November / December 2007
"First impressions of the camp were actually much more impressive than expected; I found it quite quaint and cute! The chalets are lovely and I believe that everybody had a fantastic sleep. The staff (2 x Craig and Amy) are all lovely and good for a laugh and they all made us feel quite at home instantly. The drive in was absolutely fantastic, with giraffe, zebras, warthogs, water buffalo and the sweetest little squirrels ever. The 4.30am wake up this morning was actually a lot easier than expected and once everyone got there coffee into them I was actually quite lively. The first ever game drive was brilliant and our lion tracking expedition was a lot of fun. I know that one day I will need to be able to distinguish lion tracks from hyena back in Australia! And even if I don’t I feel pretty flash because I can! Ooh, a special mention must go to our esteemed chef for a delicious dinner."
"After very good first nights sleep we were woken this morning at 4.30am by lions roaring and the view upstairs was exquisite. sunrise at 5am is just breath taking."
Sharon (late 40’s)
"First friendly elephant sighting today this was fantastic! There were at least 8, with 2 babies that were so sweet. Craig Fox, Sharon and I spotted them after the vegetation team said they could hear them through the bushes. We went back around to the vegetation team and all piled into the game viewer for another drive by. Unfortunately some had moved of but we got some good sightings. After radioing Amy and the others still at camp we went and picked them up and squeezed into the game viewer for another drive by. Sadly they had obviously had enough of us and had gone of back into the bush, however on our return journey we got to see a large male on the side of the road so the others that had joined from camp got to have a view. The guys that stayed at camp also built us another fence around the kitchen area as another attempt to keep out the naughty honey badger that has broken in two nights running and trashed the place."
"With just 3 days to go at paradise camp let’s put down some of the highlights from this warthogs stay. The quiz night with quiz master Amy and adjudicators Craig S and Craig F was very informative how many people know that elephants have over 60,000 muscles in their trunks! Even if we didn’t know that answer, team warthog won.
We have been blessed with another dinner guest last night - I really think that the honey badger could have cut its claws before she sat down to eat.
We had a family of warthogs bolt out of there hole as the secorocoro rumbled by; elephants drinking from the river and throwing sand all over themselves; a civet sniffing around; a genet (large spotted that is!) slipped into his marula mansion and then we had the greatest fun pulling out pricklypears!!!
We have all been enthralled by the stories that you guys have told us, we have learnt lots and laughed heaps. The funniest quote must go to buana Spencer “An elephant wanted to trample me so thin, you could have faxed me home”!!! may the knowledge and love of the environment continue to be spread!"
"Thought I would write a quick note about the magnificent sunset last night. The poor guys on game drive may have missed out on but those of us back at camp got a fantastic view. What better way to enjoy it than sipping on a brutal fruit on top of a Landrover watching as the splashes of gold, red and purple slipped below the horizon only to be replaced by a myriad of stars in the ever darkening sky. I believe there is a saying over here; TIA – this is Africa! And surely that was it. As mentioned above Boris the bold as we shall now call him made his first appearance in the toilet hut (He has an unnatural liking for our bathroom) to scare two poor innocent females on their journey to the bathroom, so the trip was abandoned and a ranger sought for protection! A rendition of Kenny Rodgers ‘the gambler’ seemed to do the trick. And Boris stayed well away. Tomorrow is our next free day, and I am quite looking forward to going to Kruger Park (well another aspect of itanyway), as I am sure the majority are looking forward to their trip to the Drakensburg trek. And then this part of our South Africa trip is over and everybody says farewell on Saturday. Gosh it has gone so fast and whilst I am looking forward to clean clothes and my next month in SA I will be sad to leave paradise camp!"
"Yesterday was our last working day and finishes off 2 weeks at paradise camp. Although I call it work it really hasn’t felt like it as I have enjoyed all aspects. I loved the variety of jobs we were required to do, for wildlife / game viewing and recording data, vegetation monitoring and removal and all the little jobs in between. It really makes a huge difference when you are with a group of individuals who actually have a passion for the environment and the need for change... I can say that I wouldn’t have had as good a time if it wasn’t for the Craig’s and their extensive knowledge on the environment and in general. Amy has also been a great part of this program, not only as a fantastic chef that had to put upwith honey badgers raiding her kitchen and stealing and eating the food; but also putting up with a group of strangers living in her home! The Craig’s and Amy were extremely hospitable and were always up for a chat or willing to answer any questions thrown their way. They were truly interested in getting toknow us and share there stories with us and make us feel right at home which I am very grateful for.
I hope this program(although very new) is a great success for both the Craig’s and Amy, as I think everyone has worked very hard to get this up and running and you deserve nothing less. I am very lucky to have met so many nice people sharing the samedream and I hope that I can continue to be a part of it. Thank you."
"Today Charles, Amy,Craig F and I went to Kruger national park. On the way out Amy’s ever watchful eyes spotted the two male lions who we have heard roaring tantalisingly close to our camp for the past two weeks which was fantastic. The day then followedwith sightings of the remaining 4 of the big 5 which was great! We had lunch at Oliphant’s camp with naughty Vervet Monkeys running around stealing food from all the tables, including our left over chips. Fantastic day had by all and a great trip all round. THANKS GUYS!!!"
"Our last day, most of us our flying home but a few will be continuing their travels in Africa. Craig S took the rest of us not going to Kruger on a sightseeing trip into the Drakensburg Mountains and inside the Echo Caves – very interesting seeing the Baobab Tree, Blyde River Canyon, lunching in Graskop and traveling on through the clouds home. Thank you to Craig S, Craig F, and Amy for your dedication, knowledge, sharp wit and humour."