There were the 8 of us on our game drive this morning, with the other 4 having a different agenda to ours. It turned out to be OK as our ranger disregarded our desires anyway, and zoomed around all over the reserve, neglecting to let us know what he is in search of. All rather annoying. He take us to a leopard, who was doing her best to hide from us.
More annoying is that it started to drizzle. Joaz got out ponchos for us, but there were only 6 ponchos. Not great when there were 8 of us. Still it was an enjoyable morning with several interesting sightings.
Our closest encounter was when an elephant decided to join us at the dam where we were having our morning tea.
After our tea break we headed off on a bush walk – led by Joaz and FJ, a giant of a man. They were both armed with rifles. When I asked them if there had ever been a need to use them on bush walks, they both denied the need. Back at the camp we were talking with the manager, and she calmly said that a few years ago on a bush walk the guests had been charged by an angry buffalo. Despite the ranger’s warning shots the buffalo kept on charging, so “the ranged dropped him right at their feet”. They apparently cancelled bush walks for a while after that. The thought was that this walk was during the dry season when the game is quite stressed out by the lack of water and food, so they get a bit edgy. So now they do walks during the rainy season when the animals are more relaxed.
As it turned out we didn’t see any game on our walk, which is OK. The joy of walking in the bush is the ability to see the small things – beetles, dung, cobwebs and plant life. It is always very educational, and just as I was really settling into the fun of walking in the bush, we were back at the camp again, being entertained by some nyalas who had joined us at the camp for lunch.
Our final game drive at Idube was a good one. Mind you, I don’t think I have ever been on a bad game drive. However, this was especially good as we got to watch lions close up and personal. There were also elephants, loads of giraffe, and a good sprinkling of zebras.
Sundowners on the banks of the rapidly flowing Sabi river were also lovely. What’s not to be happy about?
I have enjoyed Idube, the game sightings have been great, however it feels like we are too close to civilization. This is not the bush as I love it. You hear planes landing at the local airstrip, the park is full of power lines. Power is good, but as it seems to be very intermittent in South Africa due to a phenomenon called “load shedding”, why don’t they have more solar power in the game reserves? When it finally stops raining, I am sure there will be more than enough sunshine. To me, the worst thing is that when you are on a game drive in the evening you can see the lights of the nearby township. It just feels too urban.
Still, it has been a great experience.
Dinner was in the boma again, eating around a fire, under the stars. All very lovely. Despite my complaints, it really is wonderful to be in the game reserve again. It’s where Safarigals should be.