Thursday, July 15, 2010

Wild Beasts and Braais

Well, it has been a long time since the last post; no Internet access for more than a week. Of course, the world watched as Spain beat first Germany in the semi-final in Durban (which we attended), then finished off the Netherlands on July 11 to win the championship. Congrats to Spain fans.

We have been in rural areas of South Africa and Swaziland since leaving Durban on the 8th. First, a stop in St. Lucia, a small resort town on an estuary where hippos lounge on the beach and occasionally take a stroll through town. (We saw the former, but not the latter.)

Then, to Big Bend in Swaziland, where farms and small ranches line the road, which is definitely less well-maintained than in South Africa. Very nearly busted an axle on our Fiat rental car on a few of the yawning potholes.

We reached Kruger National Park on Sunday, and have been feasting our eyes - and bellies - on wild game since then. Today we completed our "Big 5" sitings when Ava spotted a leopard while driving on a dirt road. (She is the best spotter of our bunch.) I saw a flash of beige, and poor Salome did not see it. But we still have two more days!

The other Big Fivers include rhino, elephant, buffalo and lion, all checked off, thank you. Plus hippos, giraffes, zebras, wildebeest, baboons, vervet monkeys, lots of birds and many, many antelope and deer.

The bush walks were especially interesting, although we didn't see a lot of game up close. But the warnings of the guides, who carried loaded rifles, kept us on our toes, and we definitely felt out of our element.

Our experience with African game has included mealtimes. We grilled wildebeest skewers on our "braai" or barbecue at our bungalow (very tasty, and similar to beef) and the restaurant at Oliphants camp served roasted impala last night, also delicious. (We felt a bit guilty when driving by a herd of impala this morning.)

ASAP, we will post new photos.

1 comment:

  1. As always, reading your blog is fascinating. Glad you're having such a great time and good luck seeing so many animals. Sounds very exciting except for armed guards, which a bit scary. Eagerly looking forward to seeing more photos. Take care, Love, Aunt Fran