This tiny town, on the border of Mpumalanga and KwaZulu Natal is home to the offices of Birdlife South Africa and the abundance of birdlife in the area is an attraction for twitchers from all over the world. The town, quaint in the extreme is two streets, but has one of the best restaurants we have ever been to - the Bistro. Seats about 20 people and has quite an extensive menu. Delicious! Early morning saw us with our local birding guide travelling about 50 kms around the town and learning a lot of new species. In the afternoon we sat in one of the many bird hide overlooking the wetlands watching the springtime activity. Lovely lovely place. September 2011.
In late September 2011 we were fortunate enough to be invited by good friends to their house in this wonderful, well run, well stocked game reserve. 10 friends together, rising early to go on morning game drives, returning mid morning to a brunch to settle the hunger pangs of our screaming tummies. Then rest and relaxation in the heat of the afternoon, sitting on the deck with the binoculars hoping to see and identify some of the many bird species flitting back and forth, or even wildebeest wandering across the plain towards the water for their late afternoon drink. Then a quick cup of tea before heading out again in the late afternoon, sundowner picnic box packed and the excitement of driving out in the heat of the late afternoon with the prospect of another beautiful sunet and the cool air of the evening. Once the sun goes down, the temperature drops suddenly, and by 6.30 pm we are looking for jerseys and jackets! But we get back to camp and the fire has been lit and the braai can get started while we all sit around the fire sipping our red wine or whisky on the rocks and share stories. Some of the photographs I took appear here.
I came to Africa as a 23 year old, not really knowing what to expect. 30 years later this continent (and I have only seen a small part of it, so far) has reached deep into my soul and awakened in me a passion for the bush and the silence of the wide open spaces and vast skies, has left me wanting to see more, but also happy to see the same places over and over again. For in the African bush, no two days are ever the same. Each sunset is spectacular, even if it is a little ordinary. So here goes. I have made it my mission to escape the confines of big city Johannesburg as often as I possibly can and get "out there". Don't get me wrong, I do not "rough it" by any means. A girl still likes her shower and toilet facilities. However, I am off tomorrow to a camp (for the second time) with neither of these things and am so excited I can barely keep still. Hopefully you will read some of my blogs. I am no writer but I love South Africa and I love the wildness of Africa, so perhaps that will come through.