A week in Torra Conservancy
By Molly Estabrook (University of Vermont ’15)
This week was very exciting as we completed our first week of game drives, point counts, and bush camping in the Palmwag Concession and in Torra Conservancy. The week was filled with many great first time animal sightings for us, including: Black Rhino, Lion, Spotted-Hyena, Kudu, Meerkats, Red Hartebeest, and Elephants. In addition to very successful game drives and point counts, we had a blast with our first week of bush camping.
Our first night started off very eventful and was one of the highlights of the week! As we began to pull into our campsite at Palm we spotted our first two Elephants heading away from us. We did a quick U-turn and headed further down the road to get a better view. Instead of seeing just the two elephants, we saw 27! The four of us were beyond ecstatic and began taking dozens of photos. The elephants were rolling in the mud, getting “dust baths”, or eating leaves off the nearby trees. They ranged from young of year to mature adults. Due to the herd of elephants passing through, our night continued to be eventful as our game guard, Ephraim had to fix the water pipe that was broken by the herd in the riverbed.
Our days of bush camping are never dull. Not only do we constantly enjoy the chatter between the hyenas, jackals, donkeys, barking gecko, and the pearl-spotted owlet nightly, we also have had adventures battling with the wind in the Huab riverved as it tried to sweep away one of our tents. To end our fabulous week with the Torra game guards, Erick and Ephraim, we spent our last night in Torra camping at the Krone campsite. After dinner we sat around the fire and taught each other our different national anthems. We sang the Namibia, Canadian, and American anthems. When we were done having the sing-off we all grabbed our sleeping bags and scampered up to a big flat rock that had a spectacular view overlooking the landscape and the sky. We fell asleep under the full moon and stars with barking geckos quietly chirping throughout the night, the view was absolutely incredible. It was an excellent way to end an amazing week in Torra Conservancy.