The new year has brought rain and long lasting power cuts. Amazing how dependent we are on electricity. As there still are a few days of holiday left before school kicks off we decided to go camping. We packed the car and hit the road, making sure the tent and mattresses on the roof were covered with a tarpaulin to prevent it from getting wet, should we meet some rain along the way.
The drive took us along the tar road for 40 minutes before we hit the end and had to make the best of the sand and gravel ahead.
With the rainy season different reptiles are out and about and we had to stop to check out a leopard tortoise along the way, getting a good look. The kids insisted on taking it off the road to prevent it being driven over.
After a short break eating some biltong (dried strips of meat) and getting a quick run, the journey continued. Three 3 hours and some game viewing later we finally arrived at the camp site and set up camp. We found a lovely spot on the edge of the river with quite a view westwards, guaranteeing a view of the sunset.
The kids helped, taking responsibility and getting camp set up before sunset. While mom was making the beds with Matilda (3) the boys collected firewood and made the fire.
After dinner the boys insisted on a night drive looking for animals that hide away during the day light hours. We did see a few small wild cats and a crocodile amongst other antelopes and buffalo.
During the night Matilda had a blister beetle pee on her eyelid creating blisters. And some pain for the days to come, but she was tough and didn’t make much of a fuss.
After breakfast the next day it was time for a game drive. I tied down two camping chairs on the roof rack and put some mattresses there for comfort. The boys were then set for game viewing from the roof top. Along the drive we saw lots of different animals. The water buck with a white ring on its bum, which looks like it just sat on a freshly painted toilet. Elefant taking a bath in a water hole. Impalas and lechwe. Hippos in and out of the water. Tons of different birds, storks, eagles and kites. A definite highlight was a hyena cooling off in a little pond next to the road and a cobra slithering across the road (go visit our Instagram account @family_out_and_about for a short video of the snake and other pictures).
For lunch we stopped at a river crossing and had a quick dip to cool off before eating some snacks. We got back to camp and managed to start dinner just before the wind picked up bringing in a sand storm and was wipping sand in our faces. When dinner was ready the skies opened up and we hurried into the car to enjoy our meal there. The food was quite crunchy with all the sand, but eating in the car while the lightning and thunder presented themselves, made it an experience to remember. The following day we spent lazying around in camp, reading, playing, climbing and gazing out into the bush.
Camping and the wilderness is a lot of fun and very relaxing. We had a fantastic few days on our own, before heading back to civilization. Nothing much can compare to the feeling of having a warm shower and relieving the body of the sweat and dirt it has attracted over the last few days. Now we are looking forward to school starting and getting papers sorted. Still living in the unknown and hoping for the best.