Thursday, December 1, 2011

Pretoria to Swaziland

I’ve only put a couple of photos together for this update because the internet is just so slow or non-existent where we’ve been in the last couple of days.  
We’ve hardly had time to think since leaving Pretoria and our days have been full, but the highlight would have to be our half day spent in Kruger National Park.  We were picked up at 5.00am so that we could beat the busloads of tourists. and our guide was smart and made no promises that we would see any animals.  

Once we were in the park we saw giraffes and zebras and elephants feeding on the sweet grasses and new leaves on the trees since they had their first summer rains within the first couple of kilometres - things were looking good. How could you not get excited?  We came across a lioness laying in the middle of the road surrounded by vehicles, and she had no intention of moving.  Not ten feet away from her was a prospective lover who was trying to stake his claim and not let her out of his sight until he had had his way with her. 

Living in hope

Kruger Park is huge and there are roads leading everywhere and our driver’s partner called on the radio that he had found a leopard, which is apparently very rare so we hightailed it to where they were watching her.  She was straddling a branch in a tree about 20 feet above the ground.  We stayed and watched her for ages and while she was aware of us she was quite happy to just enjoy her siesta.  
We saw elephants having mud baths, heaps of antelope, hippopotamus and another rare sighting - a black rhino who was hiding behind some shrubs.  The sightings just kept on coming and by the end of our time when we sighted a giraffe, we got to the stage where  we thought ‘ho hum, not another giraffe’.  

What's a girl to do when she's had a hard day

I’m struck by the colours here and particularly love taking photos of the women with their bright clothing and headbands.  No matter what colour they wear, against their dark skin it is a striking contrast.  

We’ve been entertained by singers with beautiful voices and high energy dancers with lots of drumming and foot stamping.  They  danced barefoot and kicked and spun and stamped their feet on the hard packed earth - awesome.  
The views we’ve seen have been spectacular - green lush valleys, high cliffs, we’ve climbed through rainforest and today we rode 20 kilometres of gravel and rocks with steep up and down sections and deep ruts from rain washing out the road.  It was challenging and got the adrenalin rushing, but once we were through we were covered in red dust, hot and sweaty and smelly, but what a rush and luckily we didn’t drop the bike.   

1 comment:

  1. Gosh it takes my breath away just reading this. It must be so exhilarating to be doing it in real life. Great shots of the animals. You were so lucky to see so many. The colourful ladies are striking.