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Land of the Bushman Expedition Namibia: November 13th to December 3rd, 2019

Otherworldly landscapes and an array of extraordinary wildlife await you in this special part of Africa; a place where the human connection to nature is at its deepest. Join us in 2019 to explore a remote part of this country and uncover some of its secrets.

Overview

Building on the success of their May 2018 expedition into the Amazonian forests of Southern Peru (see below), award-winning expedition leader James Dyer and renowned zoologist and entomologist Dr Ross Piper, invite you on this exciting expedition where participants will get involved in field research.

This is an opportunity to be part of a real expedition team, exploring a poorly-known area and working with renowned scientific researchers and expedition professionals. The main aims of this expedition are to understand the biodiversity of the area, survey previously undocumented ancient rock art and contribute to a long-term conservation strategy for the area.

Utilising a range of techniques and tools, scientists and participants will undertake surveys, document the rock art sites and record their findings. The product of these efforts will be a final report that contributes to what is known about the area and informs long-term conservation of the fauna and rock-art sites.

The main strands to the expedition are as follows:

1. Biodiversity – surveying, monitoring and documenting

2. Rock Art – surveying and documenting

3. Expedition skills- Desert/Bush living/ Tracking/

4. Contributing to local conservation efforts

Pre-expedition weekend

Two months prior to the expedition, the team will gather for a weekend of team building, training and briefings. This is to meet each other, prepare for the expedition and to discuss the expedition objectives.

The expedition

Accommodation during the expedition

The team will spend nearly three weeks in Namibia during November/December 2019, with time at the beginning in the city of Windhoek, either finalising kit and equipment or exploring the city.

The team will then travel overland into the land of the Bushman to our remote base camp.

The first few days will be a mixture of base camp building, initial acclimatisation and familiarisation. Once this is over the team will be able to explore the surrounding area and begin the expedition research (see below).

On the return to Windhoek the team will have the opportunity to explore and celebrate their achievements and experiences before heading home. Team members will also have the opportunity to explore further on their own.

Camping under the Namibian stars - an unforgettable experience

Expedition research

You'll get the chance to do all sorts of fieldwork during the expedition. There is also the option to conduct your own studies, based on expertise and interests.

Biodiversity

Northern Namibia is home to a spectacular variety of wildlife (clockwise from top left: Dropwing dragonfly - Trithemis sp., Namib rock agama - Agama planiceps; Giant tiger beetle - Manticora sp.; Desert elephants.

People tend to forget that we've barely scratched the surface of understanding life on Earth, from the species we share the planet with to how they all live and interact. The lands of northern Namibia are poorly known in terms of their flora and fauna and new species are described from here on a regular basis. During the expedition we’ll use a range of survey techniques to document the species of the study area. Using traps of various kinds will build up a picture of what species inhabit the area and gain insights into exactly where and how they live. Techniques such as pitfall traps, light traps and interception traps will allow us to sample the arthropods of the site and camera-traps and tracking will provide information on the larger inhabitants.

Ancient Rock Art

The rock art in the area we're going to is undocumented

Scattered throughout Namibia are many rock art sites, some of which have not been properly documented. The rock art in the area we're going to falls in this category and we'll be tracking down the exact sites and documenting what we find in accordance with the Trust for African Rock Art (TARA) guidelines. The documenting will include sketches, photographs, footage as well and drone footage of area around site, documenting.

Conservation Monitoring/ Anti Poaching

The area is home to many species of mammal

During the expedition there will be the opportunity to contribute to the ongoing conservation work that is going on in the area. As well as tracking and camera-trapping there will also be the chance to get involved with anti-poaching work, such as clearing snares, etc. Rest assured, you won't be engaging with poachers directly.

Proposed Itinerary

November 13th to 3rd December

Day 1: Depart UK Travel

Day 1: Participants Arrive in Windhoek, Welcome Briefings, B&B

Day 2: Build up day B&B

Day 3: Travel to Base Camp (BC)

Day 4-6: Training BC

Day 7-17: BC

Day 18: Travel to Windhoek B&B

Day 19: Day in Windhoek B&B

Day 20: Day in Windhoek- Final Meal B&B

Day 21: Participants Depart

Costs

The cost to participate in this expedition is £3,500, plus flights to Windhoek (£700-£900).

Payment Schedule

Deposit - £500 secures place on expedition

Payment 2- £1,500- due by 1st May 2019

Final Payment- £1,500 – due by 1st August 2019

Included:

• All accommodation in Lodges/ hotels( 5 Nights- 3* style- Bed & Breakfast)

• All transport to/from base camp, all expedition food at base camp

• Guide costs

• Most expedition and science equipment

• Expedition insurance (not personal travel insurance)

NOT included:

• Flights

• Meals in Windhoek(lunches & dinners)

• Snacks and alcoholic drinks

• Personal travel insurance

• Personal equipment (a full kit list will be supplied),

Flights

Although we do not organise flights we recommend that you talk to our flight agent, Mark Riordan at Travel Counsellors, who can arrange all your travel requirements.

MARK RIORDAN:

T 01634 776 930

M 0795 853 4460

E mark.riordan@travelcounsellors.com

W http://www.travelcounsellors.co.uk/mark.riordan

Legacy

The goal of this expedition is to increase our understanding of this part of Namibia, particularly its flora and fauna and ancient rock art. The expedition will add to the body of biological and anthropological knowledge and contribute to the long-term conservation of the area.

