Leaving Footprints

Taking nothing but memories!


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1 of the 7 Wonders of the World

Most people travelling to Machu Picchu take the train; it is almost the only way to access Aguas Calientes (the gateway town just below the ruins) and as such the train companies have a monopoly on transport for tourists and charge accordingly. Luckily for us, during a pre-trip planning session we had stumbled across a travel blog named ‘Along Dusty Roads’ which detailed a full day’s walking route (28 ½ km) along the train tracks, starting just outside the town of Ollanytaytambo. It was a much cheaper option and a chance for a mini adventure. Continue reading

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An extreme way to avoid Christmas

I was off again! But, instead of work, this time it would be as a tourist – I was going on holiday! This time round I was headed in a different direction, South West, towards Peru. Continue reading


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When the keeper escaped from the zoo

After 10 hard-working months hopping around the globe my time was sadly at an end but, I’d had the experience of a life time. I’d met some amazing people and learnt heaps, both in terms of work skills and about myself. All the fantastic things I’d seen, done and eaten would be nigh on endless if I tried to list them; but I thought I’d just mention a few of the highlights, including those that may not have made it into the blogs. Continue reading


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A Massive Baby!

Two days before I flew home I sprang out of bed and bounced around my cottage, because today was the day I’d get to see my favourite species of vulture up close. Unfortunately, for almost three weeks Lindy and I had been stuck in Durban, as the somewhat decrepit project vehicle had ended up spending 2 weeks at the mechanic’s for some much-needed TLC. This meant that there was not enough time to do a final check of our nests before I was due to fly home. But, as luck would have it, Andre Botha − one of the country’s head honchos for birds of prey conservation and the man that put me in touch with Lindy − was organising the processing of a vulture nestling just down the road and invited us along.  Continue reading


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Face to face with fear

Technology has come on in leaps and bounds in the last decade and despite the obvious disadvantage of people becoming glued to their screens, while their eyes merge together, their thumbs becoming freakishly small and nimble and their ears no longer able to receive sound further than a few feet away, there have been advantages. For conservationists, one of the most useful things to have improved over the last few years has been the camera trap; these wonderful little boxes allow us to take a look, unobtrusively, into an animal’s world. Continue reading


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Death in the bush

The hooded vulture project currently has 10 nests with camera traps in, which we visit once a month to check on and to change batteries and memory cards. One of our nearest nest sites is located at the bottom of the reserve where both Lindy and I live, which meant that when it was time for our monthly visit we had a lovely late morning start at 8am. One particular day began as any other fieldwork day Continue reading