and butterfly fish. Besides the stunning soft and hard corals some of the interesting plant life you can see includes black coral trees, sea whips, gorgonian fans, and sponges.

36

Vol 10 2012

www.africanadventures.co.za


diving Fiji’s Fast Facts: Average Air Temperature: 21C - 31C Average Water Temperature: 25C - 30C Average Visibility: The average visibility in this region ranges from 25 to 60+ metres, depending on the conditions and your destination. diving. Coldest Times: November to April Hottest Times: May to October Recommended Kit: In summer you can dive in a 3 mm suit, while in the winter months you might want to wear a 5mm suit.

www.africanadventures.co.za

Vol 10 2012

37


diving

38

Vol 10 2012

www.africanadventures.co.za


diving Recipe

Seafood salad for the lazy

www.cookbook.co.za

There is nothing quite like a great seafood salad on a hot day and nowadays, with marinara mix being available at almost any supermarket, you can whip one together in a matter of minutes. This one takes 20 minutes or so from start to finish, perfect weekend food and if you are having guests… well what can I say, don’t spend too much time in the kitchen. (4 people) What you need

Dressing

375g shell pasta Olive oil 500g frozen marinara mix, thawed 1 small onion finely chopped Olive oil 1 teaspoon crushed garlic 100g ripped rocket for a bed Chopped olives

½ cup mayonnaise 1 tablespoon white wine or chicken stock 1 teaspoon lemon juice 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce 1/3 cup tomato sauce A few drops Tabasco sauce (optional) Palm of chopped fresh parsley

The process In a pan on medium heat with the olive oil, cook the onion and garlic until soft, now add the marinara mix and stir slowly and gently to cook the seafood. Cooking the seafood should not take more than 5 or 6 minutes. Once cooked, place in a bowl and then into the fridge to cool. While the seafood is cooling cook the pasta in plenty of salted water and then drain under cold water. Add the pasta to a large bowl, mix all of the dressing ingredients together and then add to the pasta along with the cooled seafood and toss gently to coat all of the seafood with the sauce. Serve nice mounds on a bed of rocket. You can use any leaves to bed it down with, iceberg lettuce shredded is really good and of course some ripe slices of avocado on the side are a real winner.

www.africanadventures.co.za

Vol 10 2012

39


diving

Scubalicious Egypt

Candice Mather

After what seemed to be an endless amount of long flights we stepped off our bus all in awe while we stared at this amazing shiny white live aboard standing in front of us with very friendly staff to help us on board. As we walked across the kit deck up onto the sun deck it was just vasts amount of turquoise shimmering water in every direction. We all grabbed a cool drink and picked a soft comfy spot on the couch where we sat and listened to the briefing and rules of the boat. We were all very excited to hear what the next few days of this amazing live aboard adventure would entail. After each being shown our room and a couple of zzzzzz’ it was off with our first test dive to make sure everyones equipment made it in one piece and everything was functioning well before

40

Vol 10 2012

www.africanadventures.co.za


diving moving too far away from the harbour. As luck would have it our turquoise blue waters were filled with amazing sea life. As we did our Giant Stride off the back of the boat we were accompanied by two pods of dolphins, who decided to stick around, and play for a while till they got board. We then moved on to the first reef dive and after what seemed like only 10 minutes, but was actually an hours dive on an amazing reef which was filled with hundreds of weird and brightly coloured creatures and critters with fantastic visibility. After the dive we had one of the local meals for supper and then were on our way further into the ocean with nothing around us except amazing orange sunsets, friendly fellow divers and the perfect waters to suit every divers DREAM! The diving was unbelievable from warm waters, pretty reefs, enormous famous wrecks such as the SS Thistlegorm a British armed merchant navy ship built in the 1940’s filled with jeeps, guns, tankers and more to the stunning Giannis D all lying in crystal clear waters which also makes the night dives spectacular. The RED Sea has something to WET every diver’s appetite. With jam packed days of diving to eating five times a day, catching a suntan and snooze at the same time there wasn’t really much time left in the day for anything else. The days flew by and once again we were back at the harbour, back on our bus, on the way to our new adventure, the Blue Hole in Dahab with more fantastic diving some flea infested camel back rides where we had a Bedouin dinner (eating the local way in the mountains with your food cooked in the sand while the fire is made on top of it) and a day trip to the ever so Famous Pyramids. It’s a trip I would do again in a heartbeat and would recommend for any diver to do at least once in their DIVE lifetime.