Registration

To sign up for this expedition get in touch with James Dyer or Ross Piper

info@james-dyer.org

ross_piper@yahoo.com

Biographies

James Dyer

James using ropes to get into the canopy

James has had a 20 year career in outdoor learning, adventure sports coaching and expedition leadership. He is been involved in over 30 expeditions, leading on more than 20, to all environments involving adventure tourism, mountaineering, canoeing, scientific research, community projects and exploration, with participants ranging from young people to adventurous retirees!

From 2011 to 2016 he was the Operations Manager at the British Exploring Society, over the 5 years here he was involved in restructuring all operation functions of the organisation, improving the quality of leader recruitment and training, initiating and directing the Trainee Leader programme and heading up the expedition planning team, planning and delivering over 20 educational expeditions for young people.

James has also set up and led a series of expeditions for RAF Air Cadets from a range of units in Kent, including the 2014 “In the Footsteps of Lawrence” Expedition which won the 2014 Ulysses Trust Best Cadet Forces Expedition and the RAF Air Cadets Shackleton Trophy for best Expedition.

In 2016 & 2017 he was the Chief Leader of the British Exploring Society Peruvian Amazon Expedition to Manu National Park. He works as a Remote Environment Safety, Leadership and Training Consultant, Expedition Leader and continues to operate as an Advisor to the British Exploring Society on aspects of Training and Leadership.

He is a Leading Practitioner in the Institute for Outdoor Learning, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and holds a Commission in the RAF Reserve (Training) Branch. Find out more on his website.

Dr Ross Piper

Ross in western Myanmar using a mercury vapour light up a tree to attract insects

Ross is a zoologist, entomologist, explorer, writer, presenter/on-screen expert and Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. Ross has a 1st class degree in zoology from Bangor University and a PhD in insect ecology from the University of Leeds.

He has been involved with expeditions to Europe, the Americas, Africa and Southeast Asia, primarily looking for insects. He has discovered a new genus and several new species of insect. Ross was a presenter/onscreen scientist for the BBC/Smithsonian Expedition to Burma, the product of which was broadcast as the three-part series – Wild Burma: Nature’s Lost Kingdom – on BBC 2. He has also been involved with several other TV projects for the BBC and Sky 1. Ross has also been invited to speak at events around the world, including EG in California and World Minds in Zurich.

His book, Animal Earth, is a cutting-edge exploration of animal diversity. He has written numerous other books as well as many articles for BBC Wildlife and BBC news among others. Ross' macrophotography has been published in many books and magazines.

Ross’ current projects include exploring insects as a source of novel pharmaceuticals and biomaterials, devising new techniques for sampling terrestrial arthropods and planning further expeditions. You can read more about Ross’ work on his website.

Dr Alicia Colson

Alicia searching for rock art on the Brandberg Mountain, Namibia

Alicia J. M. Colson is an archaeologist and an ethnohistorian with a PhD (McGill), currently Visiting Fellow at Goldsmiths (London). She is Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and of the Explorers Club. Her research interests include: the history, and geography of hunter-gatherers of the Boreal Forest, archaeological theory, southern Africa, digital humanities, and the history of higher education in both North America and Europe.

She’s undertaken fieldwork in sites in central Canada, the UK, the US, Namibia and Antigua. She taught in Namibia as the Chief Scientist for British Exploring, devising and implemented a science curriculum for Young Explorers. Since obtaining her PhD in 2006 she’s given talks in the UK, US and Canada to the general public and the academic world.

About James Dyer Expeditions

James, Ross and the team thrive on designing and delivering expeditions to remote and inaccessible places to help advance scientific research and increase global appreciation of threatened areas. In doing so, we aim to push the boundaries of research and devise new techniques and adventurous methods of reaching and studying these places and involving as wide a range of participants as possible.

In May 2018 the team led an expedition into a remote part of southern Peru: Into the Depths of the Amazon 2018. This 3-week expedition involved the participants in ongoing work to understand more about these rarely explored forests and their denizens with an emphasis on entomology. Using innovative techniques to access the canopy the participants assisted with work to understand the unique species that inhabit these hyper-diverse forests.

Into the Depths of the Amazon 2018 was successful in involving participants in all aspects of the expedition and the team are currently finalising the results, which they hope will include range extensions, new information about existing species and possibly even new species. All specimens collected were sent by agreement to the Natural History Museum in London.

This is what participants have to say:

“This was completely beyond experience to date. I wouldn't have missed it for anything…It is an extraordinarily humbling experience to be standing alone in the blackness of the jungle at night.”

Rosemary, Sheffield

"James Dyer and Ross Piper led a well planned, exciting and hugely enjoyable expedition. Our trip delivered on every level, we were briefed and trained well in advance so nothing went wrong, we met all our science objectives and we came together as a group of strangers and left as friends. Basically, it was a lot of fun and I'd go back any time."

Richard, Cobham

“What far exceeded my expectations was the fun we had as a group - I had a great laugh.”

Chris, Colchester

“I really enjoyed learning about fieldwork, meeting a variety of people all with different backgrounds and ideas and the camaraderie at meal times and on the treks.”

Matt, Norwich

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