Harnas Day 21

Gobabis Travel Blog

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Apologies for the length of this entry too... and lack of relevant photos =)


I did food prep today with everyone else after the group left this morning. The Cheetahs were so well behaved, no teeth or hissing, kinda boring but good for them! Everyone else was pretty standard. I put Frikkie and Gracies bowl again where I wanted to put it, not when and where they wanted it. Same happened as yesterday, Frikkie was a little less resistant but I walked in saying “up up up” and up they went! Frikkie had his usual jump on the intruder when i first entered though and managed to steal a piece of carrot before running up to the roof, but hey, early days and baboons will be baboons =S.

  I came out unscathed and with no new cuts or bruises, quite proud of myself though! Other than food prep this morning, I spent the rest of our ‘work’ time sitting with Jaws again. He’s been so good! He let me scratch him the whole time and didn’t freak out once! He played with my shoe out of inquisitiveness when it was pushed up against the gate of his cage. Other times he had been trying to grab it and pull it in, scratching for it but today he just sat there and gently touched and fiddled with it. Its a completely different side to him!! (how many times have I said that now? Lol im just impressed I think) He’s being so casual, and normal its nice! When I try to write sitting with him he wont let me just sit there and write, he’s keep moving so ill scratch him. Look wat i’ve done! I’ve created a monster!! Haha, nah he’s sweet. Tammy came over and sat with us for a couple minutes and gave me an apple to give him.
That was pretty kool. She was impressed that I could just hand it over to him and he’d take it casually, she also told me that we were having a meeting at 1 o’clock at the tree instead of going back for lunch. She said she didn’t know what it was for. I figured that it better be worth it if it’s cutting into our lunch time lol, a film crew were supposed to be coming out to make a short film about harnas so perhaps it was about that?

1 o’clock finally came around, and Frikkie announced that there were a few problems on the lifeline with a couple groups of wild dogs turning on some of their members and doing some damage, so we would have to organise a group of volunteers to do some group shuffling around out there. That would start tomorrow. He also told us that we were taking on a few more guests than had been expected so in order for them to be fully catered for, our lunch would have to wait until 2pm instead of 1.

He also said that because we had to wait we would be able to enjoy it at the Lapa.

Okay, fair enough that we have to wait an hour, but if there were a lot of guests arriving then why would we have our lunch at the lapa also? Wouldn’t that be a bit crowded?

After the meeting I went back to sit with Jaws for the hour. He just sat in front of me the whole time grooming himself and watching everything that i’d do. It’s pretty cool to have his attention for so long and keep him so calm... is there something on my face?

It was nearly 2pm and I was starving.

Lunch better be good.


We all arrived at the Lapa on time because by now I think everyone’s stomach’s were yelling at them. Melissa and I each bought a drink at the bar, as did a few other people then Frikkie called us all in to the seating area, group by group. That’s a bit odd? Each group had to sit with each other on separate tables. There were a few other members of the Harnas staff standing up at the end of the eating area. Frikkie designated 4 of them each to a group. Right, something really wasn’t adding up. Mara works in the school for the bushwomen’s kids and Jo and Schaalk’s children too. She was put into our group and was laughing very knowingly.

Little bit scared right now. Frikkie spoke to us all and told us that we are now a really small group and will be ‘overpowered’ by the new group because there are more of them coming than there are of us right now. That because we did the survival bushwalk last week we bonded as a group so that gave us a heads up. He also told us that it is up to the new group to fit in with us and not the other way around. That’s good and all, but whats the point? He called on the kitchen staff to bring out our lunch. They exited the kitchen doors carrying a grated carrot and vitamin pill on each plate.


You have GOT to be kidding me ... so much for looking forward to lunch.

Baboons gone wild.
.. and so much for being hungry!


He hurried the kitchen staff to bring the plates out as fast as they could and in the meantime, he took all our drinks away from us. When everyone had a plate he waited a minute, then spoke; “Welcome to Fear Factor” he said. We all looked at each other and let out nervous giggles. I had read about Frikkie’s fear factor’s but didn’t expect it considering we did the survival bushwalk only last week! Both of these activities only happen once every 3-4 months at least!!  We were in for one hell of an afternoon haha.

“Eat up eat up!! Carrots are good for you! And eat your vitamin pill too! When you’re finished, move out to the grassed area and sit in your groups”

So we did.

Dung Beetle rolling...yum

“Now I know a carrot isn’t much for lunch, so I’m guessing you’re all still hungry...” I knew where this was going, and seconds later the plates came out. Baboon mielipop surrounded by catfood, Klippie droppings and topped off with a live dung beetle. Lovely. While we all had to eat something and were the largest group, poor Sebastian dug into it. We didn’t win however, compared to the other groups and with as many people we had, we should have won! It was foul though. Some groups must have been seriously hungry. Not ours lol.

