News from our guides in the field

Wild Dog Pups in the Southern Serengeti

Written by Rob Barbour on Monday, 28 July 2014. Posted in News from our guides in the field

Wild Dog Pups in the Southern Serengeti
This week I was lucky enough to catch a glimpse of six, 1 month old wild dogs. We spotted the pups in a pack of 12 adult dogs at a den not far from Ndutu.  The Alpha female is the mother but the rest of the pack takes responsibility for feeding the puppies. The adults hunt and feed the pups their regurgitated meat to help the pups mature. It was a great day as we came across a male cheetah on the way home who unsuccessfully attempted to hunt some Grant’s Gazelle. More updates to come soon!

Elephants cool off at Ndutu

Ndutu Area of Ngorongoro Conservation Area

Written by Rob Barbour on Wednesday, 16 July 2014. Posted in News from our guides in the field

Elephants cool off at Ndutu
It was a hot, dry day at Ndutu as the wind whipped up a swirling cloud of soda ash from the dry pans.  Clearly the family herd of elephants were thirsty as they made their way purposely towards the sweet, fresh water of the Big Marsh. Their pace gathered in anticipation but they had to be conscious of the slower pace of their newest member - a calf less than a year old who was doing its best to stay with its mother. As they reached the water, the excited growls and rumbles could be heard amongst the splashes as the elephants ...

Africa is not always about the wildlife

Young Ambassadors visit Kisampa Camp in Saadani National Park

Written by Rob Barbour on Sunday, 13 July 2014. Posted in News from our guides in the field

Africa is not always about the wildlife
Africa is not always about the wildlife. Last week I was at Kisampa Camp on the edge of the Saadani National Park.  This is the village wildlife conservancy I founded in the village of Matipwili. I was hosting a school group of thirty 15 and 16 year olds and their teachers from Scotch College and Presbyterian Ladies College (PLC) in Perth, Western Australia. Scotch and PLC have been coming to Tanzania on their “Young Ambassador” trips and visiting Kisampa and Matipwili over the last 10 years and have developed a special relationship with the community and the school children there. On this trip, the ...

Safari in the Southern Serengeti

Ndutu Area of Ngorongoro Conservation Area

Written by Rob Barbour on Friday, 11 July 2014. Posted in News from our guides in the field

Safari in the Southern Serengeti
Over the next three weeks I will have the pleasure of assistant-managing Ndutu Safari Lodge in the Ndutu Area of the southern Serengeti ecosystem. I will be spending some quality time in the bush with my family, as well as exploring some of the unique offerings in this part of Africa. Ndutu is very busy from a tourism perspective December through to April when the wildebeest herds congregate to give birth after the long rains have turned the volcanic dust into vast, short grass plains. As a result, there is a massive congregation of predators – lion, cheetah, wild dog and hyena – that take ...

Spicers Hidden Vale

A Weekend in the Queensland Bush

Written by Pedro O'Connor on Monday, 23 June 2014. Posted in News from our guides in the field

Spicers Hidden Vale
Last weekend, the Epic Australian team hit the road and headed west for a quick weekend getaway at Spicers Hidden Vale. Spicers Hidden Vale is a luxurious country retreat about an hour’s drive outside of Brisbane, Queensland.  With 31 rooms in total, the accommodations are designed in the style of a traditional Australian Station aka Ranch homestead from a bygone era, featuring beautifully restored cottages scattered throughout the grounds. Spicers Hidden Vale sits on 12,000 acres of true Australian Bush with nothing but the miles and miles of untouched,  glorious countryside in sight. The property also features a working cattle farm that elicits ...

Epic Talks Cape Town

Table Mountain Walks, Wine Sipping, Whale Watching...

Written by Rob Barbour on Thursday, 05 June 2014. Posted in News from our guides in the field

Epic Talks Cape Town
Lindy Scholtz and I had the pleasure of travelling to Cape Town following the Indaba Travel Show in Durban, South Africa in May. The Cape region is a great travel destination at any time of the year due to the spectacular scenery, the variety of the activities, the poignant South African history, the incredible food and wine and contemporary smorgasbord of cultures that have come together on the southern-most tip of Africa. May is Autumn in southern Africa, an incredibly beautiful time of year with the leaves turning gold, yellow and red, and cool evenings perfect for spending time in front of ...

A Busy Week in The Botswana Bush

Written by Richard Field on Friday, 30 May 2014. Posted in News from our guides in the field

A Busy Week in The Botswana Bush
I have just arrived back from Africa, where I spent a very busy week in Botswana. I saw 13 different camps in 7 days. This kind of travel is essential for us to be able to maintain our level of knowledge of the different camps as well as the overall safari experience in these areas. As you might imagine though, it isn't exactly relaxing but regardless it is always wonderful to be in the pristine wilderness areas of northern Botswana. Despite the fact that I was rushing around (certainly not the recommended way to experience a safari!) I was also ...

