Wednesday, 30 September 2015

We took a "little" tour of the 100 000 hectare Ranch yesterday....

It took us all day, but didn't even visit the North..... The different types of cattle, sexes and age etc are divided into camps, where there are handling facilities, labour housing etc. The ranch has 5000 head but want to increase it hugely!  The cattle they have are the Cameroonian Zebu, the N'dama ( an Ancient West African breed) and they are now crossing with the Sennapol. Such different breeds from what we know, but they are so beautiful and hardy for this region.

The Savannah bush veld is beautiful and so vast with panoramic vistas at every turn.....

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Hope will fall like rain if you speak life with the words you say..... Trees in our backyard, Nyanga Ranch, Gabon

An interesting Sunday....

Definitely not a "normal" Sunday.... But, if you think about it, what is normal really?

We joined in with the farewell of the outgoing Ranch Director, Bruno, at a local village. It was also a welcome for us and we felt like royalty! Smart phones were snapping away to take pics of the "Le nouveau blanc".... The food was delicious but then the time came for the "real stuff" Palm Wine..... It definitely wasn't on the agenda but didn't want to lose face with all the many eyes staring in my direction, so held out my glass to a grubby 5 liter plastic container! I threw it back before I could realize my madness, and quickly downed a fanta to obliterate the bitter taste lingering. About 25 minutes later it hit me in a wave of tiredness BUT we had to now watch a game of football in the warm tropical sun! 

Unfortunately, so they tell me, because I managed to start with this "opening" it will always be presented to me at functions! Groan... What have I done!

The dreadful Palm Wine, with an empty glass to prove it!
The local baker who makes amazing baguettes!
Pythons are a big problem in this area killing the calves so they have rewards for those for kill them. This guy makes phone cases from the skins .... 
The amazing spread, thank goodness for rice wasn't to find of the cassava.

The ranch horses.... Nyanga, Gabon....

Friday, 25 September 2015

Nyanga Ranch, Gabon, West Africa, astride the equator

It's been a while since updating my blog, no excuse really but we have been through a few months of upheaval and uncertainty. As many of you know we have taken a position on Nyanga ranch, Southern Gabon - as this is just an encouraging photography blog I won't go into too many details. I will just continue to explore and share a different part of Africa with you. A part I have never been to or even dreamt of ever going to! 
We did a 10 hour trip from the capital, Libreville to the 100 000 hectare ranch where we are based. The scenery was incredible and quite diverse as you near the south of the country. There would definitely be no chance of starving here, we could eat fried banana's 3 times a day (plenty palm oil and banana s)with the odd monkey thrown in for protein! Dead monkeys and all kinds of bush meat was for sale on the sides of the road most of the way. 
The ranch is outstandingly beautiful and has more savannah than jungle. We have a huge river running through it called the Nyanga. 
Our closest town is Tchibanga - oh Tete how I miss you! We can get supplies from the capital as the meat truck goes weekly. I sadly only have Internet from 6:00pm to 7:00am, Ranch rules, have to try and get around this! 
Whilst sitting on the verandah today doing French lessons (compulsory!) I had the most amazing experience of watching 3 elephants at different times, crossing the river. All the staff came rushing in from different places taking pics with their smart phones - I was amazed as thought seeing Ellie's was common place here, no they told me, they might only see 1 a year if they are lucky! I could see smiles (there had been none since we arrived)coming over their faces as they were eagerly trying to explain things to me in French. I have a feeling it's a good start for us.