The week of Jul 15, 2019 – Jul 21, 2019
Andova tented safari holiday …
Monday: Another early start. Ubered to the OR Tambo airport shuttle terminus. Set off in a packed and cramped minibus. Dullstroom looks nice, so does Hoedspruit. Met guide James at Hoedspruit’s Eastgate airport. His 4×4 broke down shortly after arriving at Andova. I was the only guest. I wasn’t told there are no opportunities for buying snacks, cooldrinks or alcohol. Organisation seems a bit haphazard. The outsourced evening game drive at Manjaleti private reserve was pleasant, highlight being a watering hole with hippos, crocodiles and elephants. Dinner: Wors, overcooked steaklet, pap and tomato relish.
Tuesday: Slept fairly well. Andova is very basic but functional. Manager Abel is nice. Morning game drive was incredible in what we got to see: lions, white rhino, cheetahs amongst others. Got a headache, not feeling too well. Breakfast: scrambled egg one piece bacon, dry toast, and onion mix. Morning snooze. Lazy day, disappointing news, my stay at the first camp is prolonged for the week. Got driven to a bottle store which made me happy. Dinner: chicken cababs and rice with tomato gravy.
Wednesday: Arrived almost too late for morning game drive because the guide overslept. Quieter than yesterday but still good, and saw a buffalo. Feeling much better than yesterday. Afternoon reading. Back to Manjaleti for the evening drive where we saw a leopard meaning I got to see the Big 5, amazingly lucky.
Thursday: James and Abel took me to Blyde River canyon and Swadini resort. Awesome views at the lookout point, an impressive dam wall, and boat trips possible on the downstream River. Big trees on the walk to the picturesque waterfall. Reminds me of the Silvermine river walk. I like to go back here again. Then off to Hoedspruit to collect the car part which meant a bizarre wait. It’s clear James is taken for granted by the owner. Back to Andova. Spoke with the owner and sorted out the return shuttle which he had not got right. James had some success with the car. Dinner, early to bed.
Friday: Didn’t sleep well. Morning packing, breakfast, goodbyes. A wait for the return shuttle at Eastgate airport. Thankfully it arrived, then a day spent traveling. Uber to Steph, dinner and showed off my photos. Shaved off the 10 day beard.
Saturday: Slept well. Finished reading Forty Days Without Shadow by Olivier Truc. Steph, Jay and I went to the WODAC expo which was fun. TV watching.
A fast-paced murder mystery that also highlights an interesting culture that I previously knew nothing of.
Sunday: 3 degrees in Joburg. Flight back to Cape town. Grocery shopping, chores. Reviewed the trip.
In short: games drives were great, everything else a little disappointing, mostly because I didn’t get what I paid for.
Podcasts listened to this week: BBC Books & Authors; TED Radio Hour.