Epic Everest Final Update

Kathmandu, 29 April

Written by Brad Horn on Wednesday, 30 April 2014. Posted in News from our guides in the field

Epic Everest Final Update
29 April: Apologies for having been incommunicado the last couple of days. We have not had any internet service to post news. This will be the final blog post of our trip. For those that have been following the blog, you will know that our Everest endeavour will not be going ahead. The recent tragedy and continuing instability of the ice fall preclude safe passage. Also, the Sherpa guides are not prepared to cross the icefall as a sign of respect to their fallen comrades. We whole-heartedly support their decision (In fact, we heard that yesterday morning there was another avalanche on ...

Epic Everest Update #11

Base camp, 26 April

Written by Brad Horn on Sunday, 27 April 2014. Posted in News from our guides in the field

Epic Everest Update #11
26 April: Spent the day at Base camp. A lot of movement happening with teams pulling off the mountain. It felt like we were in a Fire Support Base in Vietnam with the amount of helicopter traffic. A fair amount of this was ferrying teams to Camps I and II to recover equipment.  Regretfully, our summit attempt of Everest will not be going ahead. In light of the recent tragedy and the continuing instability of the Khumbu Iceflow, all expeditions are pulling out. We had a long chat with our lead Sherpa today, Panuru Sherpa (who has summited Everest 10 times) this ...

Epic Everest Update #10

Base Camp, 25 April

Written by Brad Horn on Saturday, 26 April 2014. Posted in News from our guides in the field

Epic Everest Update #10
25 April: Firstly, best wishes for ANZAC Day (for those outside of Australia this is Australia and New Zealand's version of Remembrance Day). Our thoughts were with the diggers when we climbed Kala Pattar at dawn this morning. Kala Pattar is a peak just behind Gorak Shep standing at 5,600 metres. It was another spectacular morning, crisp with brilliant blue skies. We had a light fall of snow overnight and woke to a beautiful white landscape. Everest dominated the skyline. While it was quiet and still where we were, 3000 metres up it was clearly not the case. A long ice ...

Epic Everest Update #9

Lobuche to Base Camp, 24 April

on Thursday, 24 April 2014. Posted in News from our guides in the field

Epic Everest Update #9
24 April: Overnight snow and a perfectly clear crisp morning made for a wonderful start to the day. Kev, Ake and Brad started the day early and trekked up to Lobuche Advanced Base Camp (5300 metres) - Lobuche is one of the lesser peaks on the way to Base Camp standing at 6240 metres). After breakfast and a relaxed morning, we set off for Gorak Shep. This was a reasonably leisurely affair taking two hours contouring the Khumbu Glacier. This is quite a remarkable geographic formation. It is still marching forward at the remarkable rate of just over a metre per day. ...

Epic Everest Update #8

Dingboche to Lobuche, 23 April

Written by Brad Horn on Thursday, 24 April 2014. Posted in News from our guides in the field

Epic Everest Update #8
23 April: Today we moved from Dingboche to Lobuche. We took a circuitous route to try and get some extra altitude and miles under our legs. We headed up the Chukhung Valley from Dingboche before cutting left to negotiate the Kongma La pass at 5,500 metres. The going was pretty tough in places, with a lot of loose rock. All up we gained in altitude 1200 metres. Coming down from the pass we had to cross the Khumbu Glacier. The Khumbu Glacier is not what you would picture as your typical glacier of exposed ice, rather it is covered in moraine, ...

Epic Everest Update #7

Rest day in Dingboche, 22 April

Written by Brad Horn on Tuesday, 22 April 2014. Posted in News from our guides in the field

Epic Everest Update #7
22 April: Today was a rest day at Dingboche. This is somewhat a misnomer however. During rest days we don’t stay stationary. Rather, we try and climb high for a couple of hours and then come back to sleep lower. In the morning after breakfast we climbed a small peak, Nangazung, to the back of the Teahouse where we are staying. Nangazung stands at 5000 metres. In the wider world at 5000 metres this is quite a peak however in the Himalayas it is baby. Probably better descrgroibed as a “hill”.  The climb offered some incredible views to Ama Dablam and ...

Epic Everest Update #6

Trek to Dingboche, 21 April

Written by Brad Horn on Monday, 21 April 2014. Posted in News from our guides in the field

Epic Everest Update #6
21 April: Greeted by perfect weather again today. In summary, we covered roughly 12 kilometres over the course of the day and gained in altitude 500 metres (1650 feet). It was a very picturesque day; seems that the views only get better as we move higher. We tracked the course of the Imja Khola River to our night stop at Dingboche. The highlight of the day was undoubtedly a ritual blessing by a Lama. This is a local custom for Everest aspirants to pay homage to the mountain, and be blessed for safe passage up the mountain and back to ...

Epic Everest Update #5

Namchebazar to Phortse, 20 April

Written by Brad Horn on Sunday, 20 April 2014. Posted in News from our guides in the field

Epic Everest Update #5
20 April: Beautiful clear day today as we left Namche. The mountains were out in all their glory, set against a brilliant blue sky. We set off from Namche just after 8 and climbed steadily most of the morning. The track contoured the valley of the Bhote Koshi River. En-route we stopped at the Tenzing Norgay Memorial which offered spectacular views of Everest. It was clear, although some lenticular cloud was apparent. Panuru said this normally means there will be a change in weather over the next couple of days. As we continued the morning, the views just got better with every ...

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