Welcome back to our ride.
Good to go?
We’re just getting started!
Destination Timbavati for safari!
We hit the road early in the morning from Dullstroom. Beautiful landscapes. Trout fishing and fly fishing farms, lakes, ponds, bright green grass against burned down fields.
Magnificent judas trees in Lindenberg. Never seen such big violet. I feel like sitting right under it and getting lost in the color, but we have to keep on driving. Maybe there’ll be more to come. (And along the way, I proved myself right!)
Desperate to see some wild things on the road, we suddenly saw a baboon by the roadside.
And then another four of them further down the road.
Very hairy, kind of freaky and pink-butted are these baboons.
We immediately texted our friends who had a dog called Babun and said he looked nothing like these bed-headed, funny earthlings! (Babun the dog was a handsome Afghan hound, now resting on one of the hills of the Black Sea coast in Istanbul)
On the way to Timbavati, we had been recommended to check some viewpoints.
Drie Rondavels, also called The Three Sisters, and Blyde River Canyon.
We took some wrong turns, lost some time and got some nerves, but forgot it all when we reached the sisters and the canyon.
The curved river, the quiet serene view were just wow.
Having some fresh air with deep inhales and exhales, we were back on track to Timbavati.
However, our stomachs were yearning for food, so stopped by a cafe by the road for a short lunch.
Mad Dogz Cafe in Hoedspruit, Maruleng.
We tried the local food, Bobotie (a sort of meatball) and trout pate. Pas mal, pas mal!
And we think we saw a future Miss South Africa serving us elegantly. We were sad not to be able to capture a secret pic of her. Would be a lovely profile pic here. Well, maybe next time.
And finally, there it was. The gate of Timbavati.
Timbavati neighbors Kruger National Park and the animals pass from one to the other freely, we’d heard.
Our papers are checked. Everything’s set. And off we go!
There’s a speed limit: 50km/hr!
How long will it take to reach Motswari Private Game Reserve?
There’s loads of activity around.
Stop stop stop!
Did you see that?
An impala family!
And giraffes. Such a LONG neck!
By the way, are we on the right track? I’m not sure.
Ah, OK, there’s Motswari sign – Hmm, looks like we’re in the middle of nowhere.
Is this the way to Motswari?
Yes hello there. Nice to meet you too.
What do you mean there’s no fence system in Motswari? Is this a joke?
We’re in the middle of the bush among ‘the wild’ and there’s nothing around us for protection?
Well, my husband was totally cool (he’s a real man, not scared of anything you know!!), but I was kind of shocked, I hadn’t done my homework properly. Yes, I freaked out, but then realized that this was actually what we would dream of doing all along.
We had missed the first afternoon drive (ahh, those wrong turns, local beauties and the speed limit!), so we explored the reserve on our own since it was still light. At night you simply can’t or at least on your own, and it’s not hard to guess why!
We loved the creativity around; the stones hanging down in the Lounge, the wooden art between the lodges, but the most fab part was the small, icy cold pool looking over to the small pond in the bush where most animals would come to drink or bathe anytime during the day.
And as if they heard us, there was a welcoming committee right before dinner on our very first night.
A wild rabbit and an elephant family came by the reserve to say ‘hello, you’re welcome here’.
So were we.
And it felt good.
No, it felt great.