I saw this blog by @SafariEditor2 (twitter) and I thought what an awesome idea. So I compiled a gratitude list of what I love most, it made me realise what I have seen, done, and what an amazing continent we are all fortunate to live on!
Going to the Bush. Hoedspruit, South Africa. A group of mates, a coolie with ice-cold drinks, and 15 hour game drives. If you spot a big cat you have diplomatic immunity and everyone is your slave.
The Sound of a lion. Choebe national park, Botswana. You camp in the open and not having booked, we were in the “reserve camp” which does not mean you are VIP but 2km from the bathroom. Needless to say I squatted with one foot in the tent and one foot out. And thank goodness because Lions walked right through our camp. We could not believe the size of the spoor and were convinced someone somewhere is walking around with a spoor stamp tricking campers.
Attack of the Hyena’s. Mana Pools, Zimbabwe. Again camping in the open. When everyone missions to bed the Hyena’s come out to play and hundreds surround the camp. Safely in roof top tents we stared into the night with excitement… and fear!
Dustbin Bags Elephant. Charara, Zimbabwe. Our camp was attacked by an extremely large and sexually frustrated elephant with one tusk. We were later to learn that he had a name and was a regular in the camp. He trashed our trommel and ate all our groceries managing to untwist the gherkin jar and dip them in mayo. He also ate whole cans of tuna …who would have thought!
Bandit country. The infamous Marsabit road, Northern Kenya. While crossing the border from Ethiopia we ventured into a land that is so arid people dig large holes to find water. They warn you “NOT TO STOP” no mater what! Yikes! We past a Landy with South African plates, they were going up and we were going down. We cheered each other on as if we were old friends, a very proudly South African moment!
Star Gazing and Electrical Storms. Augrabie Falls, South Africa. One of the hottest places I’ve ever been to besides the Richtersveld. The stunning falls have lovely look out points where we stared up onto a galaxy that never ended and made the Jozi sky look sissy and probably very polluted! We were then treated to a thrilling electrical storm!
Lake Kariba Sunsets, Zimbabwe. These are the best in the world. A cold beer, surrounded by game and a rod in the water.
Butterflies and a single garage. Solitaire, Namibia. A fork is all that Solitaire is, nothing more nothing less. All that exists is a garage, a little restaurant (famous for its apple pie) a camp spot and millions of white butterflies.
Getting Stuck in mud. Hwange National park, Zimbabwe. We arrived late in the afternoon and wanted to go to a private camp. They warned us not to, that much I do remember. But young and arrogant we did a sneaky depart. It was about 28Km and we believed we would make it before the inevitable darkness. After we saw a sign saying “Welcome to Bumbusi” we started to celebrate with beers. A case, or more down, night had fallen and we were building dongas to cross rivers and treacherous roads. We somehow managed to find the camp, meet a ranger, teach him poker and lose all our money. When leaving we left early (having learnt our lesson, or so we thought) only to get stuck in the heat of the day. Knee deep and mud wasps stinging you, we were left with no choice but to saw a small tree down (sorry tree) with a steak knife. After four hours we were on our way celebrating with more beers!
Directions in Africa. Everywhere in Africa. It always amazes me how you can ask at least six different people along the road for directions and you are always pointed a different direction. One has to wonder if everybody is playing a nasty trick on you