Mfolosi Memory

Jess and I took Trish’s old Cape Town friend Val Excell and her brother Paul Gaillard to Mfolosi for a night. We finally got to stay in Mpila camp. We’ve been wanting to stay at Mpila as it is better situated for the drives in the southwest of the park along the Black Mfolosi river, but it has always been booked up for weekends. This was Thursday night, so easy to book at short notice.


Val is losing her short-term memory so is battling a bit with day-to-day stuff but her lovely sense of humour is intact and anyway our memories with her go back years and she remembers that stuff well. Her brother Paul Gaillard was involved in the establishment of safari companies like Afro Ventures (which had taken me on my first trip to Botswana in 1985) so we had lots to talk about.

Here’s Val and Paul with Jessie:

Mfolosi Feb 2017 (86).JPG

Mfolosi Day Trip

Up at 4am, left at 4.30, inside the Mfolosi gate at 7.15am. Me and Jess and a friend. Tom couldn’t imagine anything worse that being stuck in a car with two girls and no wifi so he stayed home and went fishing for grunter in the harbour with the Naude boys. Craig took a picture:

Harbour Tom & Naudes

In Mfolosi we had good close-up views of nine white rhino, buffalo, warthog, giraffe, zebra, kudu, nyala and impala. An across-the-river view of four or five lions; Two eles about 100m off and approaching but Jess got nervous from watching youtube where eles overturn cars so we drove off. And bonus: Two black rhino as we were leaving the park.

LOTS of birds, including the best single bird party I’ve seen in years! A drongo chased a southern black tit so I stopped to look. Next a black-headed oriole, a golden-tailed woodpecker, a puffback shrike, white helmet shrikes, a bearded woodpecker, dark-capped bulbuls, orange-breasted bush shrike, a grey-headed bush shrike calling nearby, petronias, black-collared barbets, yellow-bellied bulbul, a large cisticola, white-bellied sunbird. All moving together in some trees against a rocky hillside on the way up to Mpila camp.

Also saw white-backed vultures, emerald-spotted wood dove, cape turtle dove, red-faced mousebirds, paradise flycatcher, black-crowned tchagra, chinspot batis, gorgeous bush shrike (heard only), cape glossy starling, a single red-billed quelea in a flock of winter weavers, pied crow, red-billed oxpecker, golden-breasted bunting, blue waxbill, melba finch pair.

Breakfast and lunch at the picnic spots. Home by 5pm.

Must remember to take photos! I took one: the tortoise on the road!