Having always been a lover of nature and the outdoors, I spent my childhood at a holiday house on the coast where I could enjoy the best of both the bushveld and the ocean. The warm summer evenings that rang with the sounds of cicadas and the sweet smells of thatch and grass that filled the air significantly relate to the times I am most content and appreciative of the life that exists outside of the city.
I was lucky enough to spend a period of time in the Kruger National Park doing a field guide qualification course, and during those months I spent each day out in the wild, listening to the calls, spotting different bird species, identifying tracks, and learning about how this kingdom survives without any human intervention at all. For me, this is the real deal; nature in its absolute essence.
I love to be surprised by wildlife activity; to know that one can’t predict where or when a great sighting will present itself, and that the most we can do is go by the signs left behind for us to follow. A safari holiday will always be my first choice, but I know I will never have been there enough, and I will never be ready for home! Drinking coffee from tin cups in the morning and settling around a fire at night are synonymous with safari, and always bring a flutter of excitement to the pit of my stomach.
While I spent an extended period of time in the Kruger, my group and I were learning everything our brains could retain about the bush and we were constantly looking deeper than what instantly catches one’s eye whilst on safari. One tired evening we were driving back to the lodge, cameras packed away and eyes not-so-peeled (never make that mistake when you think your game drive is coming to an end!), when suddenly our guide whispered “honey badger!” in a desperately hoarse voice.
We knew that this was an exceptionally rare sighting, and something we had not expected to see. It turned out we did not need to frantically rush for the cameras (which, of course, we did) because this honey badger had a mate and the two of them put on a very lengthy love-making performance, punctuated by mister honey badger’s defensive charges toward our vehicle!
Kruger National Park, Balule Game Reserve, Klaserie Private Nature Reserve, Addo Elephant Park, Shamwari Game Reserve, Garden Route, Winelands, West Coast
Etosha National Park, Ongava Private Game Reserve, Swakopmund, Windhoek, Luderitz, Kolmanskop, Tsumeb, Omaruru