Our Eco-Expedition, Back to Africa with Lex Hes ended on March 9th and we are excited to share some highlights of the trip.
One of the greatest things about this trip was the enormous diversity we encountered as we moved from the low rainfall areas of the desert through to the high rainfall areas in the east. Starting off with Rhino Camp, our sights and sounds included: oryx, springbok, Ruppell’s korhaan, Namaqua sandgrouse, the long drawn-out whistle of the Benguella longbilled lark, Hartmann’s mountain zebra, the milk bush (Euphorbia damarana) and the rare and interesting Welwitschia. One of the big highlights for me was the awesome afternoon thunderstorm that interrupted our sundowner stop.
At Serra Cafema the stunning landscapes always blow me away and the Namaqua chameleon was only the second one I have ever seen. Ongava introduced some of you to the white rhino and gave us our first sighting of lions, as well as our only sightings of the blackfaced impala.
From Vumbura to Mombo a few major highlights stand out for me: the herd of elephants playing in the lake with the backdrop of the late afternoon storm clouds, the pride of lions attempting to hunt to small herd of buffalo in the gathering gloom of the upcoming night, and the early morning silhouettes of zebra and buffalo in the morning mists as we left camp.
And then it was off to our last destination in Zambia where we had a wonderful mix of culture and wildlife. Seeing the wild dogs again was a real bonus and the leopard on the last night was a fitting wildlife farewell. One of the real highlights for me on any visit to Mfuwe is our time in the village where we always come away with a better understanding of what it is like living in these places. The show put on by the theatre group was something really special.
Excerpts from the Welcome Home Letter written by Expedition Leader Lex Hes for our February/March 2009 Back to Africa expedition.