www.africanadventures.co.za

Vol 10 2012

41


COMPACT BINOCULARS, IMPRESSIVE PERFORMANCE THE NEW CL COMPANION 30. CLOSE AT HAND

Extensive knowledge and a wealth of experience are the secret to understanding nature and successful hunting. Sharing special moments and experiences broaden our horizons and our focus becomes sharper. For this you need more than just a piece of equipment, you need binoculars that are a reliable companion. You need CL Companion binoculars that are always to hand whenever you need them.

ANY TIME the extremely light, compact construction ensures exceptional manageability and simple handling

PERFECT VIEW impressive viewing comfort and proven SWAROVSKI OPTIK quality guarantee truly memorable viewing experiences

PERFECT LOOKS distinctive product design for optimum handling

SEE THE UNSEEN

WWW.SWAROVSKIOPTIK.COM

To ďŹ nd your closest Stockist, please call Brad on 031-5848088

42

Vol 10 2012

www.africanadventures.co.za


Featured specie

Phoenicopterus

www.theanimalfiles.com

Main Characteristics Greater Flamingos are the largest member of the flamingo family and they are the most widespread. They stand at 1.5 m tall, have a wingspan between 1.4 and 1.7 m and they weigh up to 4 Kgs. They are pinkish white in colour but immature birds are grey before they get their full adult plumage. They have long, pink legs with relatively small webbed feet, and a very long neck. Their large bill is downward curving and it is pink in colour with a black tip. They have narrow wings with their primary and secondary flight feathers being black in colour and their wing coverts being red. Greater Flamingos are unmistakable in flight with their long, thin neck outstretched in front and their long legs outstretched behind them. Flocks form either long, trailing lines or irregular shapes whilst in flight. Greater Flamingos have a loud, deep honking call that is similar to that of a goose. While they call loudly during courtship, they have a much quieter call while feeding. Habitat Greater Flamingos are found in both freshwater and saltwater habitats of Central and South America, the Caribbean, south west Europe, Asia and Africa. They live on lakes, estuaries and lagoons. Greater Flamingos that live outside the tropics often migrate to warmer climates for the winter months.

www.africanadventures.co.za

Vol 10 2012

43


Featured specie They live in colonies but these range vastly in size. They can consist of thousands of birds, but in some areas such as the Galapagos Islands, they may only consist of a few dozen birds. Diet Greater Flamingos feed upon insects, worms, vegetation and algae. They mainly feed during the day and they sweep their bill upside down through shallow water picking up food as they go. They usually feed with their head fully immersed in water and they can remain that way for up to 20 seconds. They are filter feeders and their tongue pumps up and down, 5 - 6 times per second, pushing the water out of their beak. Unlike smaller flamingos the Greater Flamingo rarely takes food from the surface of the water and because of its size it is able to wade out into deeper water to feed. They also sometimes swim, upending like a duck to reach food. Breeding Greater Flamingos breed in colonies of up to 200,000 monogamous pairs and after courtship rituals of synchronized dancing, preening, neck stretching and honking. They mate during April and May. They produce one chalky white egg that is laid on a mud mound in shallow water. The nest of each pair is situated approximately 1.5 m from neighbouring nests so the chick remains safe from other breeding pairs. Both parents incubate the egg which takes 27 - 31 days to hatch. They will defend their nest during the breeding season, otherwise they are non-territorial. After the chick first hatches they are fed a substance called “crop milk” which comes from the parents’ upper digestive tract. Either parent can feed the chick this way and other flamingos can act as foster feeders. When the chicks are old enough to walk they gather together in creches that are watched over by a few adult birds. By the time young flamingos reach 2 - 3 years of age they will have gained their full adult plumage. Predators Greater Flamingos have few natural predators however their eggs and chicks are preyed upon by other birds including the marabou stork. Subspecies There are no subspecies of the Greater Flamingo. Interesting Facts Greater Flamingos are closely related to the Caribbean Flamingo and the Chilean Flamingo. Flamingo comes from the latin word for flame. The flamingo’s characteristic pink colouring is caused by the beta carotene in their diet. AA

