Friday, August 14, 2015

Geoff's African Safari conclusion

Finally getting to write this post. Writing about an amazing trip can be quite difficult when there is so much other stuff going on, but you probably know that anyway. Yesterday I spent with Toni going through my photographs of Klaserie so I could publish them on my blog, we did some Photoshop work on them so I could highlight what I wanted to show you.
Each day there was a certain pattern to our game viewing, in the morning we would go for a game drive, usually to the dam, to see what showed itself. This was done in the Land Rover, an old open top vehicle with very bad shocks, but definitely worth it's weight in entertainment. We'd all pile in at about 7.30 and off we'd go. Morning game drives would not be very long because someone had to get back to the camp to cook breakfast, game at that time of the morning was also rather scarce so it wasn't too interesting.
On one morning we came across a herd of Buffaloes crossing the road right in front of us.These creatures are relatively peaceful and stood around not being too freaked by the "Tourists." I managed to get quite a few shots until we heard gun shots, That really spooked them. They didn't attack us but were a lot more skittish after the shots so we started the Landy and headed off back to camp for breakfast.
After breakfast we'd either head off to the River Lodge or just play games at the camp, things like table tennis or pool or cards. In the afternoon we'd go for another Game Drive to other dams and on other trails to see what was visible. Even though it's winter here and the bush is thin, spotting game along the way is rather difficult, to say the least. Please keep in mind that this area isn't the great Serengeti in Kenya but the Lowveld in South Africa. Here we don't have great open plains with herds of migrating Wildebeest and Springbok. Here the landscape is bushveld, scrub and trees as you would know it. In winter the undergrowth dies down and the areas between the trees becomes a little sparser allowing you to spot the game a little easier but just a little.
a pair of Steenbokkies
Apparently summer brings a completely different game viewing experience, you see nothing but huge grasses and bushes so dense it's not worth going then. Winter is definitely the time to visit. We, I must tell you, didn't have trackers with us, nor did we have bus loads of tourists. This is a private game reserve with very few other people around, much better.
The afternoon game drives tended to be a little longer than the morning ones extending till after sunset. We were able to see the nocturnal creatures coming out like African wild cats (which look remarkably like domestic cats but will tear you to shreds should you corner one,) Honey Badgers, the most fearsome of Africa's animals, even lions give them a wide berth because they are known for aggression. Heyhenas come out at night too as do Leopards and Lions. We never did see any Leopards nor lions, which is a pity, but we did see quite a few Heyhenas, wild cats, and even a pair of Honey Badgers.
Elephants, Giraffes, Antelope, Buffaloes,Warthogs and Baboons we saw lots of. When I say lots I don't mean huge herds but a number together at any sighting. I think one herd of elephants had about twenty members ranging from little babies to dad. The journey of giraffes we saw at the river lodge must have also comprised about twenty members also of all ages. We did see a few Stripey donkeys, which normally hang out with the Antelopes, but not that many and always on their own, which is unusual.

Evenings were spent under the most amazingly clear skies with so many stars visible. We would sit around the fire telling stories and laughing together. Lots of wine was available, and as far as I could tell, everyone enjoyed their whole experience. Bedtime was about 11 at might with a leisurely morning rising and coffee before setting out for the game drive.
I had a great time with a most amazing family.

Thanks to everyone and to my God.

4 comments:

  1. Beautiful pictures. It is tricky to spot animals in the "laeveld", because they're so well camouflaged. :-)

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  2. Ha, ha, ha. "Laeveld" good one Misha.

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  3. Seeing Gods wonderful creation. Sitting under the stars and laughing together...a wonderful life. I have many wonderful south African friends now, they are so sweet and well mannered. It helps me to picture you. I have been off the blogging scene for a long time, just drifting in and out. Much has happened with my grown children and they are here with me much of the time. I was also unwell for so long but praise God, am getting stronger in myself.. Hit seventy years.. incredible.. Tenth grandchild came yesterday.. Could go on but won't bore you. Blessings.

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