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Reisverslag A few days in Bénoué NP
26 januari 2015
A few days in Bénoué NP
Hope everything is fine in the Netherlands. I saw that it had been snowing. Feels soo strange, since the temperatures are raising till almost 40 degrees already.
Lets write down what I have done since last time I have updated you all. At the evening before we left to Bénoué we were invited for dinner and dancing by some lecturers of école de faune. So, we did.. :D First, we were eating Karper somewhere at a sort of bar next to the road. The fish was really good!! After, we went to another place for drinks and 'dancing' (still have to do something on my African dance moves). A band was playing. The woman that was singing was quite okay.. But the guy after here was horrible!! We only recognized songs (monotone and very out of tune) after 3 minutes. But hey, we had fun. Another thing, every hur or so, there was a sort of commercial break. So stupid, but also funny. Just because it was super random. After we went home by motor. Having the dark African evening wind through your hairs is a small moment of happiness on a day.
The day after, it was time to go to Bénoué NP. But first, there were some problems with the insurance of the car. It took a lot of time to arrange it, but finally it worked out. We had lost quite some time, but hey!, is Africa.
We did our last shopping and we went our journey to Bénoué NP. Also the directors wife and her little kid went with us. When we entered the park, it turned dark. After a while, a leopard crossed the road. An of course!! I missed it :( That can only happen me. When we arrived in the camp, everybody came outside to welcome us. So nice to see Ibrahim (the camp manager) and Bello (our cook) again after a year. We went to our boukarou. And.. there was water in the Boukarou.. I've never seen that in Bénoué NP. I was happy that they fixed that and I could have a proper shower. Bathing in the river was not necessary anymore. We went to sleep because we had a busy day.
Our only full day in Bénoué. We started with breakfast. The bread that we took from Garoua was hard as stone because of the heat.. But with a layer of nutella of strawberry jam it was totally okay. After, we gave some training to two ecoguards of Bénoué NP and a students of école de faune. We soon figured out that they only had little knowledge. They even pointed a leopard as a tiger (tigers do not exist in Africa). But, they were very enthusiastic and willing to learn. After, we went for a little tour with the car and searched for some tracks to practice the recognition of them. We also searched a bit for herbivores, but we only saw some kobs and vervet monkeys far away. Back in the camp we held a siesta, because it was really hot. Then had a warm meal and around 15:00 we left to go to guidjiba. There were stories about a man that was attacked by a lion there. So, the conservator had asked us to perform calling stations to verify if there still is a lion there and if it was a male of female etc. When we were in Guidjiba, we were asking around for some more details. It did not became more clear. Some of them told us now that it happened even 30 km away from the point we were now, and others told us that it was 12 km.. Frustrating. We decided to do a calling station at 10 km from the village. We waited till it turned dark. Also, a large truck broke down a 100m behind us.. We even helped to push the truck, but it did not really worked out. Eventually, we asked them to stay in the truck while we did our calling station. Perfect circumstances.. NOT! Haha... We decided to do one calling station of 60 minutes. I went in the back of the car, splashed between two armed ecoguards.. XD Memorable haha. Of course we had zero response. I only gained a massive headache. We decided to head back home and we arrived late in the evening. Went to sleep.
The next morning, we took breakfast. After I walked down to the river to the places where we always went swimming last year. There was a lot of water at the moment. It will stay a very beautiful place. After, the guards asked for extra information about calculations of the research methods. They are curious, so that is good. After, we packed our stuff and went back to Garoua. Long journey, but there is always a lot to see. In Garoua, we did not so a lot. Checking email, facebook etc. Bit of regular stuff.
Today, not really a special day as well.. Went to the city to buy stuff. We had to shop for Faro (we are going tomorrow for 3 days). I have never seen that park, so I am really curious. Also, we went to the artisenat. The guys still recognized me from last year. I used my negotiation skills as never before. Haha, still like it.
So, that was the story so far!! Let's see what the coming days will bring :D
26 januari 2015 20:57 | Door: klaas jan bakker
Nice story, I look forward to your next writings.