Blogs from the Beard

Ben Winston : Go Untamed Safaris

To the Dessert! With rabies in the moonlight

Jumping back to Botswana, it has been a couple of days drive to reach, in my opinion, the last untouched wilderness on solid ground: The Kalahari dessert…. And it is, … Continue reading

June 27, 2017 · Leave a comment

We Play God

North of Johannesburg is an area famous for a few hot springs. It’s a local tourism hot-spot and nearby is a group of game reserves, holiday accommodations and “wilderness” areas … Continue reading

June 25, 2017 · Leave a comment

Cocksure expectation & the undeniably strong fragrance of clumsiness

We had just crossed over into Botswana….but these tales are going to jump around, Kris Kross-style, through Southern Africa. I’ve now spent quite a bit of time between Johannesburg, Cape … Continue reading

June 22, 2017 · Leave a comment

Riddling hold-ups, 90’s reggae, and some slightly damaged chicken

“Swift” would be a huge overstatement – my passport was even stamped twice (presumably by mistake) as I passed through immigration, but even for the exceptionally efficient, marginally friendly and … Continue reading

June 1, 2017 · Leave a comment

A Bangarang!

Deciding to avoid discussing clients and guests of Go Untamed, doesn’t mean I’m extending the same luxury to my  business partner! We’ll suffer together… Bjorn might remind me regularly that … Continue reading

May 23, 2017 · Leave a comment

Beard: Back in the Bushveld!

I grew the beard… then chopped back. I have also been getting stuck into and enjoying some pretty hectic lifestyle choices. To keep a long story short, with the help … Continue reading

May 23, 2017 · Leave a comment

Blog On Pause…

Pausing the blog updates for a little while. All these travels have turned into work, and I’m loving it. The updates will begin again soon with all my adventures around … Continue reading

April 10, 2017 · Leave a comment

Chess? Too dangerous!

Malawians are some of the happiest people on earth. The nation may be amongst the poorest countries on the planet (with one of the lowest per capita incomes in the world), … Continue reading

February 23, 2017 · 2 Comments

“This is Africa”….On the Road

After much time off-grid, I’ve a journey through Nkata Bay and on to Lilongwe. It’s almost time to get myself on a plane. I’ve arranged a ride with the mechanical … Continue reading

February 21, 2017 · 2 Comments

The African Barking Spider! (Apologies for this one)

The sounds of the jungle bush in the north are much different to the sounds of the flatter bush lands to the west and to those hectic noises of Nkata … Continue reading

February 6, 2017 · Leave a comment

Ravin’ Bees and a lot of Gin

The storms have begun and thankfully, we weren’t caught out, floating around on some hefty hollowed-out tree trunks near Mozambique (as we had planned). Plenty has however, been blown off … Continue reading

February 2, 2017 · Leave a comment

A geriatric, old swan from Scotland

Although she is reliably late, the Ilala ferry is a stalwart of lakeshore life in Malawi. Overworked engines, (possibly) drunk captains, questionable weather, the economy, people falling over board, a rusty … Continue reading

January 20, 2017 · 1 Comment

Life’s a Beach, with a few owls and some fly burgers

The project to kayak along some of the lake shore of Mozambique has sadly been put on hold – due to the kayaks not arriving from South Africa. We’re closing … Continue reading

January 7, 2017 · 2 Comments

Crocodiles, Music, and a Sorry Sanctuary

I just needed to man up! Whatever I had last night was not malaria. A decent breakfast and a swim in some, apparently crocodile-friendly waters and I am fine. This … Continue reading

December 13, 2016 · Leave a comment

Something to do with a drunk captain…

Something to do with a drunk captain…or at least an extended stop while he visits his mistress(es) – of this I have absolutely no evidence other than everyone talking about … Continue reading

August 22, 2016 · Leave a comment

Where Elephants Once Ruled

On the beach at Ruarwe, along with hundreds of other folk, we loaded our belongings into the rickety boats that realistically in the west would have carried a quota of about 15 folk. … Continue reading

July 27, 2016 · Leave a comment

Chiefly Politics and Recovery

I would love to say that like my two malaria muppets and the infected leg bandit, that my next few days were a smoke-free, alcohol-free resuscitation period, but I’d be … Continue reading

