Thursday, June 2

Going slowly in the Lowveld

At least the sun shines, most of the time, up here in the icy climate of a Johannesburg winter. This means that for a couple of hours during the middle of the day one can huddle in a sheltered, sunny spot and thaw out naturally without having to use electricity, gas or any other “bad” form of fossil fuelled power!

As you can guess from the few words above, I am not in the bush or anywhere else warmer at the moment. I am planning to go to Mozambique again in mid-June, but for now I am getting some long needed maintenance done at my home in Jo’burg, including repairing the damage that lightning strike did a couple of months ago.

So while I am being kept “busy” tidying stuff away, making tea for the builder, and shivering, I will also give you a partial update on the lowveld trip I returned from last week.

I was away for 11 days in total, which included 6 days with clients on safari in Kruger and 2 weekends staying with an old friend Jackie, who now lives in the lowveld, not far from Kruger.

She has a wonderful blog The Slowvelder through which she chronicles her family’s downsized life on a small private game reserve near Hoedspruit, South Africa. Visit it sometime for postings on everything from making Marula beer and jam, to amusing descriptions of the various wild life which visit her cottage.

The Blyde River

Like me, she once worked in the hectic rat race of Johannesburg, but has now chosen to live permanently, and in a simple, sustainable way in the far north eastern corner of South Africa.

Velvet Corkwood next to the patio

The summers can be unbearably hot there, but at this time of the year, the sunny days are mild and pleasant, though the nights get quite cold.

In this tranquil, balmy setting, under the dappled shade of a large marula tree, with the cry of the fish eagle high in the deep blue sky, I spent a few days relaxing before, and resting after, my safari. I couldn’t have wished for a more peaceful setting, asked for better company or wanted more perfect weather.

I will definitely be visiting Jackie again, and as she loves visitors, why don’t you think about visiting her as well? In addition to the wildlife you can find on her reserve, she is less than an hour’s drive from Kruger, and even closer to the Blyde River Canyon, Mariepskop and other natural wonders of the area.

In my next blog posting I will show you some photos from the safari I did inbetween, so until then…….

The Mpumulanga Drakensberg, seen from a high point on the reserve

Looking west


OneStonedCrow said...

I grew up in Joburg so I know what kind of cold you're talking about ... brrr ... I've been back three times on 40 years and now the place terrifies me ... an can you believe, I've never visited the Eastern Transvaal (I'm not sure what it's called now) or the Kruger Park - I doubt that I ever will ...

... looking forward to more pics of your journey ...

Coral Wild said...

Hey OSC, one day I think you should try to make the long journey east. The lowveld and Kruger in particular are worth seeing at least once in your lifetime. The stark beauty of the desert is absent, but the lushness of the summers and the wildlife - birds and animals are pretty incredible...
PS Kruger is now split between the provinces of Limpopo (north) and Mpumulanga (south.