Sunday 08 May
Early Saturday morning we wake up…..ring ring ring of the alarmclock! Time to leave and say goodbye to Maroua. As usual the journey wasn’t comfortable, but endurable because it was cloudy and not that hot. In Garoua we ate at ‘our’ bakery! I took the sweet breads and also the one filled with pudding. Again my stomach was crammed.
Arriving at Benoué park I couldn’t believe my eyes! Everywhere I looked I saw green grasses. The whole park transformed from a dry yellow area to a green nutritious park. That in one week; so amazing, after just 4 thundery showers. But there was another surprise when we arrived at the campement. The Benoué isn’t dry anymore! because of the rains a water level has formed and there’s a waterfall. We can here it when we sleep in the boukarous. Comforting. 🙂
1 May was our first working day, despite it’s a national anniversary. That’s because of the less time we have this field period. But it didn’t bother. 😉 The first day I walked some of the most beautiful transects, with great overviews on top of the hills. There I could clearly see how much the park has changed. During my transects also only green grasses. It sounds weird, but one week ago everything was dry and yellow, that makes it even more weird. 🙂 There’re few animals now that can be seen, but the one I saw were awsome: roan antilope, a squirrel, a group of green monkeys, wart hog (pumba!) and waterbucks. I also went to the river, there a new hippo has made his ‘home’. One solitair male…..a dangerous one……;) So again an amazing start of the second field period in Benoué.
This week also heavy showers arrived from the south. Because of that temperatures are now lower than 20-25 degrees. Very cloudy and during the days no sun. It’s easier to walk the transects now, but still few animals.
After 4 days of rain the water level of the Benoué river increased dramatically. On the sand bank the river filled on the deepest point. and it’s still filling all over the width. And what the park itself (now 5 days later)? I can say…..green, greener, greenest! Flowers and low bushes. Hopefully this is the environment buffles and elephants like. What I did see on my transect in the south, was a camp of poachers. I also heard a shot (of a gun probably). everywhere skulls, bones and sawed down trees. Traces of poachers and destruction. Very said to see. I told the chef of the guides (Kadri) what I saw that morning. The chef of the patrouille service also arrived. They made a plan to patrol during 10-19 May, since they’ll return to get some meat for the two national anniversaries (15 and 20 May). I hope the’ll catch them. That would be nice; I wonder what they’ll do with the poachers.
Days later on my transects; Still few animals, but again I’ve seen one of my favourites! warthogs, horse antelopes and even 2 snakes, from which one black cobra. During the last transects it rained a lot, when we came back it was so cold, that we drunk some warm chocolate milk. How crazy can that be!