Volunteer Blog 2nd-13th May 2016

Our group

What an adventurous journey once again. The group started a wall at Farm Horizon just outside Khorixas and got to around halfway ready. The current group continues with the wall at the moment. The First day of the Patrol week was very exciting: as the team was about to leave to look for the Elephants, Mama Afrika’s herd walked to our Base Camp to greet all the volunteers and staff members! There was also a little bit of sadness in the air, as the team together with Dr. Betsy Fox and the volunteers assisted Ministry of Environment and Tourism to assess a dead elephant on a farm near Khorixas. This is reflected in the blog stories.  Again this time our volunteers were a versatile, hard-working  group, all ages, all walks of life, from all around the world. Let’s let our volunteers tell their stories:

There’s nothing like Campfire tea or coffee


“This was my first experience with EHRA and I will definitely be recommending this to my friends. The staff, food and volunteers were all great with a great international mix. Build week was very satisfying as we could nearly see the help we were doing, although I would have hoped for a few more build days to make it closer to a week than 3 days. Never the less I think we achieved a lot in our time, so I was very happy.

Patrol week was equally enjoyable, with Chris being a great teacher who was keen to answer our questions. I learnt and saw a great deal, even in the dry area around camp, including kudu and springbok. The elephant encounters were very close and personal, but I never felt in danger, thanks to the EHRA staff and guides, and camp was always comfortable.

Elephant at sunset

I will especially remember our time with the elephant carcass found on a nearby farm. The chance to see the anatomy up close with Chris was fascinating, but it was most important to see what our work was for. Chris concluded it was likely shot by farmers, highlighting the importance of the wall building the week before. In this respect I would love to return and continue to contribute. Conservation is a field I hope to work in in the future, and EHRA has set an excellent example for how to go about it. I only wish I had more days building and a few less relaxing at camp, as that is what I intended for. Amazing 2 weeks, thanks to everyone.”

William Weston, 18

This dead elephant was sadly most probably a victim of Human-Wildlife Conflict

“Last day in camp. It is so cold that I regret for the first time in weeks to not having bought a 3 season sleeping bag. So finally, winter is coming.

The last patrol week had its ups and downs. Especially the first day was a good example for that. Starting with having the long not seen Mamma Afrika herd in camp, we went to Khorixas to investigate a recently found dead elephant. Watching the herd passing through camp was for sure my best elephant experience with EHRA in the last weeks. Never have we been that close and seeing them enjoying our “Home Sweet Home” was an unforgettable experience. Later that day we spent hours around the dead body of a probably shot elephant. Not so much fun to be honest. But I guess it made us rethink the time we were building the week before. There is real danger to the elephants in Damaraland and it is important to help the farmers by protecting their water tanks and pumps.

Mama Afrika’s herd visiting our Base camp!

We all are shocked by seeing a killed elephant. No discussion about that. But it is too easy to just blame the farmers. They are not well educated and often are forced to desperate means. Maybe this is the most important thing I learned in my 4 weeks with EHRA. It is not about elephants. It is about ELEPHANTS AND FARMERS.”

Tobias from Germany

EHRA's completed wall
A wall completed by EHRA volunteers


” Had a good time with EHRA! Thanks, I loved sleeping under the stars, fire camp conversations, dinner, patrolling or building and waking up with the sunrise.

After 2 weeks with EHRA, we are upside down with this nice experience.”

Anne from Switzerland, from the French Part


Volunteer Blog 18th – 29th April 2016

Sunday 24th April 2016 – in Base Camp

group photo finished wall
The Team at the end of Build Week

We survived build week!  The group of excited travellers who hopped around camp on Monday evening hobbled back on Friday like a group of pensioners who had just attempted a marathon – tired, sore BUT very happy and satisfied.  For all of our talk and reflection you would think we had just reconstructed the Great Wall of China but, in reality we had put the finishing touches to one walls, built a platform to elevate a water tank and laid the foundations for its protective wall.

