Wednesday 29 April 2015

Can you see the Big 5 at Kruger in a small car?

The answer is YES.

This was my 4th visit to Kruger National Park and I was hesitant as to how much we would see in a small rental car on the tarred roads. We visited Kruger in September 2014 after our trip to Richard's Bay to go Whale watching.

My son and his girlfriend had already requested to go on sun rise and sun set organised drives as they were here on a holiday of a life time and didn't want to miss a thing.

The morning we entered the park, we took nearly half an hour leaving Marloth Park where we were staying due to giraffe on the road, zebra and various antelopes.

It took a further half hour to get over Crocodile River before we entered the park as we saw elephants, cape buffalo, a crocodile with it's kill, various birds and hippos.

We stuck to the tar roads and drove up to Lower Sabie, we only left the tar roads for the short drive to a hide and by the end of day 2 we had seen Lions, Black Rhinos, White Rhinos, Elephants, Hippos, Cape Buffalo, giraffes drinking, a rock monitor lizard, monkeys and baboons and we were now ignoring the antelopes.

Suffering with animal fatigue and lack of new sightings on Day 3 we decided to identify birds and I saw more on this trip than I've ever done before.

So for those of you still reading, it appears we've only seen 4 of the Big 5, but wait....our last night as the sun was setting, I decided to go for a walk, my son and his girlfriend were in the pool. A guide called me over and on the opposite side of the river was a Leopard, stalking several Impala. Taking a quick photo, I ran back through the woods to the lodge, passing a woman with young children and I gasped 'Leopard....river.....quick' and she ran off from where I'd just come. Son and his girlfriend, grabbed flip flops and we ran back to the river, in time to see the Leopard striking for the Impala, it missed and wandered down to the river for a drink.

It was only at this point that the woman realised that she'd run in the direction of the where the Leopard was, not checking that it hadn't been chasing me and judging by the state of the fence, there wasn't a lot separating me from the wildlife in Kruger.

We finished the holiday by watching an African sunset
Needless to say my son and his girlfriend didn't book the sunrise or sunset tours as we saw The Big 5 in 3 days by sticking to the tar roads.

Tuesday 28 April 2015

Charity scarves for sale for Education in South Africa

Since moving to Dubai I've done no charity or volunteer work, I've got no excuses as I don't even have children to settle into their new schools and activities to find etc, but I suppose I can be excused a little bit as I've been settling myself in, learning to drive on the opposite side of the road, exploring the neighbourhood and adapting to the heat.

Just because I'm no longer living in South Africa doesn't mean I can't carry on raising awareness and more importantly raising funds for the charities I was involved with.

In October and November I will be spending 4-6 weeks in South Africa mainly to work with The Santa Shoebox Project and The Viva Foundation and visiting several other township facilities.

So what can you do to help?

You can buy a scarf, that I've made at a cost of only £5 to include postage and packing. You don't get a choice of scarf as they are now all packaged up waiting for the orders to come in, ready for my mum just to address and pop in the post box to you.

I'm paying my own flight, car hire and accommodation costs and will be staying with various friends. I have a generous 30kg luggage allowance to take over some essentials that I'm collecting to take over with me, but there are still many items I need to purchase when I arrive to support my activities there.

You can make a payment via paypal or you can message me on twitter or Facebook for bank details.