So my blog for this week is a tiny part of my memories of our incredible "soft option" African experience. I feel so lucky to have had this experience and would recommend it to anyone who has the dollars.
I only had a film camera those days, but oh my goodness I soon learnt to quickly change films rolls. I would love to go back now with my digital camera!
Please click on "read more" to keep reading and seeing more pics.
This is a pic of me having morning tea on the morning game drive. I was a bit younger then.
The rhythms of Africa vibrate in the quiet stillness of the night. A line of soft lights lead us along the path to the boma where flickering flames send sparks up into the black ink sky. A splash of vibrant red lingers on the horizon.
We sink into the comfort of shared experiences as we listen to the retell of the afternoon’s safari drive.
The memory of Ingwe, the elusive leopard. As we approached he had climbed to lay in the low fork of a tree, his green eyes staring at us, his spotted coat glistening in the late afternoon sunlight.
Glasses clink. The table lamps are lit.
A lion’s roar echoes from far across the veld. A pair of civets partly hidden by the long grass lift their heads to gaze at us from the waterhole just beyond the fence.
Ostrich kebabs and kudu steaks are on the menu tonight. The chef hovers over the coals of the Braai (bry) expertly turning the meat.
We travelled to Africa and stayed at the Jackalberry Lodge at the Thornybush Game Reserve near Kruger National Park in September 2002. Our hosts Grant, Angie and Noleen gave us the most incredible experience we will never forget. We were so amazingly lucky that a couple of the nights we were the only guests, and so we had private game drives and got to know our hosts very well. And my eternal thanks to my friend Sarah Gaynor who was working in travel and booked this trip for us (this trip was how we met). It truly was one of the most memorable holidays of our life.
Even though I would love to go back to Jackalberry, I don't think we could ever hope to replicate the visit that we had. Our expectations were exceeded beyond what we thought was possible.
These impala were just outside the fence near our hut.
Below you can see pics of the lodge, our hut (top RH), and bottom LH the view from our bathroom window on our first morning.
The lodge has been upgraded since our visit (there's grass around the pool now!) - for more information please click here - Jackalberry Lodge
I hope you have enjoyed my little trip down memory lane. Thank you for indulging me.
Do you have a memorable dinner? Perhaps you would like to tell us about it in the comments.
You can read more of our Africa experiences in Australian Vital magazine May 2004 and Australian Photography magazine - Back page November 2004. Or click on this link to go to my former blog post - including how we met this bull elephant who suddenly appeared from behind a thorn bush - African Experience - Soft Option
A reader has just asked me what lens I had. I "think" it was about a 200mm or maybe a 300mm (?). I've just added this image to show you how close we were....
Below is Mario our tracker sitting on the front of the vehicle.
You can see here how close we were to this elephant. What an amazing experience!
At one stage we had a lion walk by so close that my husband said he could have just about reached out and touched it.
The animals in this park are generally used to the vehicles as long as you don't stand up and change the shape of the vehicle. And getting out is a absolute no no.
You can read more of my experiences by clicking here to go to an old blog post - African experience soft option
Thank you so much for stopping by. I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week.
I am linking up to the link-ups below. Please click on the links to see fabulous contributions from around the world - virtual touring at its best!
Travel Photo Mondays
Our World Tuesday
Wednesday Around the World at Communal Global
Agent Mystery Case
What's It Wednesday
Travel Photo Thursday