stand for water tank
Stand for the water tank

The week started following lunch on Tuesday after we had set up the camp.  We kicked off with a quick demo on how to make cement by Kabwata (ed. young Matheus) – it really couldn’t be easier: 6 shovels of sand, 3 of cement a bucket of water a couple of stirs and there you have it!  A barrow of cement in under 2 minutes – it couldn’t be too much bother to knock up a couple of walls this week!!!  We learnt pretty quickly that we aren’t all Kabwata and that this whole business needs a fair bit more skill and strength than I had on day 1! Luckily we had a few strong team members and the expertise and patience of Kavari and Martha to show the rest of us the ropes and soon enough we had a great little production line on the go.

cement mixing
Cement mixing
go tom

We finished up the wall on Tuesday and moved to our next farm where we built the other structures.  The next days passed in a blur of hard work, sweat, camaraderie and learning.  Multiple sand and rock runs, loads of rocks and enough cement mixes to give us a few blisters and an impetus to establish a cult to worship at the genius of the man who invented the cement mixer, we headed back to base camp with some new skills and a felling that we had contributed to something.

Challenging through the building week was it was made manageable – there was something we could each do and we learn to complement each other quickly.  By the last day the separation of ‘you do dry mix, I’ll do wet’ rotated clearly, and no sooner had wheelbarrows been returned to its spot, then it was refilled with the cement ingredients and a fresh water bucket was lined up.

kavari in bin
Intern Kavari taking a rest – in a bin!

On top of the rewarding days were the nights.  We were all impressed with the camps that materialised on a thorny piece of ground as if from no where and the food that we conjured up on the campfire was better than much of what I cook at home.  Lying under the tarpaulin, looking out on landscape lit by the nearly full moon and admiring the (occasionally shooting) stars, it was hard to feel anything other than enormously privileged.

sunset 3
Beautiful sunsets
build week camp
Camp during build week

We arrived back to Base Camp on Friday in the spirit of those arriving at a 5* luxury lodge.  After a short stop at Khorixas for a much needed coke, it became clear that we were the grubbiest people in Namibia and the showers we enjoyed on our return to camp were blissful.  We have been treated to a very relaxing weekend and we are all looking forward to patrol week and all the new adventures it promises.

cards at night
Relaxing at base camp

Thank you to Kabwata, Kavari, Martha and Chris they have looked after us brilliantly, trained us patiently and kept the ‘craic’ going as we got tired.  It has been an unforgettable experience.

Niav Grant, UK.


Tuesday 26th April 2016 – Patrol week

We just finished our meal after a really long drive.  It took us all day to get from the Ugab River camp.  During this time we saw almost every combination of the 3 or 4 dominating colour in this area.  I am always surprised at what stunning landscapes are waiting right after the next corner.  The diversity of Namibia is in fact amazing and even Damaraland offers quite a lot.  Whenever you get used to rocks being red, they start being white or yellow.  Chris told us that this is the panorama route and the area fits to the name.


Our camp is on a little plateau and we have an amazing view of the land surrounding us.  Maybe tomorrow morning will bring us some more great views over the valley.

hyena camp
Hyena Camp

We have been lucky to see elephants just after 2 hours of patrol week.  But although we saw many of them the day was dominated by these stupid little bees which seem to have a 9 to 5 job in annoying people!  There must be Japanese – Kamikaze training camp for little bees somewhere near!  They all want to die a heroic death by smashing in your ears of your just washed hair – I hate them!! (ed. These are Mopani Bees, very small and do not sting!!)

One of the Ugab Herds G6

During the drives they stopped following us.  SO there was time to make some nice pictures of giraffe, oryx, and springbok.  I am sure with the help of Chris and Big Mattias the next day will bring us some more elephants.

Tobias, Germany

Volunteer Blog 21st March -1st of April

Nawa and cow 1

Our latest group was a  bit smaller, but they were also successful and worked  very hard for the benefit of our Elephants and the Local Communities. On their journey they saw plenty of wildlife, from gecko lizards to Chacma Baboons, Springboks (lots of calves) and of course the elephants! They were also hunting..for Easter eggs! (picture below)

Here is a story of one of the volunteers:

Thursday, 24th March

So, this is my first experience of Namibia, my first experience manual labour and also of tics and despite of the tic’s. I love it!

