South Africa ♥ Karoo National Park

I never expected to see so many wild animals in the Karoo national park…already behind the first bend we saw some reds hartebeest, a little further on we found a herd mountain zebras and we also spotted Oryx, Baboons, Springboks, Ostriches, Gemsboks, Stenbok, Kudus and Burchell’s Zebras.
Only the lion living in the park was missing.

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South Africa ♥ On the road

This part of our journey was my favorite one…on the road with a 4×4 Toyota, tents on top, free, independent, sleeping in the wild, cooking on open fire…a feeling of freedom!

We started in Somerset West and went south…

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Our first camp in the wild with a stunning sunset and very curious little neighbours 🙂

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The road to „Di hell“ … if this is hell, nobody has to be afraid to get there!

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Out of the hell we continued our journey in direction Prince Albert

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A playground for every man! But to be honest, I had as much fun as the guys! 😀
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Our last night in the wild! We found the best place ever, somewhere in the mountains…simply wonderful!
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The best road sign! When tarmac ends and gravel starts, yippieeeeeh!IMG_8857

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South Africa ♥ In and around Capetown

So many pictures from beautiful South Africa…let’s start with „in and around Capetown“, this wonderful city at the end of the African continent 😀

The V&A Waterfront
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Happy new year from the top of Lion’s Head!

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Kirstenbosch National Botanic Gardens

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For all vine lovers: visite the Waterford Estate in Stellenbosch and taste their excellent Chardonnay

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Cheetah Outreach in Strand

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 Helderberg, Somerset West

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Table mountain via Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden

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Blouberg Strand

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EHRA – Elephant-Human Relations Aid in Namibia

During the last two weeks I had some amazing experiences with great people and the fascinating Namibian desert elephants. As a volunteer I contributed towards elephant conservation by helping to improve the relation between elephants and humans. Elephants can cause a lot of trouble by destroying water pumps or being a danger to people. EHRA tries to solve these problems by constructing protective structures around water points and educating community members about elephant behavior to be able to live safely without fear of the elephants.

The project is financed through donations and the contribution of the volunteers. Therefore more volunteers are needed! For me it was the best holiday ever: sleeping under the stars (you can see the milky way!), cooking over fire, driving through the breathtaking landscape of Namibia and the experience with these awesome animals! We had great and experienced guides and a group of volunteers from all over the world with one aim: protecting the Namibian desert elephants! If you are interested please visit the website of EHRA: http://www.desertelephant.org/ and the field blog of the volunteers http://volunteeringafricadotnet.wordpress.com/ You are also more than welcome to write me a message if you have questions about the trip.

Please share and tell your friends about it!

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This is the base camp at Ugab River where we slept in the tree, waiting for elephants passing by 🙂camp-2

Every Morning the volunteers „on duty“ wake up early, get the fire started and prepare coffe or tea and serve it right next to the sleeping bags of the other volunteers – a nice start in the day!frühstück

The first week is the building week, where you go to farms and build protective walls around water pumps – finnishing a wall and knowing that it helps the people and the olifants makes you happy!Building Week

On our way we met lovely people and especially the kids were fantastic – no shoes on their feet but always a heartwarming smile in their face!Children

I loved the arts and crafts from the locals – simple but beautifulart

Everywhere are hills to climbe on and watch the landscape.IMG_7419

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Caution! An Elephant might cross your way 😉IMG_7645

Before we started to patrol week, the herd of G6 visited us at base camp. It was a magic moment to have these fantastic animals so close! Oliolifa

On patrol week you track the elephants to collect data and sometimes also to collect dung for the genetic project. We had the probably best elephant tracker in Namibia: Mattias. He found elephants every single day! We were so lucky 😀 Unfortunately there was no useful dung to collect. Maybe next time…trackingIMG_8603

On patrol we slept every night at another stunning place under the stars. This was an unforgetable experience!IMG_8008

The sky over Africa is just WOW! You can see much more stars than in Europe. Additionally the Milky Way shows up every night 😀IMG_8597

Fresh dung: elephants must be close!dung

Here we found the best place to watch wild elephants in their natural environment. Sitting on a hill we observed the herd of Mama Afrika for 2-3 hours, saw them playing, bathing, eating, communicating and simply having fun at this water hole. An experience I will never forget in my life!IMG_8078olip
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Another day we spotted them just before sunset and watched them eating from the trees in a wonderful soft light.IMG_8830

I’m very thankful for this wonderful holiday with a great group of volunteers and the best team of EHRA!IMG_8904