Thursday, 26 February 2015

Anna Road Trip Across South Africa

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Anna Road Trip Across South Africa

After an over night fly from London to Johannesburg we picked up our little rental car heading for the first stop on our South Africa road trip. We were on a 6 night self drive, taking in the Drakensburg Escarpment, Blyde River Canyon, a stay in a private game reserve and the Kruger National Park.

As we drove through the gates onto a gravel road we caught sight of our first African animals, a group of warthogs. Slow progress was made up to the lodge as we stopped for every animal we saw - impala, kudu, sable, ostrich, we even stopped to watch a millipede cross the road!

Sure enough as we reached God's Window all we could see was God's clouds... After trying to negotiate a refund on our entry fee we drove onto Bourke's Luck Potholes, large circular holes sculpted into the rocks by centuries of flowing water.

The last stop of the day on the scenic Panorama Route was the Blyde River Canyon itself and a view of the Three Rondavels. The little known canyon is the third largest in the world and not really on the tourist trail, so we pretty much had the place to ourselves. There are many hiking trails to explore but we contented ourselves to looking out at stunning view with a Sparletta cream soda.

Out of the darkness there he appeared, fat and sleepy. 15 minutes we must have watched him in awe which was quite enough for the lion who let out gut rumbling roar that shook the seat of our pants. Gasps and nervous laughter were our feable responses.

We reached the Kruger National Park about midday and entered through the Orpen Gate. A Jurassic Park moment! The speed limit is 40kph on gravel roads and after about an hour of seeing only a handful of antelope we were starting to lose heart and thought that it was not going to be our day. With no other cars about we stopped and waited as he made his way in our direction. As he got closer we looked out of the other window and saw one, two, three… no a whole herd of about 100 buffalo coming over a ridge heading straight for us.

On top of the world we arrived at Satara Rest Camp for a much needed toilet break and a night's stay in one of their rondavels. Each hut has its own braai and we dutifully cooked up a meat feast and celebrated a good day's safari with a few beers.

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