They do not call Lima the Gray City for nothing… lets just say the sun don’t shine. Not much anyway.
But somewhere on this bonny earth there is a spot in the sun, and I thought of a lovely time spent with my parents in Sunny South Africa.
During my stay in the country, we went away for a few days to visit a game reserve close by and do a bit of Safariing. If there is one thing I learnt from living abroad, it is to appreciate what a place has to offer.
Arriving at our chalet we were met by some curious deer, looking for some treats. The lodge provides a packet of “bokkos” also known as “deer food” that you can feed the curious animals, although it states clearly that you are not supposed to feed the deer out of your hands, but rather put the pellets on the ground. It also reminds us that wild animals are in fact, wild.During the week other visitors to our cottage included an impala bull, and a bush pig, teeth and all! The little guy gets down on his front knees to eat the grass and other treats off the ground.
Every day we were treated to a breathtaking sunset, and (nearly) every night I saw the stars of home, the southern cross, Orion and the milky way.
One of the days we squashed into the car and went for a self-drive game drive, with a map to give us directions and a lot of laughs. Our efforts were rewarded by sightings of all kinds. A number of nyalas, a magnificent Impala ram, and a herd of zebras a.k.a Pajama Donkeys to name a few. To crown it all, we saw a herd of gnu, and a few young and old giraffes! It is easy to forget the beauty of the country of my birth.
We treated ourselves to a Rare Game game drive one evening with the youngsters from the lodge. The game reserve has a training academy for young game rangers, chefs and spa staff, and a couple of the alumni took us through the rare game camp on a lovely game drive.
The reserve has a breeding program for rare variations of game, and we were treated to see them all. From a copper springbok to a black impala and a beautiful sabel, with horns for days. We saw a pair of beautiful kudus, as well as another three bulls that was beautifully running out of a piece of bush. The highlight of the trip was an up close encounter with two giraffes, who are truly inhabitants of the nearby wildlife centre, but for practical reasons they live in the bigger enclosure. They pop their heads up to the jeep to ask for some treats! I had the opportunity to feed one of them – from the other side of the fence, just to make sure.
On the way back to our chalet, we had one more treat: a beautiful silverback jackal was in the road, out at night. The car headlights lit it up beautifully as we slowed down and admired it before it slunk away into the bush.
As the sun set on my last day in the bush, I knew that my tank is ful, of wonder of sunshine, and of love for a family and home country that is deep and honest.