Some things I love about Mkhuze:
Those dirt roads between the fever trees (there’s lotsa tar too, these days).
Polite people even at a lion kill (‘After you! No, after YOU!’).
Lots of birds.
African time; African efficiency. We had electricity – at times, but not at our site, which I found out after I’d set up camp fully. Couldn’t test, as the generator only runs from 5pm to 10am – which is plenty, but you can’t find out if your site is working if you arrive when it’s not running. No problem, I set up a field kitchen 60m away from my site. We had water – at times. Even hot water at times. The bins had monkey- and baboon-proof lids – some of them.
FRIENDLY inefficient staff: Got any charcoal? Yes. Where? There. You’d looked there, but you go and look again: fokol. Go back. Doesn’t seem to be any. Yes, it is there. Where? I show you. None. HAU!! It was here! Screech of laughter: Hau! So she goes and fetches extra from the stores, hosing herself at the fact that ‘Strue’s Bob, there wasn’t any when she thought there was!
At the waterhole a sexy young thing with a 400mm lens got chatting away to this 59yr old. She musta been 19 in the shade. Burbling away about look at that and watch here for the pygmy kingfisher and have you seen the lions behind that bush and the poor wildebees calf lost its mother and the lions nearly ate it and etc. Fairly unusual for a Seffrican she was. My 17yr old can seldom string two words together to a stranger!
Very little ranger or staff presence so the ous were up and out on game drives well before the meant-to-be time of 5am.
Patrick the ranger on a game drive in his open top Landie stopped me – he recognised us from two previous visits when we went on drives and walks with him – and asked ‘Where’s the boy?’ Remarkable really, as the one visit was in May and the other in 2009! I spose we do stand out a bit. I told him Tom thought he’d rather be eaten by a lion than endure two teenage girls for six days.
Mkhuze very dry and huge tracts recently burnt.
The water hole was muddy and hugely popular. Everyone took turns to churn up the mud and poo n pee in it!
As thirsty as they were (they would come running up to it, keen to drink) they showed great reluctance to actually start drinking. But they had no choice.
This morning one of the wildebeests was lying dead next to the edge. Unmarked.
We speculated one of the rhinos had reprimanded it (they had “baleka’d” anything that came near to them).
The only thing that baleka’d them was a male warthog. When a rhino said to him voetsack, he said No, YOU voetsack and made the rhino move over!
Note to self: There’s LOTS that needs fixing with your camping equipment!
I forgot the braai grid and couldn’t find one in six shops in Mkhuze village 18km away. I took the wrong gas bottle, didn’t fit. No problem, the girls got cold food* and hot tea – I had grabbed the electric kettle from the kitchen as I left home.
As always, the fridge worked a treat, so in the heat they got plenty of ice-cold drinks and water.
Next time I’m gonna be SO organised . . .
*Don’t feel sorry for them! They got some toasted sarmies from the Rhino Dino once or twice – and Phindile also made us one lekker breakfast.
fokol – none
Hau! – goodness gracious me
baleka – move away! fuckoff! language isiZulu
voetsack – move away! fuckoff! language Afrikaans