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With Willie Neslon (and me) singing "On the road again",
it was time to head back to Mabula,
to stay at their Kwafubesi Tented Camp.
I have passed this roadside store on several previous trips,
but this time I decided to stop and pay it a visit.
Called "Peet se Padstal" it can be found just as you exit Bela Bela.
It is certainly worth browsing around the home made food and crafts.
The sky was a brilliant blue the entire time I was in camp.
The only variance was the amount of cloud cover...
And the rain that came pattering down on one evening.
But no rain during any of the game drives that I and the other guests enjoyed.
My first view of the main lodge building
and the brand new succulent garden.
"How do you know it was new"? I hear you ask.
"I watched them plant it"... is my response
Open the the elements...
The main dining/lounge/bar/ meeting area is covered by a thatch roof
but is open to the views on all sides.
Feeling chilly? Not with the fire burning away in the central hearth.
I should imagine that this pool would be well utilised in the summer months.
During my visit, neither I nor any of the other guests
were brave enough to take the plunge.
The lounge area which is closest to the pool.
Kwafubesi offers breakfast, lunch and dinner.
As well as high tea before leaving on afternoon game drive.
This was my generous chicken salad lunch.
I was offered dessert as well, but I turned that down
in order to "save" it for dinner.
Suffice to say that with the wonderful Chef they have in the kitchen,
guests are NOT going to go hungry.
After enjoying a welcome drink and filling out the ubiquitous indemnity,
I was escorted to my accommodation.
I was not expecting what I discovered.
Not one of those tents that you have to bend down to enter
and cannot stand upright in...oh no!
This was proper accommodation,
the only difference being the fact that the walls are canvas.
From the inside looking out...
A very comfortable bed (with individual electric blankets),
a seating area indoors as well as a deck that has chairs and a table.
There was also a well stocked tea/coffee station.
It took me a moment to figure out that the shower was actually over the bath.
The reason for this momentary confusion,
the pipe-work was covered in green canvas making it almost invisible.
But no time to dally...a game drive awaited.
Back to the main lodge (which was a short walk from my tent)
for a quick coffee and biscuit before heading out to see what awaited.
Every drive that I go on holds and element of excitement,
especially when I am in a Big 5 reserve.
Time to let the other vehicles that we are "on drive"
and looking for an update.
And look what we found!
This White Rhino was just one of several that I was able to photograph.
There will be more wild life images in other postings that will follow.
As the sun sinks in West, it is time to head back to camp.
It has always amazed me how quickly the sun sets when you are in the bush.
One moment it is light and the next you need a torch to spot game.
For me this is the magic time...watching as yet another day ends in Africa.
It is at this moment that the chorus of Jackal calls starts,
signalling that they are out looking for a meal.
And speaking of meal...I wonder what awaits me at camp.
This is a very impressive line up of alcohol choices for guests.
And THIS is what I had for dinner...
As well as a starter AND dessert!
There is an old adage that says
"Tummy full, eyes closed"...
So it was time to head back my tent and to what promised to be a
wonderful, peaceful evening under canvas.
The skies were a plethora of stars and the Milky Way took my breath away.
This is why guests have to be escorted back to their tents.
This porcupine has taken up residence close to the camp
and visited on a nightly basis.
The camp has an electric fence surrounding it,
but it only has two strands that are designed to deter elephants.
All other game, including some predators have access.
Damian was my ranger for the duration of my stay.
And NO, this was not his hat...
It had fallen off another vehicle and we were returning it.
The guests on our vehicle dared him to put it on.
And he accepted the challenge!
He is a very knowledgeable young man,
who takes pleasure in sharing information with his guests.
To find out more about this camp and what they offer,
A new "tool" in my camera bag.
Order directly from www.petersguide.co.za.