Feb. 23, 2017—Meeting Rentia and Stoffle at Sani Pass was fortunate for many reasons. We stayed with them for over a week, the first few days of which were pouring rain, so we had the shelter of a big farm house and a great private bedroom. Rentia even cooked all our meals and we’d eat at a big table in the kitchen with various family members, who would come and go. Dave and I were part of a big South African family for a week. We got motherly hugs, fresh farm milk and some true South African food, like pap (a porridge with an unfortunate name) and biltong and dry wors (like beef jerky and dried sausage and very addicting.)
One day Dave and I took a drive in one of their bakkie pronounced buckie, (trucks) with all six dogs in the back. When we stopped to look at a new river recent flooding had caused, the dogs took off exploring. The littlest and our favourite, Kola, sounded like she was whimpering. The other dogs wouldn’t come when called nor when we pretended to drive away. Dave got out and hiked over to the water’s edge. We thought Kola was stuck in the river. He had to climb over a barbed wire fence then ducked into some trees. Soon I heard him cursing and come running out swiping at his head. He got four stings to the face from a wasp nest. The very nest Kola had dug up and probably got a few stings herself.
Luckily these were not African killing bees or something. The bite areas swelled up pretty good and Dave looked like he had a double-chin but he faired well after we got him home and gave him an anti-histamine and some tea tree oil to stop the itching. All to ‘save’ a mischevious little dog!
We thank Rentia and Stoffle very much for their hospitality and generosity, which was well demonstrated when they loaned us a bakkie to head north to Kruger National Park for a self-guided three-day safari.
Kruger is one of Africa’s largest game reserves. It is 360 km (220 mi) from north to south and 65 km (40 mi) from east to west. Kruger became South Africa’s first National Park in 1926. Here you can see The Big Five: lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants and buffalo.
During this trip, my Nana passed away. On the day my mom messaged me about it on our Inreach tracker, we kept seeing this beautiful bird.
I believe it was Nana following us. She had beautiful, colourful clothes and loved to travel. She had asked me to send her photos of our safari. But this was the real thing. She would have loved being on safari with us seeing all the animals. We saw all the Big Five—except the Cape Buffalo—and much, much more.
We were thrilled with the number of animals we saw in Kruger. Dave really outdid himself with some incredible shots.
The photos will tell the rest of the story so I’ll pass you over to them now 🙂
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)Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill