Saturday, August 25, 2007

Heading north

Last night we smelled a herd of elephants before we saw or heard them.  Proof our senses are getting back into bush-mode.
Elephants smell like a load of damp dirty washing that's been left too long in the laundry prior to washing.  A mouldy, mildewy, amonia tpe smell. 
The herd arrived at the waterhole, which is about 25 metres from where I'm sitting, just on the other side of the uncharacteristically (for Kruger) low perimeter fence around Punda Maria Camp, in the north of the park.  They were joined later by a buffalo.
We've also seen lion from the camp in the past, which is quite exciting and, given the height of the fence, a bit scary (don't panic, any of you who are coming to South Africa to see us, Punda Maria is a very old camp, and quite unlike the ones where you'll be staying.  They all have sturdy, high elephant-and-lion-proof fences).
Punda Maria, as Mrs Blog and I like to say, is the most 'Zimbabwean' of Kruger's camps.  It's the last in the north before you get to the border and, befitting its position, things are a little more rustic, a little run down and a little edgier here.  It's a nice transition into the wildness and mayhem beyond the northern border.
Not that we hope it will be too wild in Zim.  Just depressing more like it.  We heard a Zimbabwean guy in the camp restaurant this morning saying to someone else "think of everything you've heard about the country on television and in the newspapers and double it.  That's how bad it is".
After seeing our friends in Harare we're off on a five-day houseboat cruise on Kake Kariba, as soon as I get back from my side trip to Libya.  Blogging will be a bit of a rarity in the next few weeks, Legion of Fans, so all four of you can get back to work and/or family right now and stop wasting time here!


Hann said...

I'm sure I speak for others as well as myself when I say I do enjoy reading all your adventure posts, it makes me at least feel very very close to home and I learn things I've never known, like the smell of elephants.
Take care guys, stay safe from man and beast and just enjoy!!

Joshua said...

Dear Tall Tony

What happens in Africa? Do you get bitten by a lion? Are the monkeys wild? Do the monkeys eat your marshmallows? Do they like bananas too?

I'm five now.

Bye bye for now

love from Joshua.

(instructions to Joshua's mum, who's been taking dictation: "Now, take it away to Tony")

bec said...

ps. am now reassuring my boy that no, he doesn't have to have a bath outside when we get to Africa...

noddy said...

Pip Pip RSM
Glad to see your working on mechanical engineering degree. Just purchased 2 copies of Safari,expect them to be signed when you return. Was surprised not to see your blog site recorded in the book. Keep up the good work. Big hello to Mrs B

redcap said...

Crikey, I'm jealous. You know what Rian Malan says when people ask him why he stays in South Africa despite its problems? "It's boring where you are, man." And he's right. Have a fantastic time.

PS I just finished Safari and I thought it was a cracker :)

ali g said...

Hi Josh
Having a bath outside in Africa is just something that big people seem to want to do particularly after having read about other big people doing that sort of thing in grown up's books.
Sounds cool but we certainly wouldn't want thase lions or monkeys eating our marshmellows or bananas while we were in the tub would we?
Although.... being big shall probably do it when I get there regardless

JR said...

Mr & Mrs Blog,

Looking forward to your accounts of Zim. There have been calls from 'The Herald' for Zim to close their Embassy in Canberra (they probably owe rent) and kick the Aust Embassy out of Harare...Zim loses again, bit by bit.

Travel well, keep your eyes open and...tell us about it.

Here in the 'Stan'we are over the worst of summer. The Aussies shot another local yesterday, and the Dutch put another casket on a Chinook. Sad to say.