Monday, August 6, 2012

There's so much going on every day so I've decided to make a list of bullet points and try to cover the highlights

- Traffic delays present unexpected photo opportunities as the local women make the most of the opportunity to sell food to the passengers in the vehicles waiting to move on 

Pineapples, oranges for sale
- Travelling in a bus doesn't present the best opportunities for photos but luckily the driver had cleaned the bus windows and stopped along the way as we came across animals.  At this stage we were keen to get any photo we could as we had no idea what was to come and how close we would get to the animals when we got to Kruger. 
How awesome was this - a herd of elephants walking single file following the matriarch of the the herd as we drove through the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park

- Enroute from Kynsna to Durban we stopped at the Tsitsikamma National Park  so that we could stretch our legs by taking a walk along the shoreline boardwalk to 3 suspension bridges.  The water from this small gorge made it's way to the ocean passing under the bridges.  We saw whales blowing offshore as we waited to board the bus again

At our hotel in Ghose Mountain we were treated to some wonderful singing by the girls and men who worked there.  Their voices were just so joyous and the impromptu concert was unexpected to say the least.

Next day we took a cruise to try and spot more animals, though the pickings were pretty slim.  In the afternoon we visited a Zulu village to catch just a glimpse of their lifestyle.  The cooking kitchen is a hut with a cooking fire inside where the meals are cooked and the bales of bound grass for patching up a roof made for a great shot.  It was bitterly cold on the mountain and we wondered how these families kept warm as the children were running around in just T shirts or dresses.

It's not the Savannah, but I like the colours of this sunset

After dinner that night we were treated to some high energy dancing - lots of foot stamping and thumping

Leaving Ghost Mountain we headed to Swaziland and visited the Swazi Candle shop where hand-made candles in all shapes and colours are created and sold.  This craftsman is moulding the warm pliable candle wax into a zebra.  When the candles burn the colours are illuminated and are beautiful though the animal shape does change somewhat with the heat.  

From Swaziland to Kruger National Park and the Tinga Game Reserve.  The reserve is a private facility inside the National Park and we were assigned a guide and spotter with whom we have spent the last couple of days.  On the day we arrived, we went out for a Sunset safari where we were treated to sundowners with the hippos - totally unexpected.  Next morning we were up at 5.00 for a 6.00 start, once again coffee and muffins before we left as it was freezing cold and needed something to warm us up.  We went out to the vehicle and found hot water bottles warming the chilly seats and ponchos we could cover up with as well, then we were out spotting.  Our guides could hear baboons making a lot of noise so they stopped the car leaving us alone in the bush to try and find what was causing the baboons to carry on so.  The rushed back to the car to move us to a better vantage point as they had found lions.  What an amazing experience to have a lion walk by your car within 8 feet of where you're sitting.

 Sundowners with the hippos

The elephants were across the river from our accommodation - it was as if the whole thing had been planned
As you can see it's a chilly morning and we're all rugged up sitting on our hot water bottles

    One of the boys and below is his brother

That's about it for now bringing you up to date.  Tomorrow we fly to Livingston and the Victoria Falls.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Noeleen, I thought I was able to do this earlier and it said I had it wrong so here goes again. We have loved your blog and I have been crying as it is lovely to journey with you to these amazing places as I am not sure we will ever go but Thank you for sharing. Lots of Love Lyn and Barry