Ilivetolearn's Blog

May 31, 2013

finishing up Africa

Filed under: on the road — ilivetolearn @ 11:58 pm

sylvia straightAfter our stay at Benguerra, we reunited with the kids and drove south to do one more beach day, at Zavora Dive Center. The above was the view from our lodgings. Once again, we had the beach almost to ourselves, though there were a few others. We swam, snorkeled, collected shells, and Elliot kite-boarded. Good restaurant, hot water–all the perks of a real resort and far superior to Sylvia Shoals. Then off to drive back to Maputo and spend a few days in Elliot’s apartment. Here’s a view of it from outside the walls of the compound:

el aptI guess if you have to live with security gates you might as well have petunias growing all over them. We spent the days doing laundry, watching the Olympics, having a dinner party to meet some of Elliot’s friends and colleagues, and planning the rest of our trip. Then off we went to Jackalberry Lodge, a charming little place very close to Kruger, where we stayed in a nice little cottage

jackalberryate fantastic meals whipped up by the Swiss proprietor, had close encounters with hippos wandering the grounds after dark, and discovered that the only other guests were from…3 miles down the canal path in Yardley. Small world department. From there we went to Kruger for a long day of self-guided game viewing, and had the luck to see a leopard with its catch–at very close range–as well as the usual elephants, hippos, giraffes, rhinos, etc.

Then, a long drive to Springbok Lodge, in a whole different part of the country (near Ladysmith; far inland and high up and very cold). The accommodations were tents, but by far the most luxurious tents I had ever seen, with bathtubs and bed heaters and all the amenities. We went for two game drives a day (sunrise and sunset) with our guide Nicole–another Swiss expat–who was extremely knowledgable and personable. Here we are posing on the vehicle we spent so much time in:

springbokThe last day we visited a cheetah rescue center, and got to get up close and personal with leopards, cheetahs, caracals, serval cats, etc. I think we all liked the baby meerkat best:

meerkatThe very end of our trip was a few days in Swaziland, where of course we went to another game park. The rhinos were the big attraction there (and I purposely didn’t crop out Elliot’s rear-view mirror so as to show how close they were):

rhinosAnd of course everyone goes to Swaziland to shop, as it’s the best place to buy what Elliot calls Afro-crap:

swaziAnd then, laden with candles, soap, textiles, carvings, etc., we got on a plane to fly home. Phew!

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