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Published: November 28th 2007
Mountain Nyala in Bale National Park
Rare Mountain Nyala (Tragelaphus buxtoni).
We slept pretty well, despite the rain, except Gail and Jeremy’s tent was not really on level ground (there wasn’t any!) so they had a bit of a problem.
When we awoke we were in thick mist with ghost like animals very close to our camp. These were nyala, a beautiful antelope something like a cross between a waterbuck and a kudu. We came to see a lot of them in the park and they were really not at all shy. The only real predator they have is the hyena, which indeed we had heard whooping during the night, but it is doubtful if the grown nyala would really be threatened unless it was sick and very weak.
After breakfast we hired a guide for the morning who took us on a track through the park to see lots of interesting animals. Wart hog were prolific, as were the nyala, but the birds were lovely too - especially the blue winged geese which are endemic to the area. It was a most enjoyable morning.
Then we set off for Goba
, further to the east - with Robe on the way. Gail, who had been suffering somewhat from the
altitude, was keen to establish herself in a hotel for the night, so the Huntingfords went on ahead to our hotel destination in Goba.
Meanwhile the rest of us stayed in Robe
to sort out Ian’s tyre problem. Tyres were available in the right size, but only cross-ply; no radials. With the advice of local experts we came to a compromise whereby Ian bought one new cross-ply to replace the worst of the write-offs and this was put on the roof rack as a last-resort spare. The other write-off, which wasn’t quite as bad, had a patch put in followed by a tube, and will be used as the second-from-last-resort spare! Ian also donated his two crutches, which had been strapped to his roof rack since Cairo, to a lame man standing watching the tyre repairs. He had been lame since a kid and the smile on his face, when he accepted the crutches to replace the stick he used, will stay with me for ever.
The hotel at Goba, a Government establishment, was adequate for all our needs. Good clean beds, plentiful hot water, and a bar where we congregated before the worst evening meal we had
bought in Ethiopia. But one can’t expect everything to be A1 all the time, can one?! Beforehand, we had all driven into Goba independently to fill up with water, bread and fuel.
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