44

Vol 10 2012

www.africanadventures.co.za


www.africanadventures.co.za

Vol 10 2012

45


adventures

Dr Patrick A Garratt Throughout recorded history man has feared sharks. We have experienced sufficient attacks on bathers, surfers, divers and people stranded at sea to consider them “monstrous beasts” that should be killed at every opportunity. To this day, the vast majority of people still believe that the only “good shark” is a “dead shark”. We will not easily overcome our fear of sharks and we will not easily change the perceptions of sharks as “man eaters”, but we have reached a point in our history where we must conserve them for the future well-being of the oceans. Throughout the world shark populations are declining rapidly and the balance of nature is fast becoming unbalanced. Our task, as a public aquarium

46

Vol 10 2012

www.africanadventures.co.za


adventures promoting conservation of our oceans, is to inform our visitors of the role of sharks in the oceans and the importance of the larger species as apex predators. We promote a balanced perspective regarding sharks and shark attacks and, in so doing, attempt to change the attitudes of those of us who enter the oceans, either for recreation or as a livelihood. This is, however, a rather daunting task, for how do we promote the conservation of animals that are considered “man eaters” and continue to attack us on occasion? Our attempts to change attitudes focus on keeping things in perspective and reducing the hysteria and “outcries of rage and revenge” each time an attack occurs. Shark attacks are horrific to us because they appear to be savage and malicious. Yet, in order to survive, these animals must attack prey in a similar fashion every day of their lives. It is completely natural for them to do so and there is nothing sinister or malicious about it. Our message to anyone entering the sea, for whatever purpose is, therefore, that we should accept that we are entering a wilderness area in which sharks reign supreme. To us, there is no difference to taking a walk in the Kruger Park. Would it be realistic never to expect attacks by lions? No, there is good reason that we stay in the protection of our cars when we enter a game park! We should, in fact, be extremely grateful that we are not generally considered prey by sharks. Consider the growing number of people entering our waters each day and the number of sharks in close proximity to us. If we formed part of their natural diet we should be experiencing many attacks. Yet, along the entire South African coast (over 2,000km) over the last four decades there has been, on average, only one serious injury every year and only one fatality every 2.3 years. Clearly, we cannot consider ourselves prime targets! The recent spate of attacks in False Bay is of great concern to us yet, again, if we look at the facts we see that there has not been a single attack on a bather in shallow water (the surf zone) in living memory. All the attacks have been in deeper water. As deep water is the territory of the Great White shark and we know that there is

www.africanadventures.co.za

Vol 10 2012

47


adventures generally a good number of these sharks in the Bay, we should expect encounters of this nature. Those of us who wish to swim, paddle or surf in deep water must accept the fact that we are increasing the likelihood of an encounter with one of the oceans’ top predators. In deep water we are “walking with lions”. It’s a personal choice. There is an element of risk in all that we do in life but, with ever increasing knowledge we are able to reduce many of these risks. Recordings of shark attacks over many, many years from all the regions of the world are now showing clearly where and when the chances of attack are increased. Fortunately for us and for our tourism industry, these statistics show that swimming in the surf in False Bay (and on all our bathing beaches for that matter) remains safer than the simple acts of crossing a road or driving a car! In line with our attempts to put things into perspective the advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi, in partnership with the production company Groundglass, have recently produced three outstanding advertisements. Comparing shark attacks to deaths caused by the use of everyday appliances and toys and cleverly interweaving the hysteria portrayed in films such as “Jaws”, they show that the chance of falling prey to a shark attack is miniscule in comparison to deaths caused by defective toasters, people falling off chairs and, believe it or not, flying kites! Their message is neither frivolous nor disrespectful. It is simply that we need to “Rethink The Shark”.