We arrived in Swakop on Sunday and met my fellow EHRA volunteers at the Amanpuri Lodge. I was suprised to see such a small group but knowing what I know I am pleased it turned out this way, it’s means we have all interacted and got to know each other well.


Monday we set out for a bumpy ride to ‘base camp’, it was well worth all the bumps – the camp is beautiful. It reminds me of a scene from the film ‘Swiss family Robinson!

So I am writing this after two and half days of very hard work. We have 16 days of cement, moved ‘tons’ of sand and must have lifted 300 huge rocks between. Regardless I’ll be sad for the …of build week, but I will!


The food has been great, Mattias is a wizard with rocks. Donna has been fantastic! Bring on patrol week!

(Bossy two)

Volunteer Blog 7th to 18th of March 2016


This group had members from all over the world. They were busy on the Building week and managed to finish a Protection wall on a farm close to Khorixas. It was actually a re-building of the wall, as the workers of the farm had built it, but it had been knocked down by elephants. It looks very firm now! They had unforgettable and exciting moments as one night they woke up with Elephants in the camp…another one there was Lions close by!

But we will let the contributors of this journey’s blog, a mother and daughter from Finland, to tell their view of the story!


Sunday 13th of March, 2016

I set up on my two week with EHRA with no other expectations than to have an African adventure in the wild with no gadgets other than my camera and to meet no people. Of course I did hope to see elephants as it is why I chose EHRA. So far this trip has beyond met my expectations and I have even seen an elephant although it was in the middle of the night so it was only a massive ghost like silhouette passing our camp only couple meters away. From the tents some of our volunteers slept in. Scary! When we first told everyone in the morning they didn’t believe us, but the footprints were there. The first week is now behind us and we are resting at the base camp after dirty, sweaty but rewarding days of building a wall around a water point. The base camp is amazing with the platform for sleeping up in the tree, toilets, running water and showers. The showering after returning from build week is the second best feeling right after a cold drink. Ice cold water that is really all you crave for. I feel like EHRA Is doing important work and I am so happy to be part of it even if it is only my two week time here. They have taken such  good care of us too. The food is so good and we each take turns in the kitchen duty to help cook and clean up. Morning porridge is enjoyed while watching the sun rise and dinner time it is already dark and the stars are becoming live on the night sky, and the milky way is the last thing you see before you fall asleep. If you can keep your eyes open for just a little while you might even see a shooting star.

Picture by Tiina Ramet.EHRA_Namibia_TR-750787

My stay is only half done and I have already learned so much, made new friends, and seen so many landscapes and creatures that I can hardly wait for next week when we go track for elephants. I would definitely encourage people to take this trip. Never a dull moment here and you are guaranteed to make memories for a lifetime! Flat tires, leaking fuel canisters, laughs around the fire….

Thank you Donna and all of the EHRA staff for the amazing work you do!



This is the last day of patrol-week and I’m so glad that I came here to do these 2 weeks. We had an awesome building-week making some farm owners really happy cause their water points are safe now. We build 3 walls on one farm where there were elephants EVERY NIGHT!! And because we were so quick we begun to start work on another farm for the next build group. I never thought that living in the nature 24/7 without toilet or showers could be this awesome. You can sleep under the stars which are beautiful! Weekend off in the base camp gives you time to just enjoy this beautiful place and you will love the showers there! We also went visiting Uis where we could swim and eat lunch , also did a little shopping in the supermarket. After all this a prize for all that good work starts on patrol-week.

Picture by Tiina RametEHRA_Namibia_TR-750800

I can say that this was worth waiting for. Every day is different and you can see all of these amazing animals and views. Last night we had to do night shifts because there was lions. So you’ll never know what the day brings by. You will love it, I know I did. Plus, after all this you also get to know all these cool people who are joining in the same journey with you. We have people from England, Germany, Switzerland, Australia and USA. (p.s I am from Finland). Day after tomorrow I am leaving from here with all of these memories. I am really happy that I came!!

