Jochen

I'm back!

26 posts in this topic

Hey my ST friends!

 

I'm so sorry for staying away for such a long time. It's just that my attention was needed elsewhere, so I had to make some choices (I know ST's got this power to "suck you in" and then you spend waaaaaay too much time on this board :lol: ). 

 

Never thought I'd be gone that long though. Never thought that it would take such a long time to "find our feet" here in South Africa either. Well, we're still not 100% there but at least we're getting closer to the goal. 

 

So for those who were not aware; that's right, my wife and I sold our house, said goodbye to our careers in Belgium, and are now slowly but surely making South-Africa our new home. 

 

What a ride it has been though. We learned so much! Good and bad lodge owners. Good and bad rainy seasons. Good and bad government services. One day, I'm writing a book of all we experienced. But right now I'm not going to be bothering you with stories like for example the four months it took me to get my PDP ("Professional Drivers Permit", needed to be allowed to drive people around on public roads). You'd start throwing vases, you'd invent new curse words, and quite possibly you'd chew up your keyboard.

 

What I <AM> going to share with you is lotsa photos, for instance of the rhino darting & elephant collaring operation that I was involved in recently. Met some great people, top-of-the bill being Ian Michler. He's everything I thought he would be, and more! Eco-hero 100%!

 

And what I'm also going to share with you is an offer for a safari trip, with myself as a guide of course, taking place at the end of this year. Yup, my wife and I are going to start doing this more often; guide small groups of people, and explore both highveld and lowveld. For now using other people's accommodation, but later also using our own place. Yes yes yes, that's on the list too. As I said; we're getting there! :P

 

Anyway... hope you are all still alive & kicking?!

 

Ciao,

 

J.

 

12 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome back @Jochen. It has been a while.................. :)

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No sh**! I hardly recognise the place. This new forum look is awesome! :)

 

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome back Jochen - great to hear you live your dream out and take a chance. I have often thought about the same. Hope you will tell us about your business.😀👍

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

welcome back @Jochen ! I have missed your very informative and interesting posts so I'm very excited about your promise of "lotsa photographs" and stories (like, where are they??!!). and what is this safari trip you are dangling in front of us and not telling us yet? all the best wishes for your (and your wife's) dreams to come true too. :) 

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Jochen Well, what a nice surprise! Glad to hear everything is going okay and I look forward to those stories - although I am not sure I want you to start with the driving permit one!

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Jochen welcome back, its so good to hear from you.

 

I can't wait to hear your news from RSA!

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey there Jochen - great to hear from you and look forward to hearing all about your experiences.......

 

Hello to Johan if you are in touch! 

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey @madaboutcheetah! The last thing I heard from Johan is that he got married. He lives in Jo'burg area, I think. 

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

welcome back!  and it is wonderful that you living your dream.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So glad to have you back @Jochen!     I was wondering when we would be graced with your presence just the other day when reading through one of your threads.  Now if @Rainbirder would put in an appearance!

 

I look forward to reading your catch-up posts and also using your services when I visit South Africa in the next couple of years.

 

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice seeing a fellow operator and guide here :) Sorry you had such a bad experience with your PDP - I think mine took 3 weeks. But the Public Transport permit (the one for the vehicle) took me 6 months and LOTS of moolah. What a mission! But not much choice. 
Anyway - LOVELY photos on your website! 
I hope you and your wife with be very happy here in South Africa - and hope this will be a real home to you both. 

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Elsa Hoffmann said:

I think mine took 3 weeks. 

 

Hey Elsa! 

 

That's because you're South-African, I assume? As a "foreigner" I first had to get a TRN ("Traffic Register Number"). For that I had to go to Polokwane, they don't do it at the traffic department here in Hoedspruit. In Polokwane they told me what docs they needed, and for those docs I had to go to Home Affairs (in Phalaborwa), the doctor, the police, etc... Then back to Polokwane where they told me to wait 7 weeks to get the TRN. Once I got my TRN (another drive to Polokwane) I could finally go for my theoretical and practical exam for a South-African drivers license. It's a license for a small truck so I had to get "lessons" for that. After all this and after an eye test I got a temp license, which is not enough for PDP. You have to wait until you get the actual drivers license and then you can apply for a PDP. This process requires another doctors visit and another eye test.

