Monday, October 4, 2010

Adventures in South Africa

Two days after I arrived, the entire country took a 4-day weekend to celebrate Independence Day. So I met up with my friend Nikki, who's been living in Zimbabwe for the past 2 years and headed off on an adventure.  We rented a car and drove to Mapungabwe National Park in South Africa.  The journey there was as much of an adventure at the actual destination.

Along the way, we got stuck in a dry sandy riverbed; we rented a Toyota Yaris which we discovered it is much to small and low to manage roads suitable only for 4x4s.  Lucky for us, just as we became stuck in the sand, a local farm worker arrived with his Land Cruiser and towed us out.

The "road" across the Limpopo riverbed.

Several hours later we reached the South African border crossing.  The Limpopo River forms the dividing line between the Botswana and South Africa along the eastern portion of the southern border of Botswana.  Crossing into South Africa involves crossing the river, most of which was dry, except for the portion that was still flowing.   Having come all this way, we and our Yaris were not deterred and I was determined to drive across.  (After walking through to check the depth...and for crocodiles).

Well the Yaris survived, the license plate did fall off, but no other visible damage...

Finally we were into South Africa and the next morning we were up at 4am for a game drive through the National Park in search of wild animals.  (Don't worry we didn't use our car for this).  We saw elephants, giraffe, wildebeasts, warthogs, ostrich and lots of other animals which all looked like antelope to me.

It's 5:30 am, where is our safari guide??

At our camp that afternoon, the elephants cooled themselves in the shade about 20 metres away!  We were informed that the small electric fence between us and them was keeping us safe...?!

Giraffe right outside the safari truck!

1 comment:

  1. Were there officials, guards or whatever at the river crossing?

    Lesson learned. Try to avoid crossing rivers in parts that are flowing.