Bubiana Conservancy, our second destination
Following the introduction of our 60 day Field Guide Course at Antelope Park, we journeyed approximately five hours by car to reach Bubiana Conservancy, our home for the next two weeks. With unrestricted access to this private reserve, each day presented new opportunities to explore our surroundings and uncover the diverse array of wildlife in this rich ecosystem.
The unique geology of the area, characterised by huge granite outcrops (koppies), offered a multitude of hiking trails, hidden caves and ancient cave art that were to be discovered throughout our time in this spectacular location!
Some of the more serene moments throughout our two weeks at Bubiana Conservancy were on our bush walks, heading out at first light to discover the untouched wilderness around us. This allowed us to fully immerse ourselves in the bush and develop a new perspective on the wildlife in the area.
Constantly alert to new sounds, smells and sights, we were able to discover just how complex the ecosystem was. We slowly but surely honed our tracking skills, with each walk presenting new animal spoor/tracks.
The topography of the area offered great vantage points from where we could scope out our surroundings with our Binoculars, spotting anything moving below. We were also able to discover some incredible hiking trails, with astounding views
The area is rich in history with ancient cave art dating back thousands of years. The huge mountains and hidden caves also provide the perfect habitat for the elusive leopard. Although we never actually caught sight of this mysterious cat, we did have many close calls, regularly coming across fresh leopard tracks, scat and even signs of prey being dragged across the road.
On one such occasion, we came across a fresh Steenbok kill on one of our bush walks, with signs that a Leopard had only just left. Although we retreated to a distant vantage point, the leopard with all her enhanced senses waited until our full departure before returning to the kill to finish off her meal!
Game Drives & Night Drives:
If we weren’t exploring the bush on foot, we were taking part in daily game drives, spotting herds of Wildebeest, Impala, Eland, Giraffe, Waterbuck, Zebra as well as the diverse array of birdlife and vegetation in the area. As well as the iconic granite outcrops, the landscape was also dominated by huge Baobab Trees. We even managed to find one such tree which had a hollowed-out centre and enabled us to squeeze the entire Pathfinders group within! Our afternoon game drives typically finished off with scenic sundowners on one of the koppies, allowing us to absorb the sights from the day whilst watching a spectacular African sunset.
Access to the reserve at night gave us the chance to hone our night guiding skills, listening to the various night noises, learning spotlighting techniques and discovering nocturnal species such as Nightjars, Owls and Genets!
Campsite & Downtime:
Our Pathfinders campsite was situated on the edge of a dam surrounded by granite koppies. This campsite was our base for daily lectures and offered plenty of fun during our downtime! With access to luxuries such as a swimming pool, tennis court, trampoline and fishing in the dam, we were never short of things to do. However with the extreme summer heat, simply pitching up a hammock and taking an afternoon siesta was a favourite activity.
A highlight of our time in Bubiana was having the opportunity to sleep out under the stars, listening to the sounds of nature and admiring the immense sky above us. Our last night was spent on the flood plains by the dam, enjoying a braai (barbeque) with the incredible scenes around us, absorbing the magic we encountered during the past two weeks!
A huge highlight of Bubiana was just being
out in the bush – fishing, climbing mountains, seeing the animals, the birds and connecting and getting to know each other a lot more.”
“My favourite location on this trip was Bubianabecause of the amount of space we had to go exploring. I also think that’s when the group really started to come together and become really good friends.”
“My favourite destination on this trip was
Bubiana. I just loved the landscape… the koppies…it was amazing. The highlight was the hiking, climbing the koppies and also the different type of animals they had.”