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Elaine and Peter’s Travel Diary

Monday, 06 Feb 2012

Location: Mkuze, South Africa

MapWe had a lovely lazy morning by the pool before setting off for our afternoon game drive to the reserve.

The ride to the nearest reserve gate was along dirt tracks through local townships, full of mud and thatched houses. Again we were struck by how orderly and organised each of the compounds were. This was the true meaning of communal living. The buildings themselves were simply a thatched roof with four bracken Walls used we presume for sleeping. Outside were upended boxes under the shade of trees whe the families gathered. Outside of the compounds were small areas growing vegetables for self sustenance.
Here we did not find the same warmth in the people however, with a few angry shouts as we passed by in our jeep!
The reserve itself was very different to Kruger. The bush veld was thicker ..there were tracks but for the first half of the drive the animals kept themselves hidden. It was much later that we came upon herd after herd of giraffes, wildebeests, zebras, warthogs, nyalas, impalas....some suckling tiny babies. We also saw a rock monitor at the side of the road. Just as we were leaving, a White rhino poodles out at the side of the road. The highlight.
On the return back to the hotel, there were many more people about, the women carrying heavy tubs of water...the men carrying sticks etc on their shoulders, everyone, including small children walking for miles, the was no fear.
When we got back to the hotel, we were reminded how all these sightings
were a matter of luck. One of the groups had seen the White rhino protectively guarding a 48 hour old baby, just lovely.
Dinner was very welcome on our return. This was followed by a short walk to the Kraal, a reed fenced area where we were highly entertained by an informal troup of Zulu dancers. What energy in this heat.