Dr Patrick A Garratt | Managing Director |

48

Vol 10 2012

www.africanadventures.co.za

+27 (0)21 418 3823


Razor back

www.africanadventures.co.za

Vol 10 2012

49


50

Vol 10 2012

www.africanadventures.co.za


Featured specie

King Protea

Protea cynaroides Cobus Steyl

The genus is named for the Greek sea-god Proteus who could change into many different shapes. The name refers to the great diversity within the genus. The specific name derives from an old name for eastern and central regions of South Africa, Kaffraria, where the plant originates. The common sugar bush is one of three proteas which occur in the Witwatersrand area. It is the most widely distributed protea in South Africa and may be found in grassland and woodland throughout Gauteng, in parts of Kwazulu Natal, Lesotho, Northern Province, Mpumalanga, the Eastern Cape as far south as the Katberg mountains and in Zimbabwe. It is usually found growing in large colonies especially on rocky ridges. It grows as a shrub or small tree with a somewhat rounded crown and is common in the natural areas of various botanical gardens. The grey-green leaves are elongated with nearly parallel sides. They are leather-like in texture and can be up to 250mm in length.

www.africanadventures.co.za

Vol 10 2012

51


Featured specie The flower heads can develop singly or in clusters. They reach up to 80mm in diameter with the outer bracts varying from reddish to pink or cream in colour. Many tiny, single flowers are clustered together in the flower head. When pollinated each flower forms a small nut which is covered in rich reddish brown hairs. The thick bark has a chunky, corky texture. It protects the mature plant from the fires that are essential to the maintenance of the grasslands in which the common sugar bushes grow. Caterpillars of Capyspenningtoni (Pennington’s protea) and Capysdisjunctus butterflies feed on the flowerbuds. The copious nectar (from which the plant derives its common name - sugarbush) attracts birds and insects such as beetles which pollinate the flowers. Growing Proteacaffra Cultivation has so far proven to be difficult. The germination of seed in cultivation is possible, however, transplanting quickly kills the seedlings. Mature sugarbushes in gardens where the original, natural vegetation has been retained also eventually succumb. This may be due to the disturbance of the roots, too much water and sensitivity to fertilisers. It is best to avoid any cultivation around the base of the plant. The bark is reportedly used for medicinal purposes.

52

Vol 10 2012

www.africanadventures.co.za


www.africanadventures.co.za

Vol 10 2012

53


adventures

Bernie Williams What started out as a thought among friends turned into a “golf” trip (gentleman only, ladies forbidden!) to Botswana in the height of the rain season. So it happened that we set off from Johannesburg on the morning of 5 January on the trip of a lifetime. We crossed the border into Botswana at Martins Drift Border post and we were going to spend our first night at Khama Rhino Sanctuary about 30 km’s from Serowe. Khama Rhino Sanctuary is where Botswana have a very successful rhino breeding program. This reserve is patrolled by the Botswana Defence Force, so…. no poaching here! From Khama Rhino Sanctuary we headed to Letlekhane to refuel and try our luck at getting to Kubu Island over the wet Makgadgadi Pans. Judging from the water we encountered on our way to the village I was afraid it might be impossible to get to Kubu Island. Big was our surprise to find the pans dry!! It was a breeze getting to our overnight stop at the new Makgadigadi Adventure Camp, complete with a swimming pool!! We had the most amazing sundowner on Kubu Island, the best part was….there was NO ONE ELSE around! The next morning thinking that all would be fine, we headed out for the well known Chapmans Baobab. Little did we know what mother nature had in store for us…..