Neea Ramet, 16/03/2016


The story of Rachel, our Administrator

Many of our volunteers have met Rachel, and for many Rachel is the first contact at EHRA. Needless to say she is a devoted, inspiring and highly appreciated person among her colleagues, friends and our volunteers. We asked her to tell us  her story.

rachel with the boyRachel working on our School Project at A. Gariseb Primary School at Anixab village. There’s always time for a chat.

So we asked Rachel: how did you end up in Namibia and working with EHRA? 

“I am originally from the UK from a village in Oxfordshire.  I went to the University of Brighton where I gained a business degree.  When I was younger I thought I wanted to be a hi-flying business woman!  During the degree we had to complete a compulsory year in industry, and I worked in the Marketing Department at the Bank of New York!  After this year I realized that it was really important for me to work towards a cause, it didn’t make sense to me to spend so much time and effort working for something that wasn’t making a difference towards making people’s lives or the world a better place.  I thought about changing my studies but in the end I went back to University and finished my degree and decided I would head towards the charity sector.  A friend of my brother in law was heading up the charity department at Capital Radio in London and they were looking for a fundraising assistant which became my first job.

During the interview I was told that one of my main responsibilities would be coordinating the overseas sponsored challenges, which were week-long trekking expeditions where we would take groups of up to 80 people to various different countries.  At no point was I told or even dared to think that I would get to go on these trips!  So after I had worked at the charity for over 6 months, we had a meeting and I was told I would be the charity representative on the expedition heading out to Namibia, which was a smaller group of about 30 people.  The only exercise I had done in the last 4 years was late night dancing! So this was also a challenge for me too!!! I also hadn’t camped since girl guides (which I didn’t like much anyway!).

Johannes (who started EHRA) was guiding for the expedition company we used and so we met on this trip.  At this time I was 21.  We kept in touch and lost touch and got in touch again about 5 years later and at this time Johannes had started EHRA and I could see there was a ‘job’ that I could do and was already thinking to try and change my career so that I could work for overseas charities.  I was heading up the fundraising events by this stage, we had all types of events from film premieres, music events, balls, fun runs in Hyde Park, abseils and of course the sponsored treks.  I had managed to buy a flat (back in Brighton so I commuted every day) so I felt like I could take a risk and if it didn’t work out, I could pick up from where I left off!

So I took a deep breath and decided to leave the UK and head to Namibia.  To Uis from Leicester Square in the centre of London!  Before I left the UK I had meetings with agents that were helping recruit volunteers, which was a relatively new traveling concept at the time and as luck would have it we started taking bookings straight away from one large company, along with another agent Johannes had already organised.

It was hard for me living in Uis, there was literally no one there but the dogs as Johannes was working on the project full time, but I was luckily stubborn enough to stay and try and make the best of it!  We started EHRA with nothing, really no money and just Johannes’ landcruiser, so I couldn’t even leave Uis if I wanted to!! After a while we had rented a small bachelors flat in Swakopmund so the dogs could come with us on the weekends (we had been camping on the beach!!!) and I soon figured out that the supermarket truck left Uis every Wednesday for supplies, so I used to hitch a lift with the dogs on the back of the truck now and again!!!!!! So funny to think of that now!

After maybe 2 years we moved to Swakopmund and then it was much better for me, I made friends and felt much happier!  ”

Rachel receiving the Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards: Winner of the best Volunteering Organisation in 2012.rachel with the award

“At EHRA I am responsible for the overall running of the organisation and my work is really varied, from all aspects of marketing, web site SEO social media, working with our agents, diversifying the services EHRA provides, such as the PEACE Project and this year we plan to launch a 7 day Elephant behaviour and tracking course, to coordinating the schools, university and family expeditions, coordinating with the government and conservancies on our conservation work, planning new research and conflict prevention work, to accounting and HR and everything else in-between!  Luckily I have Victro and now Aippi in the office to help me with the ever expanding work load.”

What do you think is the best or most important part of your work?

“The best thing for me is always going to be the times when I am out in Damaraland, even if it’s just to go up to base camp.  To be from the UK, but have access to a wild, natural life is amazing.  To be in camp, sleeping outside under those stars, especially when elephants wander past you is just incredible.

