We were staying in Botswana’s Linyanti concession, at Sun Destination’s Camp Linyanti when we had this amazing sighting. Game drives in the area, one of my favourite corners of Africa, are through beautiful mopane woodland. As we came around a corner there were two honey badgers – a mother and baby – right on the edge of the road. Surprisingly, the mother ran off leaving her youngster behind. He was crouching in a small hollow, staring up at us with big adorable eyes and seemed rather shy…
I LOVE meeting girls who are as enthusiastic as me about all things wild and free! These fellow bush-lovers are so inspiring. I met Haley about a year ago on a seal snorkelling trip with a mutual friend. Whilst I bobbed around rather awkwardly, the two of them took to the water like mermaids!
I’m not quite sure what got into me. Perhaps it was a case of too many hours cooped up in a car, the excitement of arriving at a new place, or simply the untamed Kalahari bush waking up the wild side in me. And there’s a wild side in all of us isn’t there?
You know there’s magic going on in the kitchen when you’re on a game drive, following a gorgeous leopard padding through an open plain, and then find yourself wondering what’s for dinner… “Huh!? What’s wrong with you Rach … we’ve just had high tea, and before that a big lunch, scrumptious game drive snacks and breakfast almost fit for a lion!”. But I wasn’t the only one having these thoughts. “I’m looking forward to dinner” said Em from the seat next to me. The truth is, we were on a food safari! An Okavango Wilderness Camp food safari!
So here I am in Livingstone, Zambia. As I write this, I’m looking over the mighty Zambezi river, which, for all it’s might, is very calming to look at. The sun is sinking slowly, and so am I… into a cosy-cushioned couch on the deck of Tongabezi Lodge’s ‘lookout’. Any last little stresses of the day are floating gently away now…
Most people in the world are beautiful. They are good-hearted human beings doing the best they can to provide for their families and secure a happy future for their children. I’m not sure about you, but sometimes I find it easy to forget this. Being daily bombarded by the awful realities of poverty, poaching and human greed in Africa can leave me feeling rather miserable. And, while I think it’s important to know about these things, I am now (more than ever) determined not to let them paralyse me into apathy. I want to keep praying, keep hoping, and, in my own individual way (which, to be honest, I’m still figuring out), fighting for what’s right. Perhaps one of these ways is to find the good and celebrate it! Beautiful people with beautiful hearts doing beautiful things. And guess what? If you look around, it’s not so hard to find them…
The opportunity to spend 10 days with Wilderness Safaris in Zambia and Botswana came about quite unexpectedly. A newish friend of mine (without my knowledge) recommended my blog to a Wilderness Safaris guide. Suddenly I was put in touch with their marketing department, pitching ideas and working out an itinerary! It was a case of pinch-me-I’m-dreaming, and, as the trip went on, don’t pinch me because I don’t want this dream to be over!
Sometimes it’s not only what you DO that matters, but WHO you do it with that makes an experience extra-special. Much like the difference between seeing a bird and ‘smashing’ it (which, in case you’re wondering, is not an action of violent intent but rather a common expression used by these adrenalized young birders once they’ve successfully located a desired species!) “Yeah! We smashed that Cape Eagle Owl!” they would say. And boy did we smash it (but more on that later).
The Klaserie is one of the lesser-known areas of Greater Kruger. It should perhaps be called the wilder side of Kruger. It’s remote and just as beautiful. The reserve is made up of 60 000 hectares of privately owned land and shares unfenced borders with the Kruger.
I spent an amazing week at the reserve and stayed in three beautiful places which I would highly recommend (and I’m not being paid to say this!) Each camp I stayed at had something uniquely special about it.