Wednesday, 26 October 2016

South Africa

Oh my goodness, we've been away! Away for almost two whole weeks in South Africa, and it has been extraordinary. I'm not sure what I can tell you, there is so much to say; the thoughts, words, memories still tumbling around in my head. We were visiting my dear heart's neice Jenny and her husband. His daughter Kerry and her husband came along too, to celebrate a significant birthday, so six of us have been travelling around seeing both wild Africa and big city Cape Town. The contrasts have been immense in so many different ways that I think I am still processing them, and will probably do so for some time to come; we packed so much in.


So, wild Africa. We stayed a couple of nights with Jenny at her home and took the time there to visit the Lesedi Cultural Village taking the tour around the village and hearing about the main tribes who comprise the original peoples of the area. We also visited the Cradle of Humankind museum, with it's fascinating displays on the history of our origins in Africa


Then we visited the elephant sanctuary at Hazyview, where elephants are cared for and in turn provide we humans with the opportunity to experience close up these dignified and imposing animals. As we were sitting in a clearing, listening to our guide tell us about the sanctuary, I turned to find the two resident elephants being led by their handlers into the space where we were sitting. My whole body tingled with awe as they quietly moved in before us and stood patiently while we were allowed to come up close and touch them, and be touched by them in an elephant "kiss". Later we were able to "take them for a walk" two by two, holding on to the tip of their trunk while their warm moist breath washed over our hands, and then most exciting of all, I was able to mount onto a great broad back, perched behind the handler, and feel the immense power as I was taken for a short walk in the bush, his inbreath and outbreath and rolling shoulders rising and falling beneath me.


After all that excitement it was time to set off on the long drive north to the Kruger Park. There we stayed in two areas; to begin with, a night in the Kruger itself, then two nights in the lovely Nkorho Bush Lodge, where we were fed delicious food, housed in delightful accommodation and taken on drives in the bush to see such a range of animals, so close, that I was breathless. I can't possibly show you all the photos I took - there were over 1,000 of them, but here are a few to give you a taste of the African Bush - unforgettable

Elephant crossing - with friend


 Zebra


 Giraffe


 Buffalo, of which we saw many


a very little elephant


Rhino from the front


and behind


 a beautiful leopard, just out for an evening hunt - tracking him caused much excitememnt


and some very bored lions, who had had buffalo for breakfast


just chilling in the shade - they were there the following day as well


Such beauty


2 comments:

  1. Holy COW! A trip of a lifetime. I love your pictures.

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    1. Hi Bean, it was amazing, yes, a real eye opener as well, lots of poverty along with all the beauty. Glad you like the pics - I'm VERY impressed with your weight loss pics as well, what an achievement. I'd guess you're feeling a lot fitter and more energetic too. Good for you, wish I could manage the same - must try harder!!! :-)

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