I still am fascinated and love meeting all the people that come to EHRA every year.  I really love the school trips which is the one time in the year that I am out in Damaraland for 3 weeks!  I enjoy being part of the community around the EHRA camp, especially at the school.

I also have the responsibility of managing the EHRA team, it’s a responsibility that I like and looking after everyone and making sure everyone feels valued and happy is important to me.

I think everything that I do is important, it feels like every area of my work is intertwined and all important in making the organisation run as best as it can. ”

If you were not with EHRA, what do you think you would be doing?

“Hummmmmmmmmm  I wonder………….I think Johannes and I were always going to be together and both of us would want to be doing something similar.

If I had stayed in the UK and had not met Johannes, perhaps I would be living in the countryside, goodness knows what I would be doing.  I honestly can’t imagine what I might have done!”

Tell us about the first time you met elephants in the wild? 

“We have a belief that for people and elephants to live together, people need to understand the elephants and know how to behave to keep themselves and families safe when they are around.  It is simply not OK to have dangerous elephants living amongst people, especially for the Ugab area where there are relatively a lot of people, and a school which the elephants walk straight through! So it is so important that the elephants get to know people as calm and peaceful and non-threatening.  When we first started EHRA we were charged at all the time, it was so frightening!!! So my first encounters with elephants were often terrifying!  Nowadays the elephants have calmed down so much, having learnt that people are OK and thanks to EHRA and especially the PEACE Project, people have started to take an interest and ownership of these interesting neighbours, so we have definitely made massive progress in helping to restore the balance in nature.  “

IMG_4993Rachel with her dog Tsaurab in the camp.



Volunteer Blog 22nd February to 4th March 2016

Monday 29th February – Leap day in Namibia (My birthday too)

What an experience and loving every minute of it! Build week was testing, 41°C at times but really rewarding to see “the wall” finished and serving a purpose. Camp is amazing, I am so impressed with the way it has been organized and with how hard Donna, Chris, Christine, Adolf and Matteus work. The tree house is brilliant and it was a real highlight to see a lone elephant stroll past the treehouse under the wonderful Namibian moonlight.

The food is really tasty and there is always plenty to go round. Thanks everyone and thanks Donna! It is great to see the garden being established in the camp too! Today is the first day of the patrol week and we have camped in a truly beautiful spot and watched an incredible sunset. Not seen any elephants yet but have seen a Springbok, Blacksmith Lapwing and an Eagle. Finally I have been fortunate enough to spend my two weeks in Namibia with a great group of people and feel very fortunate to have been able to experience the EHRA project with them.

Finally I am looking forward to the rest of the patrol week and will keep my fingers crossed that we will see those elephants that we all love and treasure!

Thank you EHRA for working so hard to help protect these amazing creatures!

Becky Dempster (Wales UK)

Ps: Thank you for the birthday wishes too and a big Thank you to Donna for the flapjack, Rachel for the chocolate and popcorn and to my “bestie” Beth for bringing a birthday cake all the way from Kazakstan!



Tuesday 1st March 2016

Second day on patrol week! Today we woke up to a beautiful sky (in the middle of nowhere) and after breakfast we continued our search for the elephants. The day before we saw a lot of fresh tracks but unfortunately no elephants. We climbed hills and drove a long way so we were all excited to see the ellies. After maybe one hour we got to see elephants from the Mama Afrika herd! The elephants we first saw were two adult females standing to make shade for the sleeping young ones, so cute! We drove a bit further and saw 4-5 more elephants. They are just amazing and beautiful creatures and I could watch them for hours.

Tonight we are camping in a river bed and I am looking forward to dinner. The food has been really good the last 1,5 weeks and I am really impressed by that! It is so nice to cook over an open fire.

Donna and Chris are great and we have a fun and great team of volunteers!


Sandra Thunberg (Sweden)



Tuesday March 1st

A day on patrol week at EHRA…. You are woken up from your cosy sleeping bag with a smile and a piping hot cup of tea from one of your fellow silly volunteers. A scrumptious breakfast of hot oatmeal is already being cooked. You dress quickly trying not to think about the fact that there may or may not be scorpions or spiders snuggled up underneath you sharing your body heat.

