Rob and Dee Overland in Africa 2014 – 10,000 miles – 4 months – 10 countries

wildlife

Three weeks in Africa and much has happened. One great week outfitting our new home the Toyota HiLux 4×4. Bushlore folks were terrific and we left Saturday morning for our first camping adventure. Up to the Drakensberg escarpment for Golden Gate Nat’l Park. Chilly in their autumn season – down bags and long underwear in the evening. Got short hike in – up ravine, around meadows for good views. Noticing mostly white people at the National Parks. Some South Africans and lots of European tourists. I guess the local majority (Black) have to deal with 45% unemployment and a battered education system so visiting national resources is a luxury, not a high priority. All people are very friendly with wonderful smiles that shine forth from a sincere inside of good wishes. Onto Royal Natal National Park with more walks and a view of San rock art. Indigenous tribes were prolific in drawing events of lives and dreams, as the story goes. Then our first 4×4 mountain pass- Sani Pass- up to 2873 meters, about 9400 feet. Rob did a great job around the hairpin turns. Luckily the grading was pretty good and he has been a 4 wheeler for 40 some years! Next stop was home of Tina & Jones between Pietermaritzburg and Durban. An excellent visit for gaining local knowledge, having fun with Maya, 6 yrs old, and Noah, 4 yrs old. They even took us to a local private reserve where we did our first animal viewings – zebras, wildebeests, blesboks (they graze together sharing their individual specialty senses of smell, hearing and eyesight), giraffes, hippos and then rhinosorous! Really a great day. Then we moved on to Hluhluwe/Imfolosi National Park for three more days of great animal viewing.

Dee


Dee and I are just learning how to spot the game.  Our first park was Tana reserve which we visited with our friend Tina and her kids, Maya and Noah- much of it was open country and we could easily see the game- though at one point we initially missed a giraffe that was 15 feet away.  Our second game park was the combined park of Hluhluwe/umFolozi.  Here the thickets were very dense and as you drive the backroads of the park at 10-15 mph you have to try to spot the game.  Other times they wander across the road in front of you or in the case of a herd of Cape Buffalo they stand on the road and challenge you to try to get by.

One afternoon some lions killed a huge Cape Buffalo right next to a road – those that stopped by that afternoon saw the lions only feet from their cars.  We did not find this spot until the next morning – by then the vultures had moved in for their feed until the hyenas seeing the vultures in the air- found the spot and the hyenas chased them away and guarded the kill ferociously.

Here are some photos from our first few days in the parks.

Rob