July 18, 2016 · Leave a comment

Fatal mistakes, losing your jaw in the night….and Roy Hodgson

Baboons kept me awake all night (as well as trying to sleep in the hammock). Hackling, coughing and grunting to each other around the forest floor, it must be a … Continue reading

June 18, 2016 · Leave a comment

Malaria

 Bjorn woke up this morning with what he thought was a mild hangover, but quickly within an hour, announced he had malaria. It comes on fast, especially when you’re in … Continue reading

June 16, 2016 · Leave a comment

Backpacking Spooners….and Charlie

Charlie was a young Berkshire boy who lost himself backpacking in Malawi over eighteen years ago – back when most of the lakeshore was wild and when backpackers didn’t expect … Continue reading

June 14, 2016 · Leave a comment

A corpse, a lot of blood, and a Chelsea smile

Back down the river in the bush north of Ruarwe, we found a new splotch of blood on a large rock by the river. This time, it wasn’t from the … Continue reading

June 13, 2016 · Leave a comment

Perfect for a paddle…and a few cannonballs

As far as we know, and as far as we like to guess, no human has travelled up this river valley since the mid 19th Century. We assume there was … Continue reading

June 12, 2016 · Leave a comment

Look what we found! …and a Side Stabbing Snake

Tasting with their feet, an abundant and colourful butterfly population are constantly around us as we expedite up the river. Green water snakes hunt fish, spiders cast their webs as … Continue reading

June 11, 2016 · Leave a comment

Leopards, Crabs, and Unknown Poison

Last night, Matt cooked dinner. As he picked up some kindling to move it onto the fire, he was bitten or stung by an unknown creepy crawly. A regular occurrence … Continue reading

June 9, 2016 · Leave a comment

A thirst-quenching cauldron full of vivid hallucinogens

Sleeping in a hammock is rather good for keeping you off the jungle floor, if you can sleep! It’s perfect for catching a few winks, but to sleep through the muggy night … Continue reading

June 8, 2016 · Leave a comment

Miniature-stealth scorpions and Schwarzeneaggar-esque Jiminey crickets…

Miniature-stealth scorpions and Schwarzeneaggar-esque Jiminey crickets, hypnotic millipedes and flesh-piercing ants. Nothing in the bush is ever bug proof and whether it be stabbing you with a sting, munching through … Continue reading

June 7, 2016 · Leave a comment

Truly into the wild, and lying to my mother about it…

There is no point in comparing the bush experience we had in Kasungu, near the Zambia border, to what we are enjoying on the northern lake tributary. For one, we’re … Continue reading

June 6, 2016 · Leave a comment

Some more controversy for you…

Before disappearing up a watery gash in the landscape to explore where one of the northern rivers flows into Lake Malawi, we catch our breath and take a chance to … Continue reading

June 5, 2016 · 1 Comment

Hangovers, Goats, and some Freekin Ice!

Leaving over two hours later than scheduled, the “local” boat, as its referred to, took over eleven hours to carry us to Ruarwe at the north end of Lake Malawi. … Continue reading

June 4, 2016 · Leave a comment

Food…and drugs…and drunk fishermen…

Before we reached the lion’s den we passed Malawi’s largest farmed area of rubber trees. Tapped, much like maple trees for their syrup, the rubber trees contribute to a healthy … Continue reading

June 2, 2016 · Leave a comment

Barbecuing Beer, Intelligent Pigeons and Chuck Norris…

At last! You say. This one isn’t about how terrible humans are to the unfortunate wildlings. I had goaded one of the more social park rangers to join us for … Continue reading

May 31, 2016 · Leave a comment

Elephants (videos)

And you think YOU have issues at breakfast!?   Nervous Elephant

May 31, 2016 · Leave a comment

Marrying Sharron…

Compared to a few other nations on the continent, Malawi has remained relatively peaceful. Even through the historically volatile and ongoing trials of Southern Africa, the people here remain extremely … Continue reading

May 30, 2016 · Leave a comment

Mobile cash machines in a war zone

Life isn’t all covert operations, investigations into convolutions or apprehending unfortunate forest folk. In truth, as much as I enjoy and appreciate the experiences to understand what “protected wilderness” is, … Continue reading

May 29, 2016 · Leave a comment

Should we accept a sad fate?