Once everyone is fed and watered and everything is all packed away, we take one last look around our gorgeous surroundings (vast sandy desert with huge mountains and rocks that could very well be in a painting) and we’re off! The hunt is on to find the herd of elephants! Only 10min into our trek we find fresh tracks! We get a lesson on how to read and track the prints and off we go! All of a sudden BAM there they are! Even more gorgeous and majestic then you could possibly imagine.

We spend the rest of the morning admiring these incredible creatures. This is only a few hours into one of the many wonderful days spent at EHRA. Here at EHRA everyday is different and you never know what’s coming up next. Which adds to the magic and raw beauty of the bush.

Thank you EHRA for allowing me to part take in such an amazing and incredible experience. A special thanks to Chris and Donna for everything from being great drill sergeants to being wicked guides. Also to Adolf, I’ve never seen someone mix cement so fast! And finally Mattias for all his tracking expertise and animal knowledge.

Madison Hardcastle

Vancouver Island, Canada


March 2nd: By Barry Robert John Powell (Jack)

Today is the final day of our patrol week, and marks the end of my 4 week tour with EHRA. Honestly, I feel overwhelmed with how many positive memories I have gained doing my month here in Namibia. It amazes me how people from such diverse backgrounds can come together (in the middle of the desert, no less) for a common cause, and can all enjoy experiencing the same thing.

On my first week, we went to a farm with multiple dams and laid pipes down to cover them with concrete. They let us sleep in this concrete encampment including running water, showers and even a pizza furnace!  After we were done with our work, the family baked us cupcakes to show their gratitude. They also let us shoot their riffle and bow….and arrow (although, it is important to note I broke the good damn bow), and created custom made knives made out of kudu horn, Mopani tree, and  a 60’S Land Rover steel to top it off. I am so grateful to the family for everything they’ve done for us.

Second week we began patrol week and it was a sort of “out of the frying pan, and into the fire” situation. I went from never seeing an elephant before, to being 3 metres away from an elephant family (babies and all)! We camped on sand dunes in caves, and under the Brandberg mountain range. It was truly special.

On the third week, we worked at a site within twenty minutes of base camp. I was ecstatic to be sleeping there, because that is one of my favourite places I had the chance to stay since being in Namibia. Unfortunately I got heat stroke.

Currently I am sitting on the same sand dune that we camped at on the first patrol week. Again, I am so grateful for the people I met here, and the experience I gained here. Back to Canada on Sunday!


2 March

An amazing trip through the landscape beauty of Namibia. A productive day of seeing a varsity of elephants from 2 herds (including Kinky and her 3 week old newborn). We spent ½ hr waiting patiently for a male to move away from his “poop” in order for us to collect his “sample””conservation research of its finest” as Donna quoted – We stopped to fish and collect more elephant dung for the compost back at base camp. Mattias caught a 3kg catfish (!!) which we managed to put/get into one cooler with the plan to release it in the waterhole of the elephants back at basecamp.

The drive through the land to one campsite was incredible. Like driving on thick sand going on to the horizon – then suddenly the black rocks –then a sandstorm with lightning off to the left – I went from thinking I’d be grateful for a campsite with no wind, to me with no blowing sand to one that was dry – it turns out to be a beautiful, cosy day on protected site.

Kudos to Donna for her incredible driving over the incredibly challenging landscape- To top it all off – an amazing sunset greeted us.

Back to base camp tomorrow – and to be honest – really looking forward to a shower.

Cheers to all – wonderful new friends and a gorgeous country!

Allegra (Boston, USA)



March 2nd 2016

Another amazing day touring the Namib desert, fantastic views of this diverse landscape stretch into the horizon, Springbok, Gemsbok and Elephants. We passed through a dust storm, had a wonderful lunch under a big tree  and saw the smallest baby elephant I’ve ever seen. Just another day with EHRA. A great thanks to my fellow volunteers, Chris and Donna as well as Mattias for making patrol so amazing….oh and I’ve never experience such magical stars in my life.