“Next we’ve got something for you to wash it all down with...” Were Frikkie’s next words. Aaah, shit. Each group was delivered a large jug of (we didn’t know this at the time) milk topped with vinegar, Tabasco sauce and a dead moth and fly. Once again, poor Sebastian skulled it all, but for no reason because apparently we all had to drink from it. So even though we finished first, we were disqualified from that one. The next group to finish put the jug down seconds later so i don’t know how they could have passed it around, to each member and finish so closely? Hmm, yes we are very competitive!! Suss, suss!! Lol. Its ok, so we aren’t good at consuming things that don’t belong in our system, thats not such a bad thing!

The next activity involved puzzles, lots of running and saturation in the pond at the end of the main airstip. We got clues that lead to the name of an animal, everyone’s first clue was one of the dogs, we as a group had to run and find the dog, carry her... CARRY her (ours was Blacky, a large dog) back to the pond then we were given our next clue. Everyone’s second clue was a baboon. Once we named who it was we had to return the dog to where we found it, then go to collect our baboon - we were allowed to split up for this activity as we were getting timed and racing against another group. Our baboon was Jacobi who is easy to pick out as he was brought to harnas previously as someone’s pet. When he grew up they couldn’t handle him anymore but his tail had been chopped off (and a bit off topic here, he had been trained to steal things) We ran to the enclosure his group is kept in and carried him back. With the baboon, we had to wade through the pond for a glass jar on the bottom that had our group name labelled on top. We were beating the other group until this moment. We found heaps of jars but none that belonged to our group. Finally we found it, and each member had to drink the contents until it was all gone. The baboon then had to be taken back to its enclosure and the time was stopped when the group, as a whole crossed the finish line. The contents of the jars, which we found out later was jack daniels, vodka, tequila, whiskey and something else, vinegar maybe, topped up with water. Not half as bad as what we were made to eat earlier lol. In reality, we should have done this task last as my shoes were wet for the rest of the day!!

Next we went out to the wild dogs which wasn’t going to be a hard task, it was just a matter of doing it the quickest. Our task was to take a large piece of meat with and retrieve a shirt belonging to a member of our group that Frikkie had thrown up a tree half way into the enclosure! We made good time walking. Our motto was to walk fast and surround the person who was carrying the meat. We figured we’re told not to run or scream when we do enclosure patrol so don’t run or scream now - especially considering we had something that they would like! We took in sticks to use to frighten them away and completed the task with ease. We were second to go, so the next two groups figured they could win if they broke all the ‘rules’ by running and yelling. But by gawd they looked sooo ridiculous doing it! I don’t think i had laughed so hard in an extremely long time. The wild dogs didn’t care when we went in, just yelped and cried a bit but they chased the two groups that ran and OMG - i wish i had it on camera. Corey - a member of staff who trains us in bareback horse riding and breaks in wild horses took his shirt off, which for any male, means business. He entered with his group holding onto a large stick with lots of branches leading off it. Being Mr. Horse man (but not being intelligent), and usually always carrying a whip around with him, his natural instinct to distract the dogs from the meat was to jump around like an absolute lunatic and flinging the stick around as if it were a whip. Everytime the whip hit the ground, a bit would naturally break off. Soon enough he was dancing around with nothing. Needless to say we didn’t win that task either. HOWEVER, we did win the next one.

The last task of Harnas Fear Factor was based in the large baboon enclosure. Each group had to go in together and dig in a certain spot for a full can of coke, drink it and then leave with the empty can. Gawd you should have seen the amount of tears that fell. “I’m so small, they’re gonna rip me apart”

“they’re gonna kill me”, “they are LITERALLY, bigger than me” blah blah lahdeedah blah!! They wouldn’t make it a task if there was any risk involved and Frikkie and one of the bushmen stood in the enclosure the whole time with a plastic snake in their pockets.. just in  case! We ended up winning by about a minute! So yay, but it still wasn’t enough to win the grand prize of having breakfast at the Lapa the next morning. Oh well, no biggy lol Im happy with doing it all for fun (except the eating and drinking at the beginning, not cool man, not cool).

Anyhoo’s because of this afternoons ‘bonding’ activities, we didn’t get afternoon feeding done until 5pm. Marietta watched us with the cheetahs and said that we didn’t need to take sticks in for Afram although she did say we could take in one wooden pole that we usually use. “They aren’t wild animals!” she said, which is fair enough, but for the whole time ive been there we’ve been told to take them in when feeding. It’ll be pretty kool to go without them! I’ve read that cheetahs have never attacked humans, not even in the wild so it’ll be an adventure. A few of the other girls in my group were going on about how they aren’t going in if they don’t have sticks. Come on guys wheres your sense of adventure!!? The most that will happen is that you’ll get a small scratch, and that would have come about unintentionally. Cheetahs are awesome.

Didnt eat all my dinner tonight, it really wasn’t that appetising and definitely didn’t make up for our shitty lunch lol but we got dessert! Mmmm sponge cake and vanilla sauce...Halleluja!!

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Baboons gone wild.
Baboons gone wild.
Dung Beetle rolling...yum
Dung Beetle rolling...yum
photo by: Kayelem