54

Vol 10 2012

www.africanadventures.co.za


adventures Chapmans Boabab was used as a Post tree, people traveling North would take the post from the South and visa versa. Rounding a corner on the pans we found ourselves in water! The only way through was forward with just enough momentum, problem was, the water covered the car completely! So just keep going straight and never come off the power guys!! We were fortunate to make it through‌.I have been stuck on those beautiful pans enough in the past! The reward on reaching Chapmans Baobab was SO worth it! Covered in leaves it made an awesome sight! We sighed a huge sigh of relief when we drove into Maun. Our overnight spot was at the Okavango River Lodge set on the banks of the Tamalekane River. Next morning some of us did the flight over the Delta. After that it was off to our camp site in the Kwai Community Concession. The beauty of going to Botswana in the wet or rainy season is the fact that you have the whole area to yourself! We had one couple camp across from us on night one and then never saw any other tourists again for a whole 4 days! Even the one day we went in the Moremi entering at North Gate, solitude!! Awesome!! We had plenty of elephant around and these giants are really becoming a huge problem in Botswana, they are destroying the beautiful forests at an alarming rate. We had a hyeana

www.africanadventures.co.za

Vol 10 2012

55


adventures in camp every night and plenty of other game around despite of all the water around. We came across lion at Third Bridge and almost witnessed a kill on a wildebeest but luckily for him, he spotted the lion and got out of there as soon as possible! So would I! On our way back to camp late afternoon/evening, we encountered a leopard and two large herd of buffalo……It was back to camp and another scrumptuos meal prepared by our bush chef Godfrey Senosi. On our last day we decided to “take it easy”……..we had a swim in the Kwai River, and before you jump up and down….it was at an open spot and a known water crossing so the local, hippo and crocs tend to stay away from it! The water was incredibly warm and relaxing. On the morning of 12 January we had to pack up and start our journey back, sadly……our last night was spent at Kwanokeng Lodge on the banks of the Limpopo River. Is it worth going to Botswana in the rain season? ABSOLUTELY!! Just make sure you go with an experienced guide and someone that has a very good knowledge of the area…..

Khwela 4x4 Adventures Bernie Williams - bernie@bernie.co.za

56

Vol 10 2012

www.africanadventures.co.za


www.africanadventures.co.za

Vol 10 2012

57


adventures

Chris van Niekerk

“No tourniquets for snake bite, you only apply a pressure bandage from the vital organs outwards� I completed the questions in the first aid exam, paying no further attention to this often misapplied myth. I was applying the final preparation touches to an adventure recce in west Zambia, destination: Liuwa plains. I completed the preparation without a hitch, and on conclusion of one of my Trans Botswana safaris, I was at the starting point to this Liuwa adventure. Being an adventure guide is exactly this, finding new adventures preserving and conserving nature, all in a safe manner. The recce team arrived during the afternoon, and despite tired faces and weary bodies, the excitement was tangible. What does tomorrow hold for us? The border crossings were less eventful than usual, but still had just enough uncertainty to keep the adrenalin flowing. Changing Rand into Kwacha is not the easiest activity around, and with no banks en route we are stuck with the crowd of informal money exchangers to supply us with the required currency for our adventure. Driving north, we catch a glimpse of the mighty Zambezi River and I can’t but think how much water is flowing down past us, the Zambezi touches a little something inside you, it is a majestic, mystical and an unstoppable force. It is different from rivers we see in South Africa.