 

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So glad to see you back! I for one would love to read all about your trials and tribulations! Not just the nice stuff! :)

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, kittykat23uk said:

So glad to see you back! I for one would love to read all about your trials and tribulations! Not just the nice stuff! :)

 

And I would love to write about it but at current I can't do that yet. I might get into trouble. Actually, if I ever write about it, I think I'll change the names and places "to protect the not-so-innocent". Well, rather to protect myself.

 

Even with names changed I do think that it would be a good lesson for regular tourists though, because by now I know that they have absolutely no idea whether or not camp staff are treated correctly by management/owners or not.

 

One day! One day I'll write about it. In a book!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Jochen said:

 

. This process requires another doctors visit and another eye test.

 

 

Good to know that you have passed both!  ;)

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, AmyT said:

 

Good to know that you have passed both!  ;)

 

Honestly, I think in total I've had to go through that eye-test process five frikkin' times! Sometimes even after having done it the week before...

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, offshorebirder said:

So glad to have you back @Jochen!     I was wondering when we would be graced with your presence just the other day when reading through one of your threads.  Now if @Rainbirder would put in an appearance!

 

I look forward to reading your catch-up posts and also using your services when I visit South Africa in the next couple of years.

 

I have often wondered what's happened to Rainbirder too. He has given me some excellent advice on trips we made as we accidentally seemed to follow his footsteps in deciding where to go next. We even shared the same guide in Kenya who told me he wasn't in the best of health. 

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:( Hope he's OK!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Jochen said:

 

Hey Elsa! 

 

That's because you're South-African, I assume? As a "foreigner" I first had to get a TRN ("Traffic Register Number"). For that I had to go to Polokwane, they don't do it at the traffic department here in Hoedspruit. In Polokwane they told me what docs they needed, and for those docs I had to go to Home Affairs (in Phalaborwa), the doctor, the police, etc... Then back to Polokwane where they told me to wait 7 weeks to get the TRN. Once I got my TRN (another drive to Polokwane) I could finally go for my theoretical and practical exam for a South-African drivers license. It's a license for a small truck so I had to get "lessons" for that. After all this and after an eye test I got a temp license, which is not enough for PDP. You have to wait until you get the actual drivers license and then you can apply for a PDP. This process requires another doctors visit and another eye test.

 

Yes I am sure it is because you are a "foreigner" Welcome to South Africa and it's ways.... :):)

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/16/2017 at 6:03 AM, Dave Williams said:

I have often wondered what's happened to Rainbirder too. He has given me some excellent advice on trips we made as we accidentally seemed to follow his footsteps in deciding where to go next. We even shared the same guide in Kenya who told me he wasn't in the best of health. 

 

I too sincerely hope @Rainbirder gets better!

 

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Jochen   Welcome back! And with such exciting news.

Looking forward to the photos and maybe the odd story or two (just give us some funny ones if you daren't name and shame the not so innocent yet:))

 

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, CaroleE said:

 

Looking forward to the photos and maybe the odd story or two (just give us some funny ones if you daren't name and shame the not so innocent yet:))

 

 

Hey daar, Carole! Lang geleden!

 

I guess, if relevant to the discussion, I might throw in a few stories. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Jochen and here's the place for you to do it ;)

 

Matt

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, it is nice to have back the person who's trip report from Namibia 2012 has sent me to the place I cannot get enough of anymore :D! And learning that there is a real opportunity to learn the A (aperture) mode in person ... that is a promising aspect. Looking forward to learn more about highveld and lowveld, and of course, to see many more photos! Oh, yes, welcome back, @Jochen !

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.


© 2006 - 2017 www.safaritalk.net - Talking Safaris and African Wildlife Conservation since 2006. Passionate about Africa.