Cole McLellan (Vancouver Island, Canada)







Volunteer blog 8th-19th February


The volunteers from this group were once again a diverse pack, from Germany, United States, Switzerland and United Kingdom. Some of them are continuing with us, so you may hear their stories later as well. They started their journey on the building week, helping at a farm close to Kamanjab. This is a place where elephants are often seen at. The group was working hard,  restoring the Farmer’s water points- one big and another smaller one, especially beneficial for smaller animals and elephant calves. They also dug the Farmer’s water pipes under the ground, out of Elephants reach. Volunteers enjoyed their time at the farm, and the story tells that the Farmer’s family taught them some archery and  even baked delicious cupcakes for them, what a nice treat!

Here is how our volunteers describe their experiences:


Week 2 – Start of patrol week:

Our interesting and fun group is now mixing really well, and I couldn’t have asked for a better group. There are 9 of us in total, with Donna and Mattias finishing our group.

After a successful build week and a relaxing weekend spent at base camp, today was the start of patrol week! Rising early and organising the trucks, we set off down the Ugab River in search of the elephants. After lunch, at about 2 pm we spotted our first heard, climbed to the top of the nearest peak to observe from above. What we originally thought as a herd of 4 elephants actually turned out to be a large herd of females and babies, Mamma Africa’s herd, who died about a year and a half ago and was now Medusa’s herd.

Following them down the river for the afternoon was absolutely amazing, and it was exciting seeing these wild animals in their natural habitat. Once we left the herd, our truck, driven by Mattias, got stuck in the sand, for a few minutes. Caspar and Chris dug the tires while we all kept an eye on the two bulls who were about 10 meters away. Everything got a little exciting when Tsaurab, one of bulls, got incredibly close (and a little angry) at the other truck. Mattias started to clap to shoo him away and both trucks set off for camp. Enough excitement for one day! What will day 2 of patrol be like?

Thanks EHRA, Chris, Donna, Mattias for an amazing and once in a lifetime trip.


Kinky and baby female

Tuesday February 16th

For starters, Taggie’s handwriting is very nice!

Today was our second day of patrol week. We drove A LOT today! In the morning we saw several springbok herds, a pair of Ostriches and several types of Kahran.

Shane also says we saw: Ludwig Bustard, and eating chat. We later saw a giraffe skeleton followed by some Rhino skin. We saw several Rhino tracks, but no Rhino…maybe tomorrow! After passing the Doros crater we saw a herd of mountain Zebras and several Oryx along with another Ostrich.

We are now at camp and we started the evening off with popcorn. Arguments ensued over sweet vs salty popcorn. Then Chris burned the last batch. HAHA! We’ll be sleeping in a cave tonight and taking turns on watch throughout the night…we really hope there is nothing that comes through that we need to wake others over :)!

Dawn and Grit


Wednesday, Feb 17th

3rd Day of Patrol week starts at 6 am with a hot cup of coffee. After breakfast we are packing up for elephant patrol. We have driven 3.5 hrs until we finally reach the Huab river. On our way there we see quite a number of Zebras and Springboks. After arriving at Huab river we struggle a bit finding a fresh elephant track. But before tracking elephants we are collecting elephant dung for Chris’ vegetable garden at the base camp.

After lunch we continue tracking elephants. We are finding four elephants belonging to the H1 herd. Since the H1 herd has a new born baby we are keen to find the rest of the herd. We are meandering through the Huab riverbed until we find a fresh track. Following the track we are spotting a big Ostrich herd (15 ostriches), a herd of 30 Oryx and a herd of 70 Springboks. Finally we found the rest of the H1 herd. But we are surprised by the number of elephants, we counted some 20 elephants. According to Chris the herds H1 and H2 had met. Chris recognizes two new babies, so in total we had the luxury to watch four babies. We could also watch two young bulls fighting. We are all very lucky and happy about the nature life we were privileged to witness today.

The day ends with a nice dinner at camp fire and an examination run by Chris focusing on elephants. It was another great day!

Thanks to Donna, Matthias and Chris


Chris sunset freedom

19th February 2016

The last 2 weeks was awesome. We helped a farmer here at Kamanjab and had the chance to see the new babies in Huab-river.

Thanks to Donna, Chris and the EHRA staff