My head was spinning, my senses were pounding, and my heart was soaring. I had the opportunity to fly in a helicopter over Victoria Falls with Bonisair Helicopters and found it truly spectacular. Alas, it was over much too quickly, but long enough to take in some interesting sights. Here’s what to keep your eyes opened for… Read more
I’m sitting at the very end of the famous Chobe Game Lodge deck. Surprisingly, there’s no one else here – no other humans I mean. It’s just me, the vervet monkeys trampolining on leafy branches above, squirrels skirting along wooden deck poles and a dainty songster, the Grey-backed Cameroptera, making his presence know rather determinedly.
“A game drive for the whole day? Won’t we get bored?”, I overheard one of the girls in our group half-whisper to her friend.
It wasn’t an unreasonable question. The usual order of the day at most game lodges and camps is a morning game drive, followed by lunch and ‘siesta time’ and another drive in the late afternoon/ evening. But since we only had one full day at Ngoma Safari Lodge, it had been decided that we would make the most of it and only return after sunset. I was absolutely thrilled!
There is a fine line between bravery and stupidity, a line that has been precariously negotiated by my family on many occasions. My Mum once said (although Mum is known for her slight exaggerations) that we (Dad, my siblings Caiden and Beth and I) would not be alive if it weren’t for her. On second thoughts – perhaps it’s not that far from the truth. Between leaping off high rocks and from aeroplanes, swimming in croc infested waters and going for midnight bush walks, I reckon we are a crazy bunch. But, luckily we have Shannon Lang, my wonderful Mum, to look out for us.
I’ve visited Victoria Falls quite a few times in my life so far, but this time was different. Perhaps because I am grown up now and able to see more deeply into the smaller things. The memories I have of my first visit, at about 7 years old, are of being preoccupied with keeping my younger brother and sister in check! I remember being terrified that one of them would fall off the edge of the falls as the rocks can be quite slippery in places (clearly I took my role as older sister quite seriously!). But I was now free to explore on my own terms, and it was truly wonderful…
Relentless heat, exceptional bird-watching and uncontrolable laughter don’t let you forget. During Eco-training‘s week-long birding course, we (fellow bush-loving friend Lauren and I) laughed until our stomachs hurt, doubled our bird knowledge, and showered three times a day to keep cool.
1) Reading the right books will enrich your safari experience (and life)
In the African bush there is so much more than what meets the immediate eye. Every inch of Africa has a unique essence – a soul if you like – of it’s own, carved from journeys, shiftings of continents, local legends, bloodstains of man and animal and footprints both old and new.
My little sister Beth loves the bush – but it’s not so much the animals or birds that she’s interested in – it’s the family time and the peaceful atmosphere, the sipping of g&t’s as the sun goes down (with the essential Instagram selfies) and the chance to wear a pretty new hat. One can never have enough hats.