Wilderness Walk Mfolosi: The Gentle Art of Lurking

Our two walks in the wilderness with the Taylors, Foggs, Janice Hallot and Gayle Adlam blur into one and I have got the photos all mixed up, so here are some more memories from 1999 or 2005.

On the drier of our two walks there was very little surface water about, so around the campfire one night . .

Supper, great food, great wine, comfy chairs.       Story (and snory) time now

. . when my companions were suitably lubricated, I put one of my (many) pet theories to them. Tomorrow, instead of walking about scaring the animals, let’s go to that waterhole we saw where a dry streambed joins the Mfolosi river and get comfortable and simply lurk there till lunchtime! Let the animals come to us. Who’s in favour?

To my surprise and delight they were all so mellow and agreeable they voted in favour and we did just that. It was wonderful! We got comfortable a nice distance from the water and watched as all sorts of birds and animals came to drink. My idea of heaven: Lurking with telescope, binoculars and books!Mfolosi Wilderness walk 1999 & 2005.jpg

These were slackpacking walks, so our kit was carried to the outlying camp by these handy bongolos. Here you can see Dizzi looking for her luggage, saying “Where’s my bongolo? Why don’t they have number plates?”

Dizzi seeks HER bongolo

On the wetter walk it got hot one day and we asked our Rangers if we could swim. They said they knew just the spot. Miles later we got to the river at their swimming hole. But it was occupied:

Mfolosi Wilderness walk 1999 & 2005 waterhole collage

Aw! Two buffs, an ele and a lioness had all had the same idea. We didn’t argue with them, we trudged on. Miles later we crossed the river again, and had a swim. Sort of. Luckily no pictures were taken. These were of a shoes-off river crossing, footwear and footprints:

Wading the Mfolosi

These wilderness walks end with a last night back at base camp. We had left celebration supplies there in anticipation.

Mfolosi Wilderness walk 1999 & 2005-002

Then a champagne breakfast kombi drive before we left the park.

Champagne all round! And there's a shot of Aitch the photographer at last!
– at last our photographer Trish is in a photo – behind Jon’s champagne glass

~~~oo0oo~~~

imbongolo – donkey; two donkeys: izimbongolo

Denyse took the kudu, zebra and vultures-on-kill photos in the feature collage

My Namesakes in Mkhuze

A few of my namesakes at Mkhuze this weekend.

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Spot the two old rhinos in the shade under the tree? ** Click on the pic **

Then you’ll also see how dry it was – the “water” is pure mud with a rich dose of dung mixed in.

– the pan had good water –

Underground and Underwater in Kenya

In Tsavo East we walked down a long underground tunnel from Elephant Hills Lodge on the hilltop in the first pic below, to the waterhole below the hill, where the tunnel ends in an iron-barred underground hide looking out at elephant feet and buffalo legs as they drink within pebble-tossing distance.

Elephant Hills - East Tsavo
KenyaTsavo (12)
Bottom left is where the tunnel emerged
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In Tsavo West we climbed down into an old metal tank with glass portholes looking out into the crystal clear waters of Mzima Spring, where fish swim past and hippos can be seen looking like graceful ballerinas who have ‘let themselves go’ as they move daintily by, holding their breath. We watched and waited but not a one of them farted while we were there.

The spring bubbles out of the hillside volcanic rock, crystal clear and forming a sizeable stream.

Mzima Springs
– bubbling out of the volcanic rock: The start of a river –

~~~oo0oo~~~