The road to SA

The drive to SA border was rather quick with a small handful of memorable stops. I loaded Springbok with wonderful coffee from the Utengule Plantation and headed for the Zambian border. A quick crossing, relatively, and off to The Africa Manor House that everyone recommended. Should have done a little more research as I was being ushered away. Appears to be a rather posh place that MUST have reservations and only on specific days. I was directed to the Kapishya Hot Springs, as they do not require a reservation and they will take anyone without a reservation. Yup she made it perfectly clear, I had no reservation. Sheesh.

Sorry. So off I ventured down the lovely red clay road to said Hot Springs. Now I’m not sure what I was expecting. A small puddle of water which you snap a quick picture at or a hot spring like we have in the mountains but it was a place to spend the night, and a pleasant surprise. A real hot spring and soaking in it until a wonderful pho was ready for dinner was just what I needed. Now all the fur babies around was an added bonus. Definitely a lovely place and a must re-visit.

A wonderful night with an early start. Next stop the Old Farm House. I somehow managed to be the only one at this campsite. The food was by far the best food I have had to date. All farm to table, which I love, and plenty of walks around the grounds to attempt to walk off that fabulous food. The jams, the butter the everything….so so good.

Next stop was just outside Lusaka at another farm. The rooster and donkey having an early, and I mean early, morning disagreement was quite the wake up call. Quick stop in Lusaka and off to the Kazungula border crossing via ferry into Botswana. I left early enough to prepare for the ferry crossing. Snacks within arms reach as the wait to cross can be lengthy. Only one lorry and one car can make the quick minute crossing at a time. Miraculously I managed to make it straight through, no wait, none and straight across. Quick border crossing and back into Botswana.

Chobe, drier than when I left it but still wonderful. Lions, birds, and my favourite Wild Dogs.  A couple of days treat before heading further south. The excitement of getting to South Africa was now really starting to show. Little did I know what was to unfold.

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African Skimmer. Note how small the top or maxillary portion of the beak is in comparison to the mandibular. ‘Cause it’s a skimmer!
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Southern Carmine Bee Eater.
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African elephant, easy spot by its size but note the ear is also the shape of Africa.
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Two giants on Sedudu Island.
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Lions taking in some shade
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Wild Dog

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From Chobe it was a quick ride to Elephants Sands and the only waterhole, although man-made, for miles. The elephants would fight over drinking positions and they trumpeted and cried out through the day and night. It was rather sad hearing them plea for water. Some even managed to get their trunks into the toilets to drink any water they could reach. This drought has been rather tough on all the animals. Hope the rains come soon.

Woodlands stopover was a nice little place on the river but the river was completely dry and the Woodland Kingfisher, not quite time for them to return. Off to the Limpopo and an amazing little jewel – Limpopo River Lodge. The night before was spent at Tuli Wilderness and I had left my only jersey. Luckily it was only 40 minutes away and en route to the border crossing I was planning to go for. The bushbuck, crocodiles and birds at Limpopo were great and the drive on the property reserve was fun too. Very very dry.

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Bushpig at Tuli, as long as I was very still and quiet she was busy eating.
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African Hawk-Eagle
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Purple Roller

I retrieved my beloved jersey and off for the border. The border between Botswana and RSA was fun, a dry river bed. You literally drive across the river. Too bad the rest of it wasn’t as fun. After the whole border crossing snafu and impending deportation I ventured to Joburg and returned my Springbok to his owners. But I managed to spend two wonderful days at Mysti Mountain at Louis Trischard, with the wonderful owners, staff and cook. It was a much-needed respite after the emotions of the days prior. And prepare for the Joburg drive.

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My four-wheeled wonder.

I spent a couple of days wallowing before spending 40+ hours making my way back home.

As stated previously my trip has not come to an unceremonious end. Rather, I shall pick it up right back where it ended mid-January. With the rain and all the birds back for the summer it shall be just grand. So if your interested in joining me for all, part or have suggestions of places to see, drop me a line. Until then, camera and lenses must be repaired and I need to edit some photos. Keep an eye out for prints etc.

Happy Holidays!

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