Six months ago, the village we found yesterday, where we apprehended a man, was burned to the ground and returned to the wild. We saw remnants of scorched earth, charcoaled … Continue reading

May 28, 2016 · Leave a comment

Jealous of my lifestyle? Read this one

Three sounds concerned me as I tried to fall asleep in the Kasungu bush. One, chickens. They shouldn’t be here. Two, gunshots. They weren’t for the chickens. And three, the … Continue reading

May 27, 2016 · Leave a comment

Hopefully, without getting shot…

Hopefully, without getting shot, stabbed, sliced with a machete or even just damaged by anything in the bush…. After an early start to pack our bags with appropriate and thoroughly … Continue reading

May 26, 2016 · Leave a comment

Kasungu National Park

While at the triathlon in Cape Maclear, and through no late night liquid coercion, Bjorn and I accepted a welcoming invite from Matteau, Remi and Leonie to visit them in … Continue reading

May 25, 2016 · 2 Comments

It was a success…. Nobody died!

Beyond the point of relaxation and drifting into a tired trance, I managed to stay up for another thirteen hours after a fifty hour+ sleepless journey from the U.S. to … Continue reading

May 23, 2016 · Leave a comment

Just missing that haunting, panpipe-style, ding ding…

I’m normally a morning person, and here in Cape MacClear waking up isn’t too much of a problem. The natural sounds of the village children (not a Village People spin … Continue reading

May 22, 2016 · Leave a comment

Skip this opportunity? Don’t be silly!

Outside of Lilongwe (Malawi’s capital) it’s hard not to feel like I’m in a remote place compared to the western world I’ve just left behind. The countryside vistas vary as … Continue reading

May 22, 2016 · Leave a comment

Nobody ever accomplished anything alone…

Just before the end of my adventure across the United States in 2014, seemingly impressed by my intrepid spirit and wordsmithing, I received an email from a man I had … Continue reading

May 21, 2016 · Leave a comment

Malawi: Africa’s Warm Heart

The last you saw of me was when I left Portland, OR. They even had a new carpet in the airport! Time to let you all know what in the … Continue reading

May 20, 2016 · Leave a comment

Survival on Arrival

  After a fifty hour journey to Lilongwe, I didn’t know what to expect when I arrived. I had emailed my contact, without response six days prior and said that … Continue reading

May 20, 2016 · Leave a comment

The End…with Malawi in sight

Some people asked me to compare last year’s trip across North America, to this year’s. I won’t, purely because they were completely different and as I continue on this nomadic … Continue reading

May 17, 2016 · Leave a comment

Finally!!!!

KP sends me this photo while we’re having a week or so apart. He’s sent them to a better place. About time! Spending the trip with KP wasn’t anywhere near … Continue reading

May 17, 2016 · Leave a comment

My last morning in Alaska

The concerning wait for a ferry which hasn’t arrived yet, after being delayed for three days has been frustrating. It’s also been threatening and frightful while in the woods. Filled … Continue reading

May 16, 2016 · Leave a comment

Stranded in storms and falling trees

As relaxing as the woods can be, they’re also a little nerve racking when some heavy storms are forecast and you’re sleeping amongst tall trees. It’s calm but building. Cautiously … Continue reading

May 16, 2016 · Leave a comment

Maliciously attacked by a schizophrenic French floozy

While in Moab last year, I didn’t meet a new friend called Shareena. Drinking a beer at the end of a Utah bar, alone, her rainbow coloured hair cascaded across … Continue reading

May 16, 2016 · Leave a comment

Life is a holiday, not only two weeks a year

This morning three cruise ships docked downtown and Broadway was bombarded with over 10,000 visitors. A few hundred people live here year round and varied reports average around 2000 in … Continue reading

May 15, 2016 · Leave a comment

Love shack & some morning wood.

