Month: November 2011

It's hot. The cicadas and unknown birds are singing their hearts out. I'm surrounded by lush green trees and the ground foliage is almost waist high. Occasionally from my vantage point I see Zebras, springbok and buffaloes pass by. The lodge is situated on the edge of Kruger National Park. It is the choice of our friend and travel agent Judith and we've thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Just once in your life you need to do something special like this. As I mentioned this morning, we leave around 6.00 am to go out on safari…. It was quite cool this morning and it took a while to find animals… but we did sea a leopard,  a number of huge rhinos….(my favorites) and hundreds of smaller animals.. Around 8.00 am we  stopped  at a huge lake and hot chocolate, coffee and fresh muffins are produced from the back of the truck. Its rather nice. Breakfast is huge and served after we return to the lodge at around 9.30. We go out again at 4.00 until dark …

On Safari 2

It's 4.30 am, already light and the noise is harmonious and at times interrupted by the raucous call of an unseen bird. The monkeys are darting from one high branch of the trees to another. There must have been something large in the lake outside our door last night… we could hear the splashing  but we didn't dare go out to investigate. You are escorted to your tent  when its dark…(during the day it's fine) if you have an emergency, there is a whistle by the bed.!!!! Our friend has just delivered our coffee and biscuits and we're almost ready for the day.      

On Safari.

The day began with an encounter with monkeys over hot coffee and biscuits. It ended with a sumptuous dinner and good conversation based around a candle lit dinner. In between we watched a lioness drink at the waterhole. We encountered Zebras, leopards, giraffes and all manner of animals. It seems unreal that we are here at times. I've not had a lot of time to design, but I did do a painting based on the monkey's tail this afternoon. I have no idea where it will lead to but it's fun to experiment. This afternoon I sat at my desk  in the tent. It was so peaceful. The air is scented by wild flowers and blossom… and there is a low chorus  from the 100's of birds. With temperatures in the 30's the weather is perfect for safari and ten dwelling. We are in the country some 400 kms from Johannesburg and the internet is dependent on the weather…. tonight I can compose and write, but it seems impossible to add photos. The cloud cover …

As soon as the drum goes, the monkeys are on your tent, waiting for the left overs….!!! The noise is quite loud, birds, animals and insects waking. We have a safari at 6.00 am and then back for breakfast at 8.00. Yesterday we went out on the truck for about 4 hours, we saw giraffes, elephants, all number of animals. We stopped and watched the hippo with his passenger the terrapin. Got leave the blog we're off on a trip…..    

Roughing it.

The internet is slow (of course) I’m in a tent.!!!!In reality it’s a rather grand tent. A luxurious double bed, leather settee, sunken bath and hot showers, a desk and a viewing platform. I’m surprised at how green everything is, it’s lush to the extreme. Like home it’s a tad past spring and everything is that delicious liime green. Grass, trees and bushes. Whoops, the monkeys are on the roof already.!!!!!

Camels No 2.

Not so long ago, the camels were ridden by small boys, but not surprisingly an inquiry found that the children were not safe and so Robots were introduced. Of course there were extenuating circumstances but I'll not go down that road. They are strapped to the camels back and when the race begins there is a second race…. 100's of vehicles with owners wielding remote controls race around the track urging their camels on with remote controlled whips. You take your life in your hands when you enter that crowd I can assure you. Its a great adventure. Of course there are no women there, only us…. it's a mans world and surprising everyone is welcoming, very friendly and they chatted to us with familiarity and we were urged to capture the event on film. "Take this photo of my friend, he's handsome"  said one Emirate man, so I did. In the waiting yard at the beginning of the track their were 100's of camels sitting on their knees…. (its the only way they sit) …

The Camel Races

Have you ever been to a Camel Race? This is my second visit and I was well prepared this time. Keith held two cameras and I had two…. he even shot some pretty good film. We had to be there at 7.00 am, it was a milky dawn and the sun filtered through the morning mist. Is is fog or is it sand… who knows. The trigger to turn off to the 190 mile race track is a shop with 10 foot cracked eggs on it's wall…. hard to miss… but we did and a u turn in the dust set us on the right path. I was a bit disappointed when we arrived… there didn't seem to be too many camels and handlers around… last time the place was jumping. We drove around the track, probably for 5 miles… suddenly we saw a stream of SUV's moving at a heck of a pace into the middle of the track…. OK, follow those cars…. which we did. Suddenly we realized we were on the out …