The trip to Benoué

Sunday 03 April

Hi there everyone!!
Firstly……everything is fine here. Saturday we left Maroua at 6.00 hr. And we just arrived at 15.00 hr. What had to be 7 hour during journey:(..yep lot of things happened during the trip to Benoué. After driven just only 15 minutes the 12-pack of oil fel of the roof of the car………..great…..:( :(….2 bottles saved and 5 bottles were damaged but could poored over in empty bottles (water). So we checked all bagage on the roof and found the cause; no rope was attached round the box containing the bottles of oil.
Again a loud noise sound…….:(.yep and again something flew off the roof. This time it was our bidon filled with 50 litres of water. We found it smashed with lots of holes in it, along the side of the road. Well…..the roof gets emptier, but in a bad way. After lots of delays we made it to Garoua, where we stopped for food and drinks. Marjolein was ill, ’cause of the e coli she had. Vomitting and feeling overall bad as a result. In ‘our’ restaurant I had a great banana juice! Awsome, but yet it is a stinky, dirty and busy place. I really don’t like it there; I was reliefed when we passed the entrance of Benoue national park!!
We had a 35 km drive ahead us in the park so we had the chance to spot some animals. And yeahhhh we did; antilopes, bush bucks, duikers and a toekan. It was such a good feeling to be among wild animals. We were very kindly welcomed in the village where we met some of the guides and our cook, Bello. My guide is Yadjie, a very kind well talking men….:)with a lot of knowledge of the area we work in. We arranged the boukarous (luxuru huts) and ate bello food in the evening. Bello food means pancakes in the morning, pasta or rice with tomatoe sauce in the noon and pasta, rice or fries in the evening. We also get some pieces of fruit, the dessert.
Unfortunately Marjolein wasn’t still feeling better, so after a cards game we went sleeping, ’cause the next day we had to wake up in the early morning at 4.45 hr.

The first transect (walking trail for research)! I slept very well, fit for the next day!! 5.00 hr I ate 6 pancakes :)yep ……….too much for me I think. Jumped in the car and left our camp at 5.30 hr. with my guide I determined where cthe start was of the transect. First I explain the transect. A transect is a line you walk in the direction from the river. During that you write down the animals you see. Just as simple as that. My guide navigate and helps me to determine the animals.
It was fun to do that, ’cause I saw some animals from very near 🙂 sometimes even 20 meters. What I saw: red flanked and grey duikers, bush bucks, antilopes, hartebeest and some colobus in the gallery forest (vegetation along the river with lots of trees). It’s such an amazing experience to walk among these animals. I just enjoy the hiking tours. During my tours I heard elephants 🙂 they were not far away from me. Unfortunately I didn’t see elephants.

Back in the camp I was still full of impressions of the transects. The temperature was enjoyable; cloudy and a bit windy. That made the transects not hard. Also I was at 9.00 ready with my two transects. Just very on time.

At 14.00 hr we left the camp to go to the first northern hippo mare. That’s a place in the river with some water……….yeahhh how logical, with hippos!! And we saw them. Men that was awsome. Also I’ve seen two crocodiles swimming around the hippos. Hippos can accelerate to 40 km/h, so you have to be very careful, so we did! On our way back, we saw also some oribis and waterbucks. Nice animals, waterbucks. 🙂
I’m very curious what I’ll see the coming period, it will be definitely great.

By the way, my French is improving, but I didn’t had the chance to speak well with my guide. A pity, I hope to do that soon. I’m very tired now. We had finally electricity, so I had to do some computer work and some GPS things at once. Both bottered me the whole day, also now. 🙁