I was bound to talk about love at some point… Conveniently, a friend in Skagway, where my ferry will sail from, tossed me an invitation to visit. New friendships across … Continue reading

May 15, 2016 · Leave a comment

I need a Bear & a Tlingit

The ride south to Skagway and back into Alaska takes you over the Alaska Range. A little over a century ago, stampeders hiked from the fjords of Skagway and Dyea, … Continue reading

May 15, 2016 · Leave a comment

Loudly banging back into Canada

The recent conditions on the Alaska highway have opened up the crack in the windscreen to one mighty, three foot gash. Today’s drive has also taken its toll on the … Continue reading

May 14, 2016 · Leave a comment

Being off grid isn’t always pretty

Even though it’s just a bus stop for the cruise ship companies, a train depot for those riding up through the Yukon from a southern port, a commercial coffee stop … Continue reading

May 14, 2016 · Leave a comment

Humans are magpies (Atlin)

Ironically, on the first day since the adventure began which I haven’t worn my sunglasses, I’ve indulged in ice cream. I added rum. I think it was a mini celebration … Continue reading

May 14, 2016 · Leave a comment

Back into Canada (videos)

Back into Canada on a pothole road

May 13, 2016 · Leave a comment

A Defiantly-Wild, Bear-Guarded Mine (Kennecott)

Usually in the U.S. visiting a national park is an experience of managed wilderness – accessible to all – but while slowly being restored, the Kennecott Mine in Wrangell St … Continue reading

May 13, 2016 · Leave a comment

An unruffled Madam with a big bottom

Following our trip through the Whittier tunnel, and after a quick stop in the tiny town of Hope on the Turnagain Arm to bag myself a few salmon on the … Continue reading

May 13, 2016 · Leave a comment

Whittier: Cold War Weirdo

The American outback, the boondocks, nestled in the sticks, appears barely operational. There’s evidence of gigantic agricultural farms operating in the lower 48, but prominent cities and towns built on … Continue reading

May 12, 2016 · Leave a comment

Private moments in the bush…

Private Moment Home Spit About to leave the Kenai Peninsular. Some people suggested I make this a tradition…Sorry to the rest of you.

May 12, 2016 · Leave a comment

If the Kenai Peninsular was a box of chocolates…

If the Kenai Peninsular was a box of chocolates, it would probably be one of those industrial sized boxes of Quality Street that you get at Christmas, to fatten grandma … Continue reading

May 12, 2016 · Leave a comment

To Homer! (videos)

Bear, Bear, Bear! Eagle! Sadly, no gin.

May 12, 2016 · Leave a comment

Pensioners Pensioners Pensioners…

Dithers Complainahan (he has a new nickname) has been trying to figure out why, in the last handful of years, he has repeatedly befriended troubled men in their early 30’s. … Continue reading

May 11, 2016 · Leave a comment

A Polar Bear Garden

In 1867, William H. Seward (Secretary of State at the time under Abraham Lincoln), bought Alaska from Russia. There had been some earlier negotiations to sell the region to their … Continue reading

May 11, 2016 · Leave a comment

Seward

On the south coast, the port of Seward is small and mainly provides alighting for cruise ship passengers to be then transported over land to inland destinations such as Denali … Continue reading

May 11, 2016 · Leave a comment

Splendid! South of Anchorage.

I reached Anchorage! Technically it was going to be the end of my planned trip but as usual, I’m not stopping yet. Alaska is vast, and I haven’t even scratched … Continue reading

May 10, 2016 · Leave a comment

Into the Wild?

“The best beer I’ve tasted this side of the Rockies” that’s me, quoting myself. The 49th State Brewery, just off Parks Highway in Healy (north of Denali National Park and … Continue reading

May 10, 2016 · Leave a comment

Graham eats Molly. Stan takes one for the team!

Three wolves, countless bear, numerous moose, a curious arctic fox, eagle hoards, awkward stalks, migrating swans and geese, territorial osprey and various regal raptors, botherless bison, wolverine, tasty fish, elk, … Continue reading

May 10, 2016 · Leave a comment

My dithering pensioner and I disagree a lot

My dithering pensioner and I disagree a lot. We’re extremely good at it. Naturally, our opposing political views are cause for regular debate, but we agree and disagree on probably … Continue reading

May 10, 2016 · Leave a comment

Leeches! Driving! Glaciers! (videos in Denali)

Speechless Views   I caught a Leech. Brilliant!   My favourite driving

May 9, 2016 · Leave a comment

Where am I now?

After extensive work and tours through Southern Africa, I'm now in the U.K. for a few months in preparation for more Go Untamed Safaris.
I am working hard on paperwork, planning some huge projects and seeking out some individuals who are keen to be involved.

Request safari details by sending me a message.

email: info@gountamed.com

http://www.gountamed.com

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