58

Vol 10 2012

www.africanadventures.co.za


adventures We make our way through several little villages and arrive at the Zambezi ferry crossing. “No oil” the voices echo from the ferry. “The ferry engine oil level is low and there is no oil in the village. The guys on the other side of the river has gone to Mongu to see if they can find oil, maybe one or two days before we run again” the captain explained apologetically, but there was nothing he could do but wait. Our only alternative was the sand road: 200km of deep concentration and hard work. The road winds in and out of splendid West African forest and the double cab’s diesel engine groans under the strain of the deep loose sand. We are greeted by friendly waves as we pass the local inhabitants of the Barotse floodplain. We arrive at the Liuwa plains park main office, surprisingly fresh and upbeat as we wasted no time to get across the river on the pontoon to enter the park. On the cusp of entering the magic world of Liuwa, we wind through the final stretches of forest until finally the plains unfold in front of us: flat and open with the odd spec on the horizon representing a tree: a solitary unspoilt space. Liuwa is known for the series of pans holding water for the local bird and animal life during the dry season. We spend a few days pan-hopping. As we approach every pan we do not know what wildlife we would find. As each pan comes in to view, it is like opening a present, first a glimpse, then a little more and finally the whole pan is in view. We are overwhelmed by hundreds of Grey Crowned Cranes, hundreds of Wattled Cranes, Saddle Bill Stork, African Spoonbill, Openbilled Stork and above us a huge flock of Pelicans float on the breeze in search of their next landing strip. Nothing can dim our sense of adventure and enjoyment of the absolute remoteness of the area. With a maximum temperature of 52 degrees Celsius we did not even recognise that only cold showers were available. Not even a local blind snake in the footpath to the showers worried anyone. We were truly in a paradise of sorts, the wild still being wild. The first small herds of wildebeest were an indication of the start of the migration back on to the plains from the dry season hideaway in Angola. Every year thousands of wildebeest follow this migratory pattern. We witnessed the birth of the new generation of wildebeest as many cows started giving birth with the coming of the new rainy season. We are joined in the wait and in the heat for the return of the wildebeest by the local spotted hyena clans – their radio collars the only sign of civilisation. They have adopted the very odd behaviour of sleeping in the water. It was not strange to see sixteen spotted Hyenas dotted

www.africanadventures.co.za

Vol 10 2012

59


adventures along the edge of the pan sleeping with their bodies in the water and their heads on the dry bank. This was truly unlike anything we have experienced before! We were all a little sad to leave behind a place that crept in to our hearts in just a few days, but there was more to explore. We decided to visit North Kafue and on our way tried to exchange money at a bank in Mongu. “Sorry sir, we are not allowed to transact with anyone with this surname”. Yes there is a list of surnames that authorities are not allowed to transact with – now we know “Meyer” is one of them! With this jolt back to reality we depart to complete the final stretch of our journey. Northern Kafue did not disappoint, we entered as day visitors and followed the Kafue river up to the Lufupa floodplain. Red Lechwe, Blue Wildebeest, Elephant, African wild dog and birds that we only dream of. Finally however, it was time to say goodbye. We were leaving in a state of euphoria having been on this natural beauty journey over the past 10 days, I was driving in the lead vehicle, as I normally do with my window open, breathing the bush and feeling the warm breeze in my face. The tall grass was reclaiming this once graded single track road, then my eye catches the slender olive grey, swaying figure standing upright in the grass right in front of me: one of the supreme beings on the planet, the mighty Black Mamba. I had startled it from its afternoon hunt. I swerved violently to the left to avoid running it over and instinctively pulled my elbow and the rest of my body away from the open window to avoid a defensive strike. At the same time I notice the beast diving to my right and gracefully disappearing in the tall grass, a close call and help not exactly around the corner. As I felt the adrenaline draining away I found my mind wandering back and reminding me “no tourniquets for a snake bite”. Chris van Niekerk What an adventure. Owner & professional guide Bluerhino Safaris www.bluerhino.co.za

60

Vol 10 2012

www.africanadventures.co.za


Utilising Garmin’s leading outdoor GPS range of technology, gives adventurers the confidence needed when navigating through demanding environments making their own way to their destination and back to the safety of civilisation.

1THREAD_5269_AFR

For what you are about to achieve

fenix

eTrex 30 Montana 650

fenix

Montana 650

eTrex 30

The right choice for alpine athletes and outdoor performers.

Guiding you wherever you go, whether you’re on foot, on the road or on water.

One of the most popular and reliable GPS handhelds.

• Waterproof to 50m • Barometric altimeter and electronic compass • TracBack guides you safely back along an easy to follow track line • Premium Heart Rate Monitor with Soft Strap

• Large, transflective 65k colour TFT, dual-orientation touchscreen • Barometric altimeter and electronic compass • 5MP autofocus camera with automatic geotagging

• Up to 25 hours battery life • Waterproof (IPX7) rating (1m of water for 30mins) • Barometric altimeter and electronic compass

To learn more, visit Garmin.co.za

www.africanadventures.co.za

Vol 10 2012

61


Destinations

Bsorah

Luxury Tented Camp 30 min from Lanseria, come unwind among peaceful bush surroundings For more information: Tel: 039 973 2542 | Fax: 086 603 6819

e-mail: umkomaas@netactive.co.za www.aliwalshoalscubadiving.co.za

Tel: 083 234 9526 thalia@bsorah.co.za www.bsorah.com

Talbot Farm Country Get away

3 self catering lodges A bow hunters paradise in North West Limpopo

Game viewing & scenic walks Johan: 082 893 2433 | 013 456 9147 talbot@tiscali.co.za

Contact details: Alida 083 441 2754 Email: alida@arisda.co.za www.arisdariof.co.za

MKHAMBA SAFARIS 072 282 6424 mkhamba@futurenet.co.za Graeme Geldart www.africanhuntingsafaris.net Luxury Accommodation, exquisite cuisine and a variety of activities

Happy hunting for the “grey ghost of the African bush “. E-mail: willem@matlabas.co.za Web: www.matlabas.co.za/ hunting

62

Vol 10 2012

Cell: 083 64 000 24 Tel: 058 622 7000 Email: info@wildhorses.co.za Website: www.wildhorses.co.za

www.africanadventures.co.za


Destinations

Tugela Mouth, KZN, a Small village surrounded by hills, the ocean and river

Fishing, birdwatching, boat trips Tessa Roux 032 458 4093 info@driftwoodchalets.co.za www.driftwoodchalets.co.za

Carol Grobler 082 378 9870 carol@lugardomar.com www.lugardomar.com

012 254 4794

www.sableranch.co.za

Bowhunting destination situated in the Waterberg region Abraham | 073 176 4898 Abraham@sikilelesafari.co.za

Has been in the Roos family for five generations

Affordable accommodation 5 NIGHT 5 DIVE PACKAGE Dinner / Bed and Breakfast

Hiking trails, mountain bike trails, horse riding trails Helena: 083 744 4245 Christo: 083 628 5055 www.bokpoort.co.za

BOOK AND PAY before 1 December AND YOUR BUDDY DIVES FOR FREE NON DIVERS R 3000 PER PERSON

For more information on any of the above trips, please call Charmaine on 011 425 5426

To advertise in

Contact : Lizel 073 777 9524 www.africanadventures.co.za

Vol 10 2012

63


145kW, 436Nm Torque , 2.2L R-Type Diesel , Hill Descent Control , 6 Airbags , ABS , EBD , ESP , 5 or 7 seats , Rear-View Reverse Camera, Smart Key /Push Button Start , Sun Roof , Leather Interior , Climate Control , Driver and Passenger Power Seats. From R419 900 64 Vol 10 2012 www.africanadventures.co.za Visit www.hyundai.co.za to book a test drive.


Smith optics

www.africanadventures.co.za

Vol 10 2012

65


FRONT RUNNER

66

Vol 10 2012

www.africanadventures.co.za

Volume 10  

Volume 10 African Adventures