Took a very
well deserved break from 3 to 9 October 2005. Visited a few places,
and most of them were pleasant enough. However, South Africa is
still quite disabled unfriendly and most people here don't even
realise it! Apologies if this page takes a while to load, we got
some really great pics.
We booked a chalet
at Ngwenya Lodge, which is near Komatipoort and
about 9 km's from the Mozambique border. Even though we specified
that we needed a ground unit for somebody who was disabled, we arrived
to find we had been allocated a unit on the 1st floor with the terrifying
wooden steps. After a couple of toots, even an able bodied person
would shy away from them! It tooks literally HOURS before we were
told where we would be moved to, and then we were relegated to the
END of the lodge, next to the fence, on the pretext that I "would
be happier there because it's close to everything". HUH? If
I were a wheelchair user, getting around inside the chalet would
have been completely impossible. Useless in fact. Thanks RCI! Prats...
Every morning we
had a young bull who visited the camp and systematically went through
the trash cans looking for breakfast. He was amazingly even-tempered
for a young ele, although we did see him flap his ears and mock
charge one of the workers who tried to hurry him along one day.
was what we saw in the morning from our chalet. It was a haven for
birds, and I have decided that I am somewhat of a 'twitcher' (which
I believe is a birder...) because the birdlife was fabulous.
took a trip to the Kruger (how could we not?) and we were lucky
enough to see so many animals and birds of prey. There are still
some good rivers there, so the animals are not looking too bad.
However, we did go through a stretch of the park that looked like
the arse end of a bad Mad Max movie. A moon scape. Barren and desolate.
Then again, we did travel along a 2 hour piece of sand road that
was (not clearly!) marked NO ENTRY. Note to self : Don't ignore
those signs in a game reserve again.
pic of the landscape in the 'closed' bit of the park, and some of
the MacDonald's of the bush. So known because they are the staple
diet of the big cats, and there's one around every corner! There
were tons of them.
were lucky enough to spot 3 White Rhino, and this one decided to
inspect some leftovers in the road for quite a long time. But check
out the caravan perched on the flat bed. Camping in African style!
This was another great moment when
a herd of ele's crossed the road. The mother nursed her calf for
ages on the road.
And another ele
pic, and yes, we were this close! Amazing animals. The African Elephant
is much bigger than the Indian Elephant, huge ears (when they flap
you run away!) and more aggressive. I love them!
This pic will give
you some idea of the size of our African Elephant. This skull is
And what would a
trip to the Kruger be without seeing the graceful giraffe. We were
quite surprised at how many we saw. Next to the Impala, they seemed
to be everywhere.
This is a view of
the very diminished Crococile River from Nwenya Lodge. This is the
WHOLE river bed, with only a trickle of water. The trees you see
on the far side are where (some years ago) the other side of the
river bank was. It's very dry, but when we left, it started to cloud
over, and hopefully they are getting some much needed rain now.
Part 2 of the trip