Africa, Dear Africa
A Safari Diary by Patrice Walters – On Tour with Outdoor Africa
Excited for another early morning departure to Lower Sabie Camp, there was no disappointment as we spotted Hyenas on the road with a mamma nursing her babies in the ditch off the road. Next up, we witnessed a large stampeding herd of Elephants, spooked by Hyenas playing with a stick by a small lake.
Later, as we approached the river crossing (full of Crocodiles he’d warned us earlier), River reeled me in with, “It looks like the road is flooded” as he pointed ahead to very high water across the road. “But I think we can make it,” he continued. Then I noticed a bridge to our right just as my husband asked, “Can’t we just take that bridge?” pointing off to the right. By now we were quite endeared to River having fun at our expense. Every day was joyful, we laughed much and lived large with River!
Lower Sabie in Kruger National Park, South Africa
Meals at Lower Sabie were eaten in an amazing open air, beautiful lodge sitting high above the river with gorgeous views up and down the river and ample viewing of Hippos. Rigid wall tents with cement floors were our accommodations here, complete with a nice bathroom including a walk-in shower, a kitchenette outside, and air conditioning. Definitely glamping!
River took us to the most southern Baobab tree, 1500 years old — HUGE! And who wouldn’t have fun watching and laughing at those silly Baboons!
Onward to Mlilwane, Kingdom of Swaziland, Africa
As we traveled to our next camp in the Kingdom of Swaziland, we enjoyed another Lion sighting, several Warthogs, and a Rhino with her baby. Awww! The route takes us past many sugar cane fields along with bananas, pineapples, and other mouth-watering fruits. Mlilwane is our host camp tonight, where the royal family actually stays sometimes. No, we didn’t see them except for their portraits on the wall.
A traditional domed “hutta” was our accommodation, otherwise known as a Hobbit house because, unless you’re only 3 feet tall, you need to duck low to enter. Once inside, though, they are quite spacious, very charming and comfortable. Although, as River warned us, not much privacy since the huttas are closely spaced together in a circle and all sounds carry easily through the grass thatches.
The end of a stunning day in Africa
We dined on food fit for the royal family in another beautiful waterfront setting. A nature walk with River, where we saw a Cycad tree (2000-3000 years old), several Crocs, a very colorful but poisonous grasshopper, and many spectacular birds, was a nice break from sitting so much.
Returning back to camp, we witnessed a very interesting “dance” between 2 male Nyalas as they sized each other up and River was forced to evade a surly Warthog that wanted to charge him. Warthogs are the camp residents, sleeping by the campfires when